From the Dean

Dean John D. Graham

Dean John D. Graham

This year has been a banner one for SPEA. We celebrate the exciting news that our graduate public affairs program is now ranked second out of 266 in the nation! According to the recently released and influential rankings from U.S. News & World Report (USN&WR), SPEA is now alone in the second position, an improvement from the previous rankings completed in 2008 that showed the School tied for second with Harvard University. The new rankings show SPEA closing the gap with Syracuse University for the top spot and ahead of Harvard, Princeton University, and the University of Georgia.

This is the highest ranking in SPEA’s history and comes as the School prepares to celebrate its 40th anniversary in September. This is an appropriate time to thank the pioneers of SPEA who had the vision to create a School that is now repeatedly honored as among the finest in the nation.

Clearly, this can also be credited to the SPEA faculty, students, advisors, and alumni, and we’re grateful for their dedication and loyalty. SPEA is recognized for excellence by its peers because we are not standing still. We are building on the research excellence of Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom, investing in a new generation of faculty, and buttressing our strengths in environment, finance, and management. SPEA continues to be Indiana University’s top–ranked graduate school and is first among all state university public affairs programs.

Updating news of our SPEA colleague, (editor’s note: the magazine was distributed prior to Prof. Ostrom’s death on June 12, 2012) “Lin” Ostrom, Time magazine has named her to its “2012 TIME 100,” the magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world! The list, now in its ninth year, recognizes the activism, innovation, and achievement of the world’s most influential individuals. Time managing editor Richard Stengel has said of them, “They’re scientists, they’re thinkers, they’re philosophers, they’re leaders, they’re icons, they’re artists, they’re visionaries — people who are using their ideas, their visions, their actions to transform the world and have an effect on a multitude of people.”

Lin certainly continues to lead by example, and sets the bar high for our faculty. Another example of stellar faculty accomplishment is Phil Stevens’ recent appointment by IU’s Board of Trustees as the Rudy Professor of Public and Environmental Affairs, a distinguished rank professorship, aimed at rewarding and retaining outstanding faculty members. Phil has earned national acclaim for his work on the chemistry of the atmosphere and its effect on global climate change and regional air quality.

This year’s addition of 13 new faculty members to the Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses — with others on the way — is another exciting SPEA component.

Along with these new faculty comes a variety of new programs and concentrations. You can read about several of them in this issue: the undergraduate program in Media and Public Affairs, leading to a BS in Public Affairs, is believed to be the first of its kind in the country; and the Master of Science in Criminal Justice and Public Safety (MSCJPS) program, is the first program in Indiana to offer a graduate degree in public safety. In addition, at Bloomington, the International Development concentration in the Master of Public Affairs is designed to provide students with a policy–focused understanding of international development and will introduce students to topics such as economic programming and planning, political economy, and sustainable development. Also approved is the new Master of Public Affairs/Master of Arts in Arts Administration. This dual degree involves classes in public finance and affairs as well as performing arts management, museum management and fundraising. And the pioneering student-driven Advancing Community, Collaboration, and Training (ACCT) International course in Kenya provides a significant culturally immersive development opportunity.

SPEA welcomed back PAR, Public Administration Review, the premier journal of public administration research, theory, and practice, published for more than 70 years for the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA). SPEA Distinguished Professor James Perry serves as editor-in-chief of the journal, and Professor Michael McGuire serves as managing editor. Editing the journal provides Perry and McGuire a unique opportunity to influence scholarship in public administration, as well as a chance to contribute to the field and make use of their experience and research. Public Administration Review joins several other prestigious journals being edited at SPEA, including the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Public Budgeting and Finance, and Small Business Economics.

Finally, several significant research initiatives have been undertaken, including one at the behest of SPEA alum, author, and broadcaster Tavis Smiley, as a factual foundation for his Poverty Tour across the United States. The resulting White Paper, “At Risk: America’s Poor During and After the Great Recession,” can be read in its entirety at www.indiana.edu/~spea/pubs/white_paper_at_risk.pdf.