Former California Sen. Kevin Murray is now serving as USC’s first politician-in-residence in hopes of providing better resources to students and faculty.
Murray will be working with the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics and the USC College of Letters, Arts & Sciences.
Murray was appointed only a few of weeks ago, said Ann Crigler, interim director of the Unruh Institute.
“He has already participated in two events for the Unruh Institute and we are looking forward to working with him again,” Crigler said.
Murray attended CSU Northridge as an undergraduate student and obtained his master’s degree in business administration at Loyola Marymount University before pursuing a career in law.
With a Juris Doctorate in law and emphasis on environment, Murray has a wealth of information to provide for USC students, said Michael Quick, executive vice dean of USC College Academic Affairs.
“We knew of Sen. Murray because he had taught in the School of Policy, Planning, and Development and he had helped out the Unruh Institute by meeting with some students who had traveled up to Sacramento to visit state agencies,” Quick said.
His previous experiences include representing California Legislature in the 47th Assembly District and two four-year terms in the California State Senate. He retired in 2006 because of term limits.
Having been in the political scene for years, Murray has experience on transportation, appropriation and environmental committees. He was responsible for drafting multiple propositions that benefitted youth and recreational systems throughout the state.
His duties as politician-in-residence will include a wide array of work, mostly in lectures, panel discussions and interactions with students.
“I hope to work as much as possible and hope to work with anybody interested in public policy,” Murray said.
Murray said he was looking forward to working with students at USC.
“My goal is to interact and have a positive influence on as many students as possible [and] impart some knowledge that I may have on how it works outside of the theory and in real life,” Murray said.
One of his most notable involvements will be with the “Students Talk Back” lunches co-hosted by Unruh and the Daily Trojan. Murray is expected to be a moderator in the upcoming “Students Talk Back” panel on Oct. 26, which will discuss the final week of the state gubernatorial race.
“For the spring semester, he is considering offering a course on how a bill becomes a law by having a class develop a real bill and moving it through the legislative process,” Quick said.
Dayna Leland, a freshman majoring in political science, said she would be interested in learning from Murray.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for all students, not just political science majors, but for the whole of USC community, to have first-hand experience with a state senator. It will definitely help in understanding of the government and the way it functions,” she said.
With no precedent for this position, it is uncertain how long Murray will stay as politician-in-residence, Crigler said.
Correction: 10/20/10 – A previous version of this story ran with an incorrect headline. This entry has been corrected to reflect the change.