Ithaca, N.Y. — Mayor Svante Myrick was named the “Presidential Fellow for Civic Engagement” at Hobart William and Smith Colleges last week.

In a statement to The Voice, Myrick said the new role — which will include teaching students and mentoring others at the campus — will not interfere with his obligations to Ithaca.

There’s no set schedule for the role, and Myrick said his time commitment “will vary based on my availability and the colleges’ need for me.”

“I have absolutely no concern that it’ll be a drain on my time as mayor,” Myrick said in an email Thursday.

“Even though my position as mayor is classified and paid as ‘part time’ I routinely work well over 60 hours per week. That commitment won’t change and the Colleges understand that my mayoral duties come first.”

Myrick, who spoke in Niagara Falls Thursday morning, said he already takes time out of his schedule to talk with students at Ithaca schools, Cornell, Ithaca College and TC3. He did not disclose how much he is being paid by Hobart. (Ithaca pays Myrick around $53,000 a year.)

“That time is a form of service – but it’s a form of service with great personal returns. The energy and creativity of students is refreshing and gives me a boost, and teaching is a great form of reflection and forced introspection,” he said.

Hobart William and Smith Colleges is in Geneva, about an hour’s drive from Ithaca.

The new responsibility was announced by Hobart President Mark D. Gearan in a statement from the college.

“This year, Myrick will be engaging with the HWS community in a number of ways, including through guest lectures in classes, hosting special events and lectures centered on public service and civic engagement, and working with students, faculty and staff on civic engagement initiatives,” the statement said.


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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.