Beto O’Rourke to teach politics at Texas State University in 2021, report says

‘O’Rourke originally approached people in the administration,' a campus official said

Beto O'Rourke greetsa cheering crowd before departing for a campaign rally at the Alamo City Music Hall on Nov. 4, 2018 in San Antonio.

Since former Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rourke’s near-upset victory against U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018 and his short-lived presidential run, political observers have wondered what his next move would be.

Estimations ranged from a bid for Texas governor or president to authoring a book (or a blog).

But on Thursday night, the University Star reported that O’Rourke is expected to teach politics at Texas State University in San Marcos in 2021.

The school newspaper, citing the Department of Political Science, wrote that the El Paso politician is working through finalizing his employment to teach an online class as an instructor.

“He originally approached people in the administration... and expressed an interest in teaching,” political science chair Ken Grasso told the Star. “I was thrilled. He’s got a unique take on things with his experience as a congressman and as [a] senatorial candidate and even a presidential candidate. So we’re very happy to have him.”

O’Rourke has not publicly addressed the hiring. He’s been campaigning for Democratic candidates across the state in an effort to flip the Texas House.

Based on the situation on campus next year, Grasso told the paper O’Rourke could theoretically teach face-to-face on campus.

It isn’t clear whether O’Rourke would teach past next year, though Grasso said he hopes the course is the start of a long-term relationship.

Once campaign season comes around in 2022, O’Rourke could still opt to take on Gov. Greg Abbott or run for some other elected office.

O’Rourke came closer to winning statewide office as a Democrat in 2018 than dozens of progressives who’ve run in Republican-controlled Texas dating back to the early ’90s.

Texas State is among the largest public universities in the state and has been recognized as a Hispanic-serving institution.

“I don’t know that so much it’s going to increase enrollments; it’ll certainly increase visibility,” Grasso told the Star. “That’s always a good thing. We tend to sometimes get lost in the shadow of other institutions.”


About the Author:

Kolten Parker is digital executive producer at KSAT. He is an amateur triathlete, enjoys playing and watching soccer, traveling and hanging out with his wife.