LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has  joined the faculty of USC's Price School of Public Policy, university officials  announced today.

Price School Dean Jack H. Knott said Villaraigosa's task as professor of  the practice of policy will be to work on innovative and large scale  approaches to important policy issues facing California.

``Throughout his tenure as mayor of the city of Los Angeles, Antonio  Villaraigosa mage significant progress in policy areas that are critically  important to the USC Price School, including transportation and infrastructure  development, public safety, port security and the environment,'' Knott said.

Villaraigosa, Los Angeles' 41st mayor, left office June 30 following two  mayoral terms.

``The Price School is one of the nation's leading policy schools, with  particular strengths in my own policy interests, such as transportation and  infrastructure development,'' Villaraigosa said. ``I am excited about working  with the school to propose solutions to some of the state's and nation's  critical policy challenges.''

One of Villaraigosa's first project will be to lead the newly formed USC  Villaraigosa Initiative for Restoring the California Dream, an effort that --  through forums and reports -- will seek ways to advance innovative thinking on  ways to address major issues and improve government function.