After 35 years in Congress, U.S. Rep. Sander Levin, D-Royal Oak, will find a new home at the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy.

Levin announced in an op-ed he will not be seeking re-election to a 19th term, and instead told the Detroit Free Press he will start writing and teaching at the Public Policy School.

“They want me to talk to the students at the school about leadership, because they say they teach and teach all these courses and want to really have students talk further about how they implement what they’ve learned,” Levin said. 

Levin said he loved his career in public service, but felt it was time to give someone else a chance. He said he counts defeating the privatization of Social Security, helping pass Affordable Care Act and protecting the auto industry during the recession as some of his greatest victories.

“From working to ensure every child has the opportunity to receive a quality education to ensuring workers can complete on a level playing field, Michigan is undoubtedly better and stronger because of Rep. Levin’s decades of service,” said U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn in a press release. “He epitomizes what it means to be a public servant, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve the alongside him.”

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint, reiterated this message, and said Levin is a successful public servant and a dear friend and colleague.

“For decades, Sandy has fought for fair trade deals, affordable health care, and the rights of workers everywhere,” Kildee said in a statement. “His contributions will be evident for a long time, not just in the U.S., but around the globe.”

Though Levin will be missed by his colleagues in the House, many students expressed excitement about the experience he will bring to the University. LSA junior Paul Rock, who has worked for the congressman, wrote in a message Levin’s character will be valuable on campus.

“For decades, Sandy Levin has fought for progress with signature kindness and conscience,” he wrote. “His character will be sorely missed in Washington, but he’ll also be a valuable asset to the Ford school. I look forward to seeing him on campus.”

Similarly, Public Policy junior Lauren Schandevel, a member of Levin’s district, wrote in a message that she welcomes this change.

“As someone who has been represented by Sandy my whole life, it’s strange to see him finally step down,” she wrote. “As a Ford student, however, I’m thrilled to have him here!”

Levin said in the current political climate, connecting with the student population will be crucial to instilling more trust in government.

“And I want to spend a lot of time talking to the next, next generation and trying to both instill a strong interest on their part in public service and I hope to participate in the effort to create more public trust in government overall,” Levin said in an interview with the Detroit Free Press.

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