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Indiana University SPEA, Indiana Association of Cities and Towns offer first Mayors Institute

Mayors of 39 Indiana cities took part in specialized training, Nov. 6-7, as the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns launched the first Mayors Institute.

The two-day program featured talks and panel discussions by experts on governing, including former Indiana Governor and South Bend Mayor Joe Kernan, former Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith and former Fort Wayne Mayor Graham Richard. It took place in the Executive Education Classroom of the IUPUI SPEA Building.

"It's a very positive thing for IACT and IU SPEA to be forming this partnership," said Craig E. Hartzer, clinical professor and director of the Executive Education Program in SPEA at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. "We have extensive experience putting together these sorts of programs and making them meaningful and relevant."

Mayors Institute

Joe Kernan, longest tenured mayor of South Bend and former Indiana governor, shares thoughts on how to streamline local government.

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Thursday's activities included talks by Kernan and Goldsmith and a roundtable discussion with Kernan, Goldsmith, IACT Executive Director Matt Greller and IU Bloomington SPEA Professor Kurt Zorn. On Friday, there was a talk by Richard and a session on benefits, human resource basics and risk management conducted by SPEA Human Resources Director Bill Hodson.

"Engaging this working group of mayors and experts presents a proactive approach to uncovering additional government efficiencies, creating new economic opportunities and overcoming roadblocks to quality service delivery in our cities," said IACT Executive Director Matt Greller. "This program focuses on government performance and innovation while keeping pace with the ever-changing environment that relates to funding vital city services, local government reform and the fluctuating economy."

Stephen Goldsmith

Stephen Goldsmith

Mayors taking part in the inaugural session came from cities ranging in size from Petersburg and Rising Sun, both with populations around 2,500, to Indianapolis, with an approximate population of 781,870. Plans call for the Mayors Institute to provide additional training on a quarterly basis for the next three years.

The program was designed specifically for Indiana mayors and presented an unprecedented level of training and networking opportunities. Participants had the opportunity to acquire practical tools for meeting real-life challenges as IU SPEA faculty, IACT staff and guest speakers led them through interactive leadership problem-solving exercises with their colleagues from around state.

Graham Richard

Graham Richard

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Joe Kernan was South Bend's longest-serving mayor before serving as Indiana lieutenant governor in 1997-2003 and governor in 2003-04; he recently co-chaired the Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform. Stephen Goldsmith was Marion County prosecutor for 12 years and mayor of Indianapolis from 1992-1999; he is Daniel Paul Professor of Government and director of the Innovations in American Government Program at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and co-author of the book Governing by Network. Graham Richard, the mayor of Fort Wayne from 2000-2007, speaks frequently on government performance and is the author of the book Performance is Your Best Politics.

The IU SPEA Executive Education Program provides graduate-level education and customized leadership and management programs, focusing on government, nonprofit organizations and the private sector. For more information, see The Indiana Association of Cities and Towns provides training, networking and advocacy for city and town governments and counts as members 460 Indiana municipalities. For more information, see