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Ousted Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to teach public policy at U. Michigan

‘Effort to encourage and equip students for careers in public service’

Former Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot will join the faculty at the University of Michigan in the fall to “encourage and equip students for careers in public service,” according to a news release.

Lightfoot, a Democrat, served as mayor of Chicago from 2019 to 2023 – when she became the first in 40 years to lose re-election. She faced criticism for her actions related to COVID-19 as well as her refusal to give exclusive interviews to white journalists.

At the University of Michigan, Lightfoot will serve as a visiting professor in the Ford School of Public Policy in the fall. The decision to hire her is part of an “effort to encourage and equip students for careers in public service and policy,” according to the university.

She is slated to co-teach a class on strategic public policy consulting with Professor Jeffrey Morenoff, the release states.

“The course will pair graduate students with social impact not-for-profit organizations in Chicago and Michigan to solve challenges those groups are facing in the delivery of services in their respective communities,” according to the release.

Lightfoot said in the release that she recently began one such non-profit herself to support “neighborhood vibrancy” and help “community based organizations to build the internal infrastructure they need to remain viable for their communities.”

“To make this vision a reality, however, we need a large cadre of consultants who share this view about the importance of community-based organizations, and are willing to work at tables set by the community to share their time and talents in furtherance of building capacity and solving problems,” Lightfoot said.

The former mayor said she believes her new collaborative work with UM will help “address community-defined needs, build capacity in the organizations who are our clients and reinforce the importance of policy intersecting with practice.”

Last year, Lightfoot taught a class at Harvard University’s Chan School of Public Health, The College Fix reported at the time.

When she was elected, Lightfoot initially was celebrated as the first black female and openly gay mayor of Chicago. However, her actions quickly drew scrutiny.

In 2020, she faced criticism for “getting a haircut at the height of pandemic lockdowns after telling citizens to remain home, and for placing police officers who declined to receive a COVID-19 vaccine on leave without pay,” Fox News reported.

In 2023, a judge ruled against the vaccine mandate and ordered the city to restore the jobs of workers who were fired for not complying, the Epoch Times reported.

Lightfoot also refused to speak exclusively to white journalists, saying she would reserve one-on-one interviews for minorities.

Additionally, violent crime spiked in the city during her administration.

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About the Author
Micaiah Bilger is an assistant editor at The College Fix.