Former Chicago Mayor Daley Accepts University Post

May 24, 2011

Richard Daley is going back to school.

The recently retired Chicago mayor has taken a position at the University of Chicago.

Daley will not be a professor, and he won't be grading papers. But he will have an office, and - for the next five years - an academic title: "distinguished senior scholar."

The former mayor will be responsible for organizing ten guest lectures a year about big issues facing cities, using his heft to land some big visitors.

"Today's important for me, of course, because it marks yet another step in this the next phase of my life," Daley said in a press conference in Hyde Park. "I can tell you that it's already been quite exciting."

School officials say they started to talk about asking Daley to join the university in some capacity a short time after he announced last fall that he wouldn't seek a seventh term.

"The tradition of the university is to have vehement and sometimes destructive argument about every topic raised," said Colm O'Muircheartaigh, dean of the university's Harris School of Public Policy Studies. "We feel that the mayor's training as mayor for the last 22 years has equipped him well to participate in our discussions."

O'Muircheartaigh wouldn't reveal contract specifics.

"At the University of Chicago, we don't discuss pay for anybody," O'Muircheartaigh said. "And we're not going to break this rule in the case of the mayor."

In an email later on Tuesday, university spokesman Jeremy Manier said the salary is "within the normal bounds for visiting fellows of [Daley's] level of distinction."

Dale's job will be part-time, though O'Muircheartaigh declined to say how many hours the former mayor will be expected to work.

(AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

Story source: AP