The university, where Obama taught at the law school and his wife, Michelle, served as a hospital administrator, has begun a quiet campaign for the library, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The University of Hawaii in Obama's birthplace has been campaigning more openly.
Charles Lipson, a political science professor, said President Ronald Reagan's library in California has become a rallying place for conservatives. The Carter Center in Atlanta, founded by President Jimmy Carter, and the John F. Kennedy Center in Boston advance liberal ideas.
"I want to raise the alarm because I think a presidential museum will inevitably become our university's highest-profile institution on a national basis," Lipson said. "It will not be a disinterested, scholarly institution. It will be advancing a political agenda, funded by President Obama's political allies, including foreign donors who cannot give money to his presidential campaigns."
Lipson said an Obama library in Chicago may be inevitable given the president's close ties to many at the university.