Ann Marie Lipinski, editor of the Tribune before she quit two months ago, has been hired by the University of Chicago as “vice president for civic engagement.” She starts October 1.

University president Robert Zimmer announced Monday that Lipinski will be “charged with advancing, coordinating, and articulating the University’s ambitious efforts in pre-K-12 education, community health, local economic growth, business and job creation, business diversity, real estate development, social services, programs for children at risk, student volunteer activities, safety and security, and research efforts connected to the City and its communities. She will oversee the University’s multi-faceted relationships with South Side communities, elected officials, and community leaders, and will develop our relationship with the State of Illinois. In January 2009, she will become chair of the board of the University of Chicago Charter School, which opened its fourth campus earlier this month.”

She’ll also be a “senior lecturer” teaching policy and journalism. Not only that, “Ann Marie will work to share our innovative activities of civic engagement with peer institutions around the nation, and in turn learn from those universities’ efforts. In addition, she will develop the connection between the University’s evolving international efforts and the City of Chicago’s emerging status as a global city.” Which I think means she gets to take some nice trips.

In the past, former Tribune editors were kicked upstairs at the Tower to pursue strategies and synergies across the corporate domain. Language can lie, but what Lipinski will be doing sounds more interesting.