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Student body builder: Dr. Schwarzenegger commandos new USC think tank

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University of Southern California President C. L. Max Nikias and Arnold Schwarzenegger, 38th governor of California, announce the establishment of the USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy, which will be housed in the USC Price School of Public Policy.

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will head the Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy at the University of Southern California, it was announced Thursday.

Conan the Nonsectarian calls for the think tank to promote a "post-partisanship" political era, and details the priorities of the Institute in his official release as:

  • education
  • energy and environment
  • fiscal and economic policy
  • health and human wellness
  • political reform

USC chose to bullet point the Institute's guiding principals in their announcement

  • Science and evidence must play an important role when finding solutions to policy and social issues.
  • Local solutions are often the best means to solve global problems.
  • Future leaders, including students and young people, must help shape the solutions for our future.

The L.A. Times reports that the effort will be funded with a commitment of $20 million — a combination of Schwarzenegger money and fundraising efforts. The bodybuilder/actor/politician, to whom an honorary doctorate was bestowed during a USC commencement a few years back, made a personal donation, but the amount is not being disclosed. 

School officials say the endowment is expected to be fully funded within two or three years. The Institute will be housed at USC's Sol Price School of Public Policy.

KPCC's Air Talk explores why Schwarzenegger took up this new role, and whether it was smart for him to get back into the political arena in this way. Today's guest: Bonnie Reiss, Global Director, USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy.



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