Former FBI Director James Comey will join the faculty of the historically black Howard University this fall as a part-time lecturer. He will also be the 2017 opening convocation keynote speaker, the school announced in a news release Wednesday.
The statement acknowledged Comey’s appointment and noted that their aim is to have Comey educate the university students “through a lecture series designed to foster fruitful discussion and spur meaningful interaction.”
According to the statement, Comey will be the Endowed Chair in Public Policy.
The news release also revealed that Comey will donate his $100,000 salary back to Howard University for their scholarship fund.
He will formally welcome the Class of 2021 to the 2017-18 school year in the opening convocation on Sept. 22.
About his appointment, Comey said, “Howard has a longstanding history of being a vibrant academic community and the perfect place to have rich dialogue on many of the most pressing issues we face today. I look forward to contributing to this remarkable institution and engaging students and faculty alike.”
Why this matters
Comey has been vocal in the past about racial division in America, and his appointment to the prestigious Howard University is sure to be a good move for both the school and for race relations in the U.S.
During a 2015 address to the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives in Atlanta, Comey addressed the ramifications of racial bias in law enforcement, and made several compelling statements to support the idea that he believes racial diversity “is about doing the right thing.”
“We are simply less effective when we are less diverse,” Comey said in his remarks.
The news is especially important to race relations, as historically, the black community has been at odds with the FBI since the 1960s, when the agency reportedly used questionable tactics in attempts to disband black civil rights groups.
With Comey as a professor at a traditionally black college, it’s hopeful that race relations will begin to improve — even if it begins on a small scale.