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The Busy Life of Riley

Richard W. Riley's friends have a running joke that the former secretary of education doesn't know the meaning of the word "retirement."

Less than a week after leaving his office at the Department of Education, Mr. Riley had lived up to their expectations. The 68-year-old former governor of South Carolina had already lined up part-time jobs with colleges in his home state and reopened his law practice.

On Jan. 23, the law firm of Nelson, Mullins, Riley & Scarborough announced that Mr. Riley would rejoin the firm, which bears his name and has about 250 attorneys in offices across the Southeast. He'll work part-time in both the Columbia and Greenville offices, on a wide variety of issues, according to the firm.

Two days later, the University of South Carolina announced that Mr. Riley would become a "distinguished university professor" there and would be an adviser to several statewide partnerships in K-12 and higher education. In addition, he'll also work on creating partnerships in one of his favorite areas, international education, and occasionally give lectures on education policy.

"His accomplishments in the areas of educational leadership and public education delivery will be an invaluable asset," USC President John M. Palms said in announcing the arrangement.

And, as expected, Mr. Riley has indicated that he will be involved in teaching and fund raising for his alma mater, Furman University in Greenville.

Last week, the university was discussing plans with Mr. Riley, and it was poised to make an announcement this week on his specific duties, spokesman Vince Moore said.

According to news reports and former Education Department employees, Mr. Riley also plans to spend some time in Washington and maintain a residence there. Throughout his eight years as secretary, he kept a residence in Greenville and will now make that his permanent home.

—Joetta L. Sack [email protected].

Vol. 20, Issue 21, Page 21

Published in Print: February 7, 2001, as Federal File

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