Indiana's ex-governor joins ND political science faculty

Author: Ed Cohen


A former governor is teaching at Notre Dame this semester

Former Indiana Governor Joe Kernan is teaching “The Executive Branch and Public Policy,” a one-credit political science course focusing on such issues as state and local budgets, welfare, economic development, health care, capital punishment, urban development and crime

Kernan, who earned his Notre Dame bachelor’s degree in government in 1968, also planned to make special presentations on politics and public service and to serve as a resource for students interested in pursuing internships, graduate study or careers in public policy

Kernan was elected Indiana’s lieutenant governor in 1996 after having served as mayor of South Bend since 1987. He and Governor Frank O’Bannon were re-elected in 2000. After O’Bannon’s death in September 2003, Kernan served as governor until January of 2005. He lost his bid for election in fall 2004 to Republican Mitch Daniels

After graduating from Notre Dame, Kernan served as a naval flight officer aboard the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk. He was shot down while on a reconnaissance mission over Vietnam in 1972 and was held for 11 months as a prisoner of war. He was repatriated in 1973 and continued on active duty in the Navy until 1974. For his service, he received several awards, including two Purple Hearts, the Navy Commendation Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross

He was principal speaker at commencement in 1998.