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John Krauss
SPEA Public Policy Institute

Last modified: Monday, May 12, 2008

Indiana University launches Public Policy Institute

Institute will provide research to help officials make better-informed decisions; driven by team that staffed Shepard-Kernan Commission on Local Government Reform

May 12, 2008

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs today announced it has established the Indiana University Public Policy Institute.

Located near the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus, the new Institute will serve as an umbrella organization for research centers affiliated with the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs, including:

  • The Center for Urban Policy and the Environment
  • The Center for Health Policy
  • The newly formed Center for Criminal Justice Research

It also will support the Office of International Community Development and the Indiana Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations.

Building on the expertise of faculty members at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Bloomington, IUPUI and campuses throughout the state, the Institute's mission is to make it easier for leaders in business, government, academia, philanthropy and nonprofit organizations to address the challenges communities face every day.

John L. Krauss, a SPEA faculty member, adjunct professor of law at the IU School of Law-Indianapolis and former Indianapolis deputy mayor, will direct the Institute. Krauss and his team of researchers recently staffed the Kernan-Shepard Commission on Local Government Reform.

Here's a brief overview of each of the three Centers included in the new Institute and their directors. More information is also available via the Institute's new Web site:

The Center for Urban Policy and the Environment works with state and local governments and their associations, neighborhood and community organizations, community leaders, and business and civic organizations to identify issues, analyze options, and develop the capacity to respond to challenges. The Center provides nonpartisan, non-ideological, actionable research through faculty and staff with expertise in program evaluation, policy analysis, facilitation and planning. Specific areas of expertise include:

  • Economic development
  • Gaming
  • Housing and community development
  • Land use and environment
  • Nonprofits and voluntarism
  • Public finance
  • Quality of life
  • State and local government

John Krauss will continue to direct the Center for Urban Policy and the Environment.

The Center for Health Policy collaborates with state and local government, as well as public and private health care organizations in health policy and program development, to conduct high-quality program evaluation and applied research on non-medical health policy issues. The Center's professionals serve as a bridge between academic health researchers and state and local government, as well as health care organizations and community leaders. Specific areas of expertise include:

  • Health care for vulnerable populations
  • Health care reform
  • Mental illness and mental health services
  • Obesity
  • Substance abuse prevention and treatment

The Center is directed by Eric R. Wright, who also serves as a SPEA professor and associate director of the Indiana Consortium for Mental Health Services Research. He holds adjunct appointments in the Department of Public Health, the IU School of Medicine, and in the Department of Sociology, IU School of Liberal Arts.

The Center for Criminal Justice Research works with public safety agencies and social services organizations to provide impartial applied research on criminal justice and public safety issues. The Center provides analysis, evaluation and assistance to criminal justice agencies; and community information and education on public safety questions. Specific areas of expertise include:

  • Crime prevention/causes of crime
  • Criminal justice systems
  • Drugs, alcohol, and crime
  • Law enforcement/policing
  • Public safety
  • Traffic safety
  • Violence and victimization
  • Youth

The Center for Criminal Justice Research is directed by Samuel Nunn, who has served on the SPEA faculty since 1993.

Collectively, the Indiana University Public Policy Institute, its three centers and its team of experts from SPEA statewide will deliver research, service and consulting on the vital issues facing policy leaders today.