WASHINGTON – Hall of Fame basketball player and former Sen. Bill Bradley will head up a new research team at the University of Maryland at College Park that will study race relations and other issues.
The university announced Thursday that Bradley, a three-term senator from New Jersey, in March will become the first distinguished leadership scholar for the Academy of Leadership.
He will receive a $75,000 stipend for each of the two years he works at the university.
The Academy of Leadership, located in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, uses education, training and research to help develop future political leaders. It was created in 1981, initially to encourage women in politics.
Bradley, 53, a Rhodes scholar who gained recognition for his work on tax reform in the mid-1980s, was the academy’s first choice for the position, said Kathy Whitmire, director of the academy’s New Grants Program.
She said Bradley’s work will be funded by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Mich.
“One of our goals is to bring scholars and leaders together,” Whitmire said. “We feel he embodies both.”
Bradley, a Democrat who did not seek re-election last year, said in a telephone interview the position is a good fit. “One of the reasons I left public office was to concentrate on improving public leadership,” he said.
And, he said, “The academy has a good combination of research and application.”
Bradley was born in Crystal City, Mo., and led Princeton University to the Final Four in the NCAA Tournament. He earned a gold medal at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo and won two championships with the New York Knicks.
His position on campus will be part-time, leading research and round-table discussions with experts in several fields, including public leadership, the economy, race relations and new technologies. They will publish reports on their findings, along with recommendations for improving community leadership.
Bradley also will serve as chairman of the academy’s board of advisers. The Kellogg grant will pay for the publications and a new World Wide Web site on the Internet. -30-