Xavier announces the formation of a new institute to study political trends in the U.S.

Graduate and political consultant Mike Ford is named director of the Institute for Politics and Public Life | October 30, 2008

President Michael J. Graham, S.J., recently announced the creation of the Institute for Politics and Public Life at Xavier University and the appointment of Michael F. Ford as its founding director.

The mission of the nonpartisan Institute for Politics and Public Life is to produce extraordinary citizens animated by an informed understanding of the global community, evolving technology and a clear vision of civic duty. In addition, it provides Xavier students with the knowledge and leadership tools to contribute to all levels of public life.

The Institute further acts as a place to research crucial matters of public policy and governance and disseminate findings to the public. It is being created as a “home” for the kind of activities that blend together coursework and outside activities such as internships, survey research and advanced study on the role of the Internet.

Ford comes to the position of founding director with a 37-year career in politics, government and business at all levels of American public life. He has held senior staff and advisory positions in nine presidential campaigns. A 1970 graduate of Xavier, he holds a master’s degree in government from Georgetown University and was a graduate fellow at the Pennsylvania State University School of Public Administration.

At his Academic Day address to the Xavier community and the public on Oct. 21, Graham stressed the importance of engaging in communities to improve the human condition for all. The institute provides Xavier students with the ability and understanding to gather the information and skills they need to do this vital work.