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David Shirk, who gave testimony last month to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, has resigned as director of the University of San Diego's Trans-Border Institute.
The announcement was buried in a Trans-Border Institute newsletter sent out today under the headline, "Message from Dean Edward Luck, Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, USD."
It said Shirk will return to a faculty position in the Department of Political Science and International Relations.
The institute has made great strides under Shirk, putting out an annual report about violence in Mexico and working with the Mexican government as it shifts to an oral-trial system. Shirk was often quoted in the media, and hosted an annual breakfast for border journalists in addition to bringing in top experts from many fields.
Luck came to USD last year. He is a former top UN official and adviser with an emphasis on coming up with institutional ways to prevent genocide.
The announcement from Luck reads:
"Message from Dean Edward Luck, Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, USD."
"On March 27, Professor David Shirk resigned as Director of the Trans-Border Institute (TBI) to return to his full-time faculty position in the Department of Political Science and International Relations in the College of Arts and Sciences.
"David has led the Institute through a decade of substantial growth in terms of its reach, influence, and visibility. As a result, TBI has become an integral and valued part of the intellectual and programmatic life of the Kroc School.
"Plans are underway for the appointment of an Interim Director and for a binational search for a new Director. In the coming weeks, I would welcome your input on the search for a new Director and your collaboration in planning a bright future for the Trans-Border Institute in the years ahead."
U-T San Diego story on Shirk resignation: It quotes Mexico Institute official Andrew Selee as saying that Shirk "set the gold standard for research on rule of law issues in Mexico." Selee just had an op-ed column published in the Los Angeles Times entitled "The new reality at the border."
Shirk also co-wrote a chapter in a book that was presented at the Colegio de la Frontera Norte on Wednesday. The chapter, "Drugs, Crime and Violence," co-written with Mexican researcher Luis Astorga, is part of the book "Mexico and the United States: The Politics of Partnership."
U-T San Diego story on the book: "New book looks at changing relationship at for U.S., Mexico: It focuses on immigration, trade, drug trafficking, water issues."
Update, fall 2013: Luck resigns; Shirk continues his rule-of-law work on Mexico, but as a USD faculty member.