Retired four-star Gen. David Petraeus, who resigned in disgrace as director of the CIA following revelations that he carried on an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, has landed in Southern California.
USC announced just after midnight that the architect of the American “counterinsurgency” in Iraq will take on a number of duties on campus as …
… a Judge Widney Professor, which the university says in a statement is …
… a title reserved for eminent individuals from the arts, sciences, professions, business and community and national leadership. Judge Robert Maclay Widney was USC's founder.
Petraeus will teach, participate in seminars and mentor ROTC members, according to the school.
USC notes that the former West Point instructor has a Ph.D. and adds that the general “is interested in exploring whether such leadership heralds the start of what he calls the 'North American Decades.' “
Noted historian Kevin Starr, a USC professor, says:
The appointment of General Petraeus as a Judge Widney Professor at USC will add transformative energy to our teaching and research in international relations, government, economics, management, defense studies and military science — fields mastered by this clear-thinking, jargon-free polymath.
The school doesn't mention the Broadwell affair that forced an end to Petraeus' intelligence job, but it does say he was praised “for the critical and historic role he played in stabilizing Iraq.”
The general is not the first controversial government figure to find a soft landing in SoCal academia. By far.
Kenneth Starr, who laid the groundwork for the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, ended up at Malibu's Pepperdine University, where he was dean of its School of Law, before moving on to the top job as president of Baylor University in 2010.
Petraeus, meanwhile, gave this canned quote:
I am 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 importance to our country, and that is known for steadfast support of its veterans and ROTC programs.