Sayles Belton is fellowship candidate

Brad Unangst

Former Minneapolis Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton is a strong candidate for a senior fellowship at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, officials said Monday.

Faculty and fellows will vote on the appointment Wednesday after Sayles Belton, who was mayor from 1993-2001, makes a public presentation outlining her qualifications.

“I think it’s wonderful,” Sayles Belton said. “The people at the University and Humphrey Institute feel like I could add something to the work they do to train public administrators and public officials.”

Humphrey Institute Dean John Brandl said Sayles Belton has the experience necessary to become the type of senior fellow the school needs.

The fellowship is a public policy teaching and research position.

“She has major leadership experience in running a city like Minneapolis and has been on the City Council,” Brandl said.

Senior fellow Joe Nathan said Sayles Belton would be a great asset to the institute as well as to the students and the broader community.

“I think she brings extraordinary experience grappling with the fundamental issues of urban America,” Nathan said.

The Humphrey Institute is working to analyze existing government systems and propose more effective ways of governing, and Sayles Belton is at the center of this process, Nathan said.

Sayles Belton said her appointment would allow her to further the work she has done during her 18 years of public service.

“Some of the work will touch on areas like human relations, police and community relations and education,” Sayles Belton said. “These areas are very important to me.”

Because of her interests, officials anticipate Sayles Belton working mainly in, but not limited to, the Institute’s Roy Wilkins Center for Human Relations and Social Justice.

Sayles Belton said she is excited about the opportunity to influence students’ views on social issues.

“Maybe we can start a revolution,” she said.

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