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ASU names Kyl Distinguished Fellow, Scholar

Former United States Senator Jon Kyl has accepted a part-time appointment at Arizona State University as Distinguished Fellow in Public Service in the ASU College of Public Programs and as O’Connor Distinguished Scholar of Law and Public Service in the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU.

The Senate’s former No. 2 Republican leader will work primarily in Washington, D.C. and will begin this new role with ASU immediately.   Recognized in 2010 as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine, Kyl was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1994 and retired at the end of his third term In January of this year.  Before serving the Senate, he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1987 to 1995 and earlier worked as a lawyer and lobbyist in Phoenix.

Kyl, who received his bachelor’s degree and law degree from the University of Arizona, recently joined Covington & Burling, the largest law firm in the nation’s capitol.

“Jon Kyl has long been one of the nation’s most important political leaders,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow.  “He has taken a thoughtful approach to important issues and has been a statesman at time when statesmanship was sometimes lacking.  ASU students will benefit greatly from his experience and perspective.”

At ASU he will teach classes and convene discussion groups on a range of issues, including immigration reform, sequestration and the debt ceiling, tax and entitlement reform, and national security and foreign policy.  Other topics will involve internal Congressional issues such as the role of politics and compromise, party discipline, lobbying and why Congress is so contentious.

“ASU has made tremendous progress in the last decade,” said Kyl. ”I am excited to work in such a dynamic environment. Twenty six years in Congress taught me a lot, and much of it is not quite what the textbooks teach.  Hopefully, I can impart some ‘real life’ lessons about our national government and major policy issues to students at ASU.”

“We are delighted that Senator Kyl will be joining us as O’Connor Distinguished Scholar of Law and Public Service,” said Douglas Sylvester, dean of the O’Connor College of Law.  “He is one of Arizona’s most respected and experienced public servants, and we are looking forward to the invaluable perspective he will bring our students and our law school community through his years of distinguished leadership and government service.”

Added Dean Jonathan Koppell, dean of the College of Public Programs, “What a great opportunity for ASU to learn from a legislator who has been a key player on issues that affect every Arizonan.

“At a time when the political process is widely disparaged, ASU students who already are drawn to public service will get the chance to see how one person can make a difference by following the path to elective office.  Senator Kyl has shown himself equally passionate about opening students’ eyes to the realities of policy making in Washington and the substantive issues, like water policy and immigration, that will shape the future of Arizona.”