After leading forces in Afghanistan as a four-star general and serving as director of the Central Intellignce Agency, David H. Petraeus now plans to take on a new role as a Widney Professor at USC, the university announced today.
As part of his position, which he will begin on July 1, Petraeus will teach classes during the academic semester, participate in panels and mentor student veterans and ROTC members.
Petraeus stepped down as the CIA director in November after admitting that he had in an extramarital affair with Paula Broadwell.
Petraeus was the keynote speaker at the annual USC dinner honoring veterans and ROTC students in March. His speech was the first public appearance since his resignation. During his speech he apologized for the affair.
“Please allow me to begin my remarks this evening by reiterating how deeply I regret — and apologize for — the circumstances that led me to resign from the CIA and caused such pain for my family, friends and supporters,” Petraeus told the audience of 600.
University leaders said they believe Petraeus will bring unique qualities to his new role, which will benefit both students and professors.
“USC is thrilled to have General Petraeus join our faculty as a Judge Widney Professor,” President C. L. Max Nikias said in a statement. “He embodies all the noble qualities of our founder along with a fearless commitment to excellence. His presence will have a profound impact on our students across many disciplines.”
Professors said Petraeus’ experience aligns well with the university’s goals.
“For the past 37 years, General Petraeus has served our country as a dedicated public servant and remarkable leader,” said Jack Knott, the dean of the Sol Price School of Public Policy. “Given our school’s focus on government and public policy, as well as the academic administrative home for the ROTC program at USC, it is a particular honor for us to have General Petraeus join the USC faculty.”
The Judge Widney Professor title is named after Judge Robert Maclay Widney, who founded USC in 1880 and played an important role in growing Los Angeles into an urban center. Widney professorships are appointed to those with expertise in the arts, sciences, professions, business and national leadership, according to a statement from the university.
Before the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed him as director of the CIA in June 2011, Petraeus had served more than 37 years in the United States Army and was the commander of the NATO International Security Assistance Force and United States Forces in Afghanistan.
In addition to his military experience, Petraeus has an extensive academic background. He holds a doctorate degree in international relations from Princeton University and taught economics and international relations at the United States Military Academy.
Petraeus said he believes the university is an ideal place to serve as a professor because of its innovation and relationship with the U.S. military.
In addition, USC, along with Notre Dame, is one of two universities in the nation that has maintained an ROTC program since 1943.
“I’m very grateful to have an opportunity to be part of a great university that prizes academic excellence, that is doing cutting-edge research in areas of enormous important to our country, and that is known for steadfast support of its veterans and ROTC programs,” Petraeus said in a statement.