UPDATED: 5/24/2011 6:37 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — We now know how former Mayor Richard M. Daley will be spending some of his time. He’s signed on as a “Distinguished Senior Fellow” at the University of Chicago. Daley will begin coordinating a high profile series of urban policy lectures come July. As CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports that only after roughly a week off the job, Daley seems anxious to get back to work.
Daley will hold his first post-mayoral news conference later this morning to discuss his new role at the University of Chicago.
Considered by many to have been the “dean” of big city mayors, Daley will join the university as a distinguished senior fellow at the Harris School of Public Policy Studies.
He’ll be involved in studies on urban policy and the future of cities.
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It’s a five year commitment, starting on July 1. He will coordinate 10 annual guest lectures, bringing in policy-makers from around the globe.
“Today is important to me because it marks yet another step in this next phase of my life, ” Daley said from the podium of The University’s Harris School of Public Policy.
“I enjoy keeping busy,” Daley said. “I am not one who wants to sit back and watch the flowers grow. To me, the most exciting part of my life always has been universities and students, affecting public policy.”
After 22 years in office, Daley says he got a laugh from public reaction to his first stroll through the city as someone other than the mayor.
“The next day leaving office and walking down the street and people saying where’s the mayor, where’s the bodyguards?” he said chuckling again.
As Mayor Daley had a decades old reputation for strongly controlling a discussion, he was jokingly reminded things at the University might be different.
“The tradition of the university is to have vehement destructive argument about every topic, ” said Colm O’Muircheartaigh, Dean of The Harris School.
An environment where even the latest high profile lecturer expects to learn a thing or two.
“Of course anybody will miss your job but life goes on, ” Daley said.
For a school that prides itself as a center for studies addressing complex urban issues, Daley’s hire is a coup. The announcement came with a few sentimental moments as well, as Daley referred to his father, the late mayor, time and again. He said he learned from his dad that universities are what help put a city on the global map.
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