PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Former Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter is joining the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University as a professor in urban policy.

Nutter’s new role was announced by Dean Merit E. Janow.

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“I’m delighted that Michael Nutter will be joining the SIPA faculty this semester,” Janow said. “As mayor of one of our nation’s largest cities, he has earned a national reputation as a leader in urban public policy— addressing key challenges in economic development, public safety, environmental innovation and many others. I know we will all benefit from his insights and experience.”

President Lee C. Bollinger adds, “We know that Mayor Nutter’s respected leadership both in the City of Philadelphia and among the nation’s mayors will make a major contribution not only to our School of International and Public Affairs, but to the broad and growing work on urban issues that Columbia faculty and students are doing across the university both locally and globally.”

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Nutter served as the 98th mayor of Philadelphia from January 2008 to January 2016.

During his two terms as mayor, homicides fell to their lowest level in 50 years and the education system saw rates of high school graduation and college attainment increase.

“I am deeply honored and excited to have been asked to serve as a professor of professional practice at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University,” Nutter says.

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“The opportunity to work with such distinguished faculty and incredible students at this internationally recognized university is an enormous responsibility, and creates an important platform to continue my focus on the leading urban challenges in the United States and around the world. I look forward to actively engaging with the Columbia University community.”