Portrait of Loveridge, Ronald O.

Loveridge, Ronald O.

August 5, 1998

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Ron Loveridge, professor and current Mayor of the City of Riverside, analyzes from a unique perspective the relationship between a community and a university. He also describes student internship program he developed.
Excerpt from Transcript
Erickson: What prompted you to run for City Council and when was that?

Loveridge: I suspect that the internships we are talking about had something to do with it because they provided a window into the City and County in a variety of issues that I wouldn't have had otherwise. I also taught campaign classes which always had a major field component.

The heart of what I sought to do as an academic was to have students leave the campus and do field work, to develop an understanding of how you take research approaches and classroom concepts and apply them.

One illustration when Ronald Reagan was first running for Governor, he came to Riverside. I divided a class, where everybody was assigned a certain part of his campaign steps that they were going to look at, even to talk to reporters, talk to staff, talk to people in the audience, and read what was said. It was to try to give a more comprehensive analysis at what an appearance of a Gubernatorial candidate represented.

So, I worked very hard to connect students off campus and in working hard to connect students, I might have also connected myself.

The City had a charter review committee that was set up in 1968. Somebody asked, "Do you want to participate?" I said, "Sure." So I think that was my first city committee.

Most faculty stayed on campus. There weren't many faculty, with a few exceptions, who went off campus.

I taught a campaign class one time when John Tunney was running for the U.S. Senate. The fellow who was chair of the county campaign asked if I would come down to his office once a month or so to give him some advice.

And as an academic, I was happy to give him some advice. I showed up the first time in early June, and he said, "Here are the keys to the office, I'm going to North Carolina, and you are now in charge of Tunney's County Campaign."

Questions Regarding this Oral History Project should be directed to Jan Erickson at jan.erickson@ucr.edu.