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Kerrey To Lead New School University

February 16, 2000

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ Sen. Bob Kerrey, who announced last month he would not seek a third term, said Wednesday he will take a job offer as president of New School University in New York.

``I’ve had a longstanding passion and love of education and an interest in doing more,″ Kerrey said. ``This is what I would like to do.″

Kerrey, 56, said he would start working for the university next January, after he officially has left office. He said he will not sign a contract or address the details of his new position until that time. The school, founded in 1919 and originally known as the New School for Social Research, has 7,000 degree students and 20,000 continuing education students.

Kerrey, who taught a college course in California in the 1980s, said he would like to teach a course at the university on making laws. In addition, Kerrey said, he would like to expand adult education programs and the university’s use of the Internet.

``I hope to solve more problems than I can create,″ Kerrey said in a telephone interview from New York City.

Kerrey, who operates a chain of restaurants and health clubs in Nebraska, said he plans to remain a presence in his home state even though he will be moving to New York.

``If I had been offered the presidency to the University of Nebraska, I may be talking now of moving to Lincoln,″ Kerrey said. ``My businesses will keep me involved in Nebraska. I will be a grateful taxpayer.″

Kerrey said ``it’s certainly a nice coincidence″ that New York is the home of his longtime girlfriend, Sara Paley, a former writer for ``Saturday Night Live.″

Kerry’s decision not to run had been a setback for Democratic hopes of making gains in the Senate. The Senate has a 55-45 Republican majority, and Kerrey’s seat was considered a safe one in a state that traditionally votes Republican.

In the Senate, Kerrey established himself as an expert on agriculture, an advocate for major health care reforms and a liberal voice on defense matters, including voting against going to war in the Persian Gulf.

Kerrey, millionaire, Vietnam war hero and former governor, won election in the Senate in 1988 by defeating appointed incumbent Sen. David Karnes. In 1992, he withdrew a presidential bid after failing to win much support in any primary except South Dakota. He won a second Senate term in 1994.