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Image of John GrahamFrom the desk of Dean Graham

Though we are heading into the quiet time of the academic calendar, I am still energized by our inspiring Class of 2014. What I told a group of our master’s students and their families at one of the ceremonies holds true for all of our graduating students on both campuses: “This class includes some of the finest young minds in our school’s history. Each leaves SPEA well trained to be leaders in their chosen field, and to help shape the future of our world. We should be very proud of their accomplishments.”

Here are the numbers:

  • Three Public Affairs, three Public Policy and five Environmental Science PhD graduates at IUB
  • One hundred and fifty master’s degree graduates at IUB and 82 at IUPUI
  • Four hundred and eight undergraduate students received IUB degrees, including Madeline Dinges, one of just five IU students to receive the prestigious Provost’s Award for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity
  • At IUPUI, 188 undergraduate students received their degrees, including Meredith Ollier, honored as an IUPUI Chancellor’s Scholar, and Blair Brown, who was the IUPUI Morning Commencement Speaker.

Another commencement highlight was seeing Paul O’Neill receive an honorary degree and address the campus-wide commencement at IUB. Paul is a dear friend of SPEA’s and the recent donor of the largest gift in the school’s history. This is what I told the Indiana Daily Student about IU’s selection of Paul as a speaker and degree recipient: “Paul O’Neill has been an extraordinarily successful leader in all sectors of the economy – public, private and non-profit. His dedication to public and community service, his business acumen and his strong sense of integrity, occasionally in the face of powerful opposition, are qualities well worth honoring.”

With degrees granted and speeches delivered, we move forward to the work of the summer. There is construction to complete, research to conduct, summer courses to teach and study abroad trips to take.

Then the students come back. There is welcome news on that front. We’ve just completed research that shows students return to SPEA at a higher rate than at other schools.

Two statistics tell the IUB story:

  • In fall 2012, we had 1,383 undergrads that were admitted to SPEA and enrolled. Only 16 had changed majors to another school by spring 2014.
  • In spring 2013, we had 681 active students in University Division pre-SPEA. By this past spring, 82% had either been admitted to SPEA or were headed in that direction.

IUPUI compiles its numbers differently, but the news is good there, too:

  • The number of undergraduate students opting for SPEA degrees was up 10.5% this year compared to the previous year.
  • Eighty-two percent of SPEA IUPUI students stayed in our programs from ’12 to ’13.

These are strong numbers and suggest that once students find out about SPEA’s remarkable faculty and programs, they commit to stay, learn, grow and graduate from here.

You can read about some of the latest research by our faculty and the accomplishments of our students in this edition of the newsletter. I always welcome your thoughts on this newsletter or anything concerning SPEA. I can be contacted at 812-855-1432 or grahamjd@indiana.edu and on Twitter @SPEA_DeanGraham.

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