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Image of John GrahamFrom the desk of Dean Graham

Welcome to the first issue of a new email newsletter that will allow me to communicate with you about important issues. Four times a year, these pages will highlight the key developments at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and I'm especially looking forward to the chance to emphasize the remarkable accomplishments of our faculty, students, and alumni.

We've been celebrating such accomplishments for just shy of 40 years, and when we reach that milestone this fall, we'll be hosting a series of events. We're inviting prominent government, business, and academic leaders to join us at a celebration on the evening of Sept. 8 at the Bloomington Convention Center. The centerpiece will be a tribute to a leader I greatly admire, Charles Bonser. He had the vision and the tenacity to guide SPEA at its birth in 1972 and through its formative years.

Many of Chuck's friends and colleagues will be joining us for what is certain to be a memorable night.

Other events including speakers and forums are in the works to mark this important anniversary. Leaders of our student organizations are making plans for events that will examine the next 40 years for SPEA and for our disciplines. And, of course, there will be a t-shirt, certain to quickly become the fashion statement of the fall.

SPEA 40th anniversary logo

To find out more in the months to come, just look for this new logo on our websites and our other communications.

SPEA is also celebrating another anniversary this year: the 20th anniversary of the Indiana University Public Policy Institute (PPI), located at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

PPI started life in 1992 as the Center on Urban Policy and the Environment, funded by the Lilly Endowment. Its mission was-and is-to provide policymakers with nonpartisan, non-ideological research. In 2008, the Center for Criminal Justice Research was added to the mix, and PPI was established as the umbrella organization over both centers. In its first 20 years, PPI has assisted more than 150 organizations, agencies, and businesses with data, facts, and analysis.

This year, PPI received a $6.6 million grant from Lilly Endowment. John Krauss, director of PPI, says the grant is being used to help the Institute grow, in part by supporting more visible projects.

One such project is "Policy Choices for Indiana's Future," (http://www.policyinstitute.iu.edu/PolicyChoices/). Representatives from the state's private, public, nonprofit, and higher education sectors met for 18 months to hash out ways to improve the state's economic health. They addressed three areas: "An Educated Workforce," "An Environmentally Sound Energy Policy," and "A Balanced Tax Policy."

Their recommendations were unveiled in February and are being shared in smaller meetings with public officials as well as candidates for office. Indiana gubernatorial candidate John Gregg has met with PPI staff to review the recommendations and candidate Mike Pence is due to meet with them mid-June, and the project has been covered by many media outlets.

Let me draw your attention back to the new logo and the arrow that is part of the A in SPEA. We are, in the words of the business author David Sokol, pleased but not satisfied. All of these anniversary events are intended to celebrate our accomplishments so far but also to look forward and to set the stage for the decades of excellence and impact still to come.

For now, please spend a few minutes with the newsletter. I would enjoy hearing from you about what you think and how we can make it better. I can be contacted at 812-855-1432 or grahamjd@indiana.edu.

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