Hillsdale College in D.C. has hired David Azerrad as an assistant professor of government and research fellow. The hire comes as the D.C. campus continues to grow, most notably with the opening of the Van Andel Graduate School of Government this fall.
Vice President for Washington Operations and Dean of the Van Andel Graduate School of Government Matthew Spalding said Azerrad is a perfect addition to the Hillsdale in D.C. faculty.
“He’s a good fit all around,” Spalding said. “His academic background is a great fit for us. Plus, his practical work here in D.C. will set the kind of tone we want: a combination of strong academics and practical knowledge about contemporary politics.”
Azerrad has teaching experience from his time in graduate school at the University of Dallas, and he has also been teaching as an adjunct professor at American University in D.C. While his teaching plans for graduate school are still in the works, he expects to teach a course on “Progressive and Liberal Political Thought” this summer or next fall. Azerrad will, however, be ready to teach a course on “Contemporary American Political Thought” next semester for WHIP students.
“I’m really pumped and psyched to teach,” Azerrad said. “To me, there is no comparison to meeting a young person a few years later who tells you, ‘I still vividly remember what you said and it stayed with me.’”
He will also continue his research and work on classical liberalism, the rise of identity politics, and contemporary American conservatism.
“He’d very much like to continue that scholarship in an environment that’s both friendly and conducive to his work,” Spalding said. “He very much wants to teach. He’s a great teacher. He likes being in the classroom, and he’s very excited about teaching Hillsdale students.”
In addition to being acquainted with many of the Hillsdale College faculty due to his time in the nation’s capital and at the University of Dallas, Azerrad has had his share of Hillsdale College students come through the Heritage Foundation as interns. He said a running joke is that when he asks interns if they’ve read certain materials, he always has to say, “except for the Hillsdale interns.”
One of those interns is senior Joshua Waechter. Waechter has maintained a relationship with Azerrad since his internship with the Heritage Foundation during Summer 2018.
“He is one of the smartest people I’ve ever met and one of the most distinguished leaders in the American conservative moment,” Waechter said. “He’s going to be a notable addition especially to the Kirby Center and its work in D.C.”
Before Spalding left Heritage six years ago, he hired Azerrad as the assistant director of the Simon Center for Principles and Politics at the Heritage Foundation.
“Hillsdale’s efforts in D.C. are complementary to those of Heritage,” Azerrad said. “I’ve never stepped foot on the main campus, but I feel like I’m coming home.”
While Azerrad has once again been hired by Spalding, this time he will work under him as a member of the Hillsdale College faculty.
“I feel that I know the school well, I know the faculty, I understand what Matt wants to build here, I see what Larry has been doing with the main campus,” Azerrad said.
Spalding said Azerrad will be very popular with the WHIP students.
“He’s got the academic background but he’s got a lot of practical experience in contemporary politics. He’s a great teacher and a dynamic speaker,” Spalding said.
Azerrad said his involvement in the heart of the nation’s capital has given him a lot of experience that he can offer to students and help them understand the nation in which we currently live.
“I feel in the last 11 years in Washington, I have unofficially done a second Ph.D., but in real politics,” Azerrad said. “My goal is to really try and understand the American regime as it exists today, and I don’t think there is a blueprint for it.”
Azerrad said he is excited to begin working at the Kirby Center.
“I can’t even begin to tell you how eager I am to come across the street,” Azerrad said. “The hard part of leaving Heritage is leaving all the good people here, but seeing that I am going to be literally across the street, I’m going to get to see them plenty.”
Junior Emma Cummins contributed to this report.