Campus: CSU Fresno -- November 20, 2001

Daniel Whitehurst Named Kenneth L. Maddy Professor Professor At California State University, Fresno

Daniel K. Whitehurst, whose political experience, business background and community involvement in Fresno date back to the 1970s, has been named the second Kenneth L. Maddy Professor at California State University, Fresno.

Whitehurst, who follows founding Maddy professor Harold Haak, begins a two-year term on Dec. 1 and will teach and direct the Maddy Institute of Public Affairs. Its mission is to elevate citizen participation and government performance at all levels through leadership education for public service.

The institute was funded by a $1 million endowment from the state in 1999 and named to honor Maddy, a Fresno State graduate and respected public servant who represented the Valley in the state Senate for nearly three decades. He died in February 2000.

"We are absolutely delighted that Dan Whitehurst will be joining us," said Dr. Ellen Gruenbaum, dean of College of Social Sciences, which houses the Maddy Institute. "His commitment to public service follows on the tradition of Ken Maddy."

Gruenbaum said Whitehurst's experience and his connections regionally and nationally offer tremendous opportunities for students and the institute. Whitehurst, president of Farewell Funeral Service, was Fresno's mayor from 1977-85. In his new position, he said, he wants to foster more interaction between the university, the region and government. He will strive to make the resources of Fresno State accessible to Valley citizens and decision-makers, and will match the university's students with opportunities to get involved in local and state government.

Whitehurst believes that can be accomplished through the Institute's internships. The first five interns, named in January, were placed in the Sacramento and Fresno offices of state legislators and the State Senate Agriculture and Water Resources Committee.

"Both formal and informal internships are excellent for students who want to get connected with government. I'd like to create an environment in the Maddy Institute where students can come and tell us what their interests are and we can see what's out there for them," he said.

Whitehurst himself was a summer intern in 1968 in the Washington office of Sen. Thomas Kuckel. As Fresno's mayor, Whitehurst hired interns for his office. Whitehurst said he also hopes to revive in politics and politicians the approach that endeared Maddy to colleagues in both parties - "a civil, bipartisan, gracious and pragmatic style that makes people proud of politics."

The Maddy Institute also is working with the Great Valley Center to create a leadership development program for local elected officials in the Central Valley. The professorship will be Whitehurst's second stint in academia. He spent a semester at the Institute of Politics at Harvard's Kennedy School in 1985, teaching a course on California politics.

In addition to administrative duties at Fresno State, Whitehurst will teach a basic American government course during the spring semester. He will maintain an office in the Social Sciences Building at Fresno State, but among his agenda items is working to secure revenue sources and donors to fund an on-campus home for the institute.

The Maddy Institute operates within the Public Administration program of the Political Science Department in the College of Social Sciences. Dr. Sharron Y. Herrron serves as the Institute's executive director.


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