December 3 - Chapman Panthers: Part-time professor seeks appointment as Peace Corps director

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By Admin1 (admin) on Thursday, January 03, 2002 - 10:37 pm: Edit Post

Part-time professor seeks appointment as Peace Corps director

Read and comment on this article from the Chapman Panthers where Gaddi Vasquez teaches a course focusing on California politics every three years at:

Part-time professor seeks appointment as Peace Corps director*

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Part-time professor seeks appointment as Peace Corps director

POLITICAL SCIENCE: Gaddi Vasquez will step down from teaching post if appointed as director

By Jennifer Peltz Panther Staff Writer

After his presidential nomination last summer, part-time Chapman professor Gaddi Vasquez is expected to receive a congressional confirmation as director of the Peace Corps by the end of December, according to Peace Corps officials.

If confirmed, Vasquez will associate with President Bush and other top government officials. His appointment would mark the end of his political science teaching at Chapman, according to Fred Smoller, chair of political science department.

"He intends to contribute to Chapman in a number of other ways, which will be highly valued by our department," said Smoller.

Every three years at Chapman, Vasquez teaches Governing the Golden State, a course focusing on California politics. He is a very popular teacher with his students, said Don Will, professor of peace studies and political science.

"I'm sure they will miss his presence, but perhaps when he's done with that appointment he will come back to the area and teach for us again," he said. "He will bring more experience to the class."

Vasquez' job would raise the consciousness about the Peace Corps on the Chapman campus, he said, adding that school officials look forward to working more directly with the organization.

Peace Corps director is a prestigious job, said Ellen Field, Peace Corps press director from the organization's Washington, D.C., headquarters. The position requires overseeing the $275-million-a-year agency and reporting its plans and accomplishments to the president.

"The naming of a new administration by President Bush predictably followed the change in the administration from President Clinton," she said.

More than 7,000 American Peace Corps volunteers are working in about 70 countries, said Field.

President Bush nominated Vasquez, who is currently a Southern California Edison executive, on July 25. Field said she hopes the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will vote and approve Bush's decision within the next week so the vote can move before the full Senate. If this happens, and the Senate approves the nomination, Vasquez may be in office by the end of December, she said.

The government may not act that quickly, though, said Field.

"They're very busy passing legislation for terrorism measures," she said.

But a group of former Peace Corps volunteers, headed by former director Jack Hood Vaughn, has said it opposes Vasquez's nomination, claiming he lacks experience in foreign affairs, the Los Angeles Times reported.The group also alleges that Vasquez failed to head off the bankruptcy of Orange County seven years ago.

In December 1994, while Vasquez sat on the board of supervisors, the county declared bankruptcy. A month later, Vasquez was named chairman of the board of supervisors. He resigned later that year before his term ended.

Vasquez was never convicted of any wrongdoing. According to a Peace Corps press release, misconduct by the county's treasurer-tax collector led to the county's much-publicized financial woes.

"The president nominated him knowing his background and the wealth of experience he brings to the job," said Field.

Vasquez has served in the administrations of former California Governors George Duekmejian and Pete Wilson.

He sits on the national board for the Salvation Army, local boards for Boy Scouts of America, the City of Orange Library Foundation and the St. Joseph Hospital Foundation.

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