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Rybak to teach at University of Minnesota's Humphrey School and College of Design

Outgoing Mayor of Minneapolis to serve as distinguished visiting practitioner

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The University of Minnesota announced today that outgoing Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak will become a distinguished visiting practitioner, with a joint appointment at both the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and the College of Design.

Rybak will teach one course this spring, titled Mayor 101, in which he will explore the political, administrative, design and bureaucratic challenges of running one of the largest and most dynamic cities in the United States. The course will be open to both undergraduate and graduate students.

"I’m excited to teach ‘Mayor 101’ in the Humphrey School and the College of Design," Rybak said. "My goal is to blend my practical experience as mayor with the intelligence, curiosity and idealism of the U’s great students, in order to help them become the next generation of leaders and visionaries for our cities."

Under the auspices of the Humphrey School and the College of Design, Rybak will also plan and host a conference for faculty, students, and civic and policy leaders, focusing on the key challenges facing urban areas in the United States. He will teach two additional courses, one in fall 2014 and one in spring 2015.

"What a wonderful opportunity for our students and our community to learn from an individual who has become a leader fashioning new roles for a mayor in municipal governance at a time when our national institutions have been subject to political gridlock," said Eric Schwartz, dean of the Humphrey School. "Whether it is the role of a 21st Century mayor as advocate, as developer of new public-private partnerships, or as modern administrator, Mayor Rybak's 12-year term of office has been characterized by critically important developments in public engagement at the local level. Our students will benefit greatly from this expertise."

Tom Fisher, dean of the College of Design, added, "Few mayors have as much interest in and knowledge of urban design as R.T. Rybak. He understands the important role design plays in every aspect of the built environment and the impact that design has on everyday life. I'm extremely pleased our design students will have this unique opportunity to learn first-hand from someone with the breadth of experience Mayor Rybak brings to the U."  

Rybak has served as Minneapolis mayor since 2001 and is leaving office in November. He is expected to teach at the University through June 2015 and his appointment is supported by private funds provided by gifts to the University.

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