Michael Ignatieff, who stepped down as leader of Canada's Liberal Party after a crushing defeat, has taken a position at the University of Toronto.

John Fraser, the master of Massey College at the Univesity of Toronto, said Thursday Ignatieff will return to academic life as a senior resident.

Ignatieff is a former Harvard professor and one of Canada's leading public intellectuals.

Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper handed opposition Liberals a crushing defeat in Monday's election where they came in third behind the traditionally weaker New Democratic Party.

Ignatieff says Conservative attack ads had a major impact in ending his political career. After stepping down he said he wanted to teach young Canadians.