Former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam will teach political science as a distinguished visiting professor this fall, Vanderbilt University announced.
He will teach with Dean of the College of Arts and Science John Geer, Gertrude Conaway and historian Jon Meacham, who holds the Carolyn T. and Robert M. Rogers Chair in the American Presidency, to teach an upper-level undergraduate course called “Leadership.”
Haslam said in the Vanderbilt press release, “I am excited about the opportunity to be in class with John Geer and Jon Meacham. This class will be a great forum for a lively discussion about leadership in today’s political environment, understood in a historical context. I look forward to sharing some observations and lessons learned from serving as a mayor and governor.”
The class examines the actions of political actors in the interest of understanding how they made important decisions and inspired others to support their vision of the nation. This year’s class will study the leadership strategies of former Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Rosa Parks.
“Leadership is an intrinsic and yet mysterious force in human affairs, and the best way to prepare students for the responsibilities that await them, I think, is to consider how leaders of the past have struggled with the defining issues of the ages,” Meacham said.
The former governor announced in July that he would not seek the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in Tennessee to replace Sen. Lamar Alexander, who announced earlier this year he will not be seeking re-election in 2020, The Tennessee Star reported at the time.
Haslam has been no friend of President Donald Trump, who won Tennessee in the 2016 election.
Haslam in April hosted a fundraiser for never-Trump Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, The Star reported. Sasse has regularly denounced Trump and claimed he “thinks about leaving the Republican Party every day.”
Vanderbilt is not Haslam’s first venture into academia.
The Star reported in January that he joined several other Never-Trumpers as “spring fellows” instructors at American University’s Sine Institute of Politics in Washington, D.C., including Bill Kristol, who once said Trump was “out of control” over his support for Saudi Arabia.
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.