When did Vice President Biden become a symbol of scholarship and academics?

ABC News reports:

Biden Institute launched at University of Delaware

Vice President Joe Biden is hoping a new public policy institute bearing his name will foster civic engagement and promote a spirit of bipartisanship.

“There’s a whole range of things that have no ideology attached to them,” Biden told reporters Monday after formally launching the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware, his alma mater.

“I think that the public is so sick and tired of the sort of political carnage going on,” he added.

The institute is a new research and policy center focused on domestic issues including economic reform, environmental sustainability, criminal justice and civil rights. Biden will be the founding chair of the institute, which will be part of UD’s School of Public Policy and Administration.

Biden stressed that the institute will be nonpartisan.

“It is not going to be a political organization trying to challenge Trump policy,” he told a crowd of about 200 people.

But Biden later made clear that he himself will remain politically engaged and will not hesitate to speak out on issues of the day, such as President Donald Trump’s attacks on the news media.

“It’s bizarre, what’s happening,” he said, describing a free press as “the ultimate guarantor of our liberty.”