Rochester Mayor William A. Johnson Jr. Will Join RIT Faculty

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Follow RITNEWS on Twitter The man who has led the City of Rochester for 12 years will be joining the Rochester Institute of Technology faculty in 2006. Mayor William A. Johnson Jr. will become a distinguished professor of public policy in RIT’s College of Liberal Arts in January, after serving Rochester for three terms as mayor.

“I am very pleased to be joining the RIT faculty. This will allow me the opportunity to do something I’ve always wanted to do,” says Johnson. “It is great next step for my career and I look forward to working with young people in an academic setting.”

“Mayor Johnson will bring a wealth of experience and a unique perspective to the students in our growing liberal arts programs,” says RIT President Albert Simone. “He is a civic leader with national stature in areas relating to urban issues, regionalism and education.”

Johnson is a political scientist by training, having earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Howard University. Prior to his election as mayor, Johnson was president and chief executive officer of the Urban League of Rochester for 21 years.

“The mayor is going to connect RIT to the City of Rochester in an exciting way,” says Andrew Moore, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “One of the great advantages of bringing the mayor to RIT is that he will help strengthen several of our initiatives, not only in public policy, but also in criminal justice, political science and our planned new degree in urban and community studies.”

RIT’s public policy program is four years old and serves both undergraduate and graduate students. Faculty and students work on solving problems in a host of areas, including environmental policy, energy policy, biotechnology policy, information and communications policy, and industrial policy.

“The addition of Mayor Johnson to our faculty enhances our ability to bring real-world government policy making experience into the classroom,” says Professor James Winebrake, chairman of RIT’s public policy program. “We believe that with his magnetic personality, engaging demeanor, and insights into the inner-workings of government, Mayor Johnson will be a tremendous addition to the RIT community.”

Johnson already has a strong connection to RIT. In 1993, he held the Frederick H. Minett Professorship at RIT. This professorship brings distinguished members of the Rochester community to the campus to share their expertise and experience with students. Johnson’s course focused on urban issues, and he engaged students in concepts such as neighborhood reinvestment, police and community relations and urban economic development. In 1999, Johnson addressed RIT graduates at convocation ceremonies.