From the Dean

Dean John D. Graham

Dean John D. Graham

Don’t let the cover photo fool you. We’re not about to suit up and play for Tom Crean, much as we might enjoy the opportunity. We chose that center court location because of its symbolism. Just as with the Hoosier basketball squads, we stand for Indiana and we work as a team. Here is a fast-break recap of some of the highlights this year for our team.

We welcomed a new Executive Associate Dean for Indianapolis, Lilliard Richardson, who comes to us from the Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri. Other exciting faculty news includes the hiring of 17 new faculty members, and the designation of two new SPEA Professors of Practice, statesman and former congressional leader Lee Hamilton, and former president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Brady Campaign/Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Paul Helmke.

Two of our junior faculty members received singular accolades: Assistant Professor Sanya Carley was named the recipient of a 2012-2013 Indiana University Outstanding Junior Faculty award and Assistant Professor Ashlyn Nelson was named to the list of the top contributors to the public debate about education published by Education Week.

Last June, SPEA and the entire Indiana University community mourned the passing of both our esteemed colleague, Distinguished Professor Elinor (“Lin”) Ostrom, who received the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for her groundbreaking research on the ways that people organize themselves to manage resources and her husband and research partner, Vincent. Earlier this year the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at IUB, co-founded in 1973 by the couple, was renamed in their honor. Co-director is SPEA clinical professor Burney Fischer, a frequent research collaborator with Lin.

A recent reevaluation of the goals set forth in SPEA 2015 (the School’s vision statement and plan of action) has concluded that some significant steps have been taken toward accomplishing many of them.

Among the most exciting? The number and quality of co-curricular activities for students on both campuses has significantly expanded. The SPEA-VISTA partnership, which places top students with leading anti-poverty organizations, may become a national model of in-service training. IUB’s new on-campus and intercollegiate debate program, launched in collaboration with Kelley and the College of Arts and Sciences, is flourishing (see page 29 this issue). It will serve as host to the national intercollegiate debate tournament in 2014. SPEA has launched three new living-learning communities: Civic Leaders at IUB and, at IUPUI, Sustainability House and the Justice and Pre-Law Community. Finally, overseas study programs are now offered in Barcelona, Beijing, Berlin, Croatia, London, Moscow, Oxford, Pamplona, Rwanda, Siberia, and Speyer. At SPEA-IUB, the number of students enrolled in overseas study programs grew from 37 in AY 2006-07 to 248 in AY 2011-12. At SPEA-IUPUI, the number of students enrolled in such programs increased from 6 in AY 2006-07 to 47 in AY 2011-12.

Innovation in educational programs has also occurred. In Bloomington, the MPA degree has a new concentration in international development, and there are new energy concentrations in both the MPA and MSES degree programs. A new online MPA program, “SPEA Connect,” began offering courses in January 2012. IUPUI has created a new undergraduate major in sustainable management and policy. At the graduate level, an urban sustainability concentration has been added to the MPA. In executive education, SPEA has expanded collaboration with the new Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI.

We also have two major new partnerships that extend our reach overseas. SPEA can now offer its first international dual master’s degree in conjunction with Thailand’s National Institute of Development Administration. SPEA is also a partner with the Administrative Staff College of India. Both agreements will allow an exchange of students, scholars, and resources. That will mean new opportunities for those in our SPEA community while expanding our influence in a fast-growing and increasingly important region of the world.

We also took a few moments this year to figuratively cut down the nets. We celebrated our 40th anniversary as a school with a reception, dinner, remarks, and dancing. We looked toward the future with talks by notable speakers including former U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill and Indianapolis Star columnist Erika D. Smith.

None of these accomplishments would be possible without teamwork. It was the teamwork of pioneers like John Ryan and Charles Bonser that launched SPEA 40 years ago and it is the teamwork of our faculty, staff, students, and alumni that will spearhead all of SPEA’s successes in the years to come. This magazine is devoted to telling the stories of the teamwork that is evident every day here. I hope you enjoy what you’re about to read. Please drop me a note or call if you have any comments about the magazine or ideas about how we can work together to improve this School we love.