Daley 'distinguished senior fellow' at UofC

May 24, 2011 3:15:10 PM PDT
In his first public appearance since stepping down as Chicago mayor, Richard M. Daley announced Tuesday he will take a job at the University of Chicago.

Daley's official title is Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Harris School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago. He will be giving speeches and will host a guest lecture series. It's a five-year commitment that starts July 1st.

Daley will host 10 annual guest lectures starting in 2011-2012 academic year. At those events Daley will also invite guest speakers and urban leaders.

The former mayor talked about why he chose the gig -- and why so quickly -- at a press conference on the Hyde Park campus Tuesday morning.

"I'm one who enjoys work," Daley said. "I enjoy keeping busy. I'm not one who wants to just sit back and watch the flowers grow. And so, the most exciting part of my life has always been, in some way, universities and student public policy in my office. You have to remember, it doesn't just come from the mayor, it comes from many people out there, especially this university."

University of Chicago officials say that Daley's experience running the City of Chicago will be invaluable to students. Daley spent 22 years at City Hall. Mayor Rahm Emanuel took office just last week.

The challenge at UofC - and on any campus for that matter - is to marry the great thoughts of academia with real world practicality, and for the UofC, recruiting the mayor is like signing a free agent all-star.

"Since the mayor has a network that is unparalleled, nobody else knows as many significant urban leaders as mayor Daley, so bringing those people in is an additional bonus for us," said Colm O'Muircheartaigh, Harris School dean, University of Chicago.

"Long before we were a global city in the last 20 years, this university put Chicago on the map as a global city," Daley said.

The University of Chicago has not disclosed how much Daley will be paid. A university spokesperson says the school does not have to release that information since it is a private university.

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