Jimmy Carter granted tenure at Emory University

Former president has taught there for 37 years

By Eli Watkins, CNN
Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

Former President Jimmy Carter

Former President Jimmy Carter has become a tenured faculty member of Emory University after teaching at the Atlanta-based private university for more than three decades, the Georgia school announced on Monday.

"With this honor, he becomes the first tenured faculty member at Emory to hold a Nobel Prize and the first tenured faculty member to have been a US president," Emory University said in a statement. "The principle undergirding tenure -- which essentially means a continuous post as a professor -- is to preserve academic freedom for those who teach and pursue research in higher education."

The former one-term Democratic president and Georgia governor has had an extended public service career since the end of his presidency, and Monday's announcement said he has been a distinguished professor at Emory for the past 37 years.

Carter, 94, and his wife, former first lady Rosalynn Carter, established the Carter Center in Atlanta as well in a partnership with Emory.

Alongside Monday's announcement, Emory posted a video of the former president speaking with Emory University President Claire Sterk.

Asked in the video if he could name a particular area in which the current generation of students need to prepare, Carter warned about global warming, and when asked about the current Democratic presidential primary, Carter said so far he had had "three of the 20 or so Democrats come down to my Sunday school classes."

"I just advise them all, you're not only the president of Democrats, but you're president of Democrats and Republicans," Carter said. "You're the president of poor people and wealthy people. You're the president of law abiding citizens and those who happen to be in prison, and so you can't play favorites."

Earlier this year, Carter became the oldest-living former president, and in May, Carter was released from the hospital after a brief stay following a fall on his way to go turkey hunting. The Carter Center said at the time that his wife was also in the hospital briefly after feeling faint.

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