spea magazine

Of Interest

New and Noteworthy

Hot marketing idea: Fireproof Salmon

When Distinguished Professor Ron Hites announced that farm-raised salmon were higher in toxic chemicals than the wild variety, the news made serious headlines across the country. Then it hit NPR in the form of satire by Harry Shearer, a former cast member of Saturday Night Live and comic actor (This is Spinal Tap, A Mighty Wind).

The fake radio spot, entitled “Sammy the Flame Retardant Salmon,” depicts a family dinner that goes awry when the salmon suddenly bursts into flames. A new product, marketed by the fictional Innovent Foods, is described as “the first salmon guaranteed not to turn your dinner table into a fiery nightmare.”

Hites loved the spoof. “It is not often that someone’s research gets reported so widely to the public in such a palatable way,” he says. “Although this was a parody, it did in fact communicate the main points of our paper and even mentioned the industrial point of view.” The NPR parody can be accessed by going to www.npr.org and searching for “flame retardant salmon.”

Hites’ original article can be found at http://pubs.acs.org/journals/esthag/

It's Transparent: There's room for improvement

Are Indiana’s nonprofits prepared to demonstrate accountability? A new study from SPEA’s Kirsten Grønbjerg shows that most groups are, in fact, prepared for the kind of scrutiny recommended by the Senate Finance Committee, but there’s ample room for improvement. Based on a survey of 2,206 Indiana nonprofit organizations, the study shows, among other things, that 64 percent have audited financial reports, 30 percent have a formal conflict of interest policy, and 70 percent have an annual report—three of the tools the Finance Committee recommends.

Grønbjerg emphasizes that many nonprofits don’t have the resources to put all these tools in place. “It’s clearly not realistic to ask very small nonprofits to get a full audit. It’s expensive,” says Gronbjerg, the study’s project director and Efroymson Chair in Philanthropy at the Center on Philanthropy IUPUI. “But something like an annual report or a conflict of interest statement is within the purview of virtually every organization and would help nonprofits operate systematically and with greater transparency.”

Grønbjerg is a professor in nonprofit management in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. For more details see: www.indiana.edu/~nonprof/

Fresh Faces: A few of the many new faculty members at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs

John Krauss, Indianapolis
Teaches: Public policy mediation. Joint appointment with IU School of Law, Indianapolis.
Before: Was Senior Fellow at SPEA’s Center for Urban Policy and the Environment at IUPUI. Served as Deputy Mayor of Indianapolis (1982-1991) under Mayor Bill Hudnut.
Also: Directs 40-hour civil mediation certification course for lawyers and professionals. Serves as director of Center for Urban Policy and the Environment.
Reading: Franklin and Winston by Jon Meacham.
Daily Web hit: www. Washingtonpost.com

Alfred Ho, Indianapolis
Teaches: Public budgeting and financial management.
Before: Taught in the public administration program of the political science department at Iowa State University for six years.
Also: Was the first graduate of the SPEA Ph.D. program in public affairs, 1998.
Reading: Lonely Planet Slovenia by Steve Fallon. “I presented a paper in the annual conference of the European Group of Public Administration held in Slovenia. I was well prepared for the trip after reading the book.”
Daily Web hit: www.iupui.edu

Beth Gazley, Bloomington
Teaches: Nonprofit management to undergrads and grad students.
Before: Fundraiser and management consultant in nonprofit sector for nearly 20 years.
Also: Served on the board of the Georgia ACLU.
Reading: The Life of Elizabeth I by Alison Weir, Anne Lamott’s Blue Shoes Daily
Web hit: www.dogpile.com