Nutter Joins Faculty at Columbia U.

It's his second new gig; he's also joining a Homeland Security advisory panel.


Michael Nutter | Courtesy of Columbia University

Michael Nutter is joining the faculty of Columbia University as a professor of professional practice in urban policy, the university announced Wednesday morning. He will teach in the university’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Nutter, who spent eight years as Philadelphia mayor before leaving office this month, also tweeted his appointment:

“As mayor of one of our nation’s largest cities, he has earned a national reputation as a leader in urban public policy — addressing key challenges in economic development, public safety, environmental innovation and many others,” Merit Janow, SIPA’s dean, said in a statement announcing Nutter’s appointment. “I know we will all benefit from his insights and experience.” 

It’s the second high-profile gig Nutter has picked up in the weeks since leaving office. Last week he was sworn in as a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council, a federal committee that provides the Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson with recommendations.

That appointment, though, has proven controversial. Nutter, in the weeks before he left office, signed an order weakening the city’s status as a “sanctuary city” for undocumented immigrants. That’s stirred speculation among the city’s immigration activists that Nutter’s decision was a quid pro quo for the post-mayoral Homeland Security gig.

No so, Nutter told the Philadelphia Inquirer in a story published today.

“I didn’t get anything,” said Nutter, “and I don’t do things that way. Obviously, it’s an insult to the way that we conducted our business. … I was asked to do something on public safety on behalf of our nation. These are issues I care passionately about.”

Nutter joins New York’s David Dinkins as the second former big-city mayor on the Columbia faculty. And it’s a big platform for Nutter, who used his time as Philly mayor to expand his presence on the national stage, serving as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and often serving as a proxy for the Democratic Party on Sunday morning news shows.

“The opportunity to work with such distinguished faculty and incredible students at this internationally recognized university is an enormous responsibility,” Nutter said in the prepared statement, “and creates an important platform to continue my focus on the leading urban challenges in the United States and around the world.”