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Kim Francis Engel
School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Steve Hinnefeld
University Communications

Last modified: Friday, February 6, 2009

Wright named associate dean for IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI

Feb. 6, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS -- Eric R. Wright, director of the Center for Health Policy at Indiana University, has been named associate dean of the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

The appointment, subject to approval by the IU Board of Trustees, was announced today by John Graham, dean of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. It takes effect May 11, 2009.

"I am delighted with the appointment of Eric Wright, a proven leader with extensive experience in both university and government settings," Graham said. "I am confident Dr. Wright will lead SPEA at IUPUI to even greater academic excellence."

Since January 2006, Wright has been the director of the Center for Health Policy, part of the Indiana Public Policy Institute. He is also a professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and co-director of the Consortium for Health Policy, Law and Bioethics, an IUPUI Signature Center.

"I am truly honored to have been appointed to this important leadership role," said Wright. "SPEA students, alumni, staff and faculty have a distinguished record of accomplishments and have made many significant contributions in the public and private sectors. I am looking forward to working closely with them and others around the state to enhance our already impressive array of educational programs and research initiatives."

A medical sociologist, Wright conducts research on social and policy responses to major health challenges, and the social organization and effectiveness of health services and public health programs. In recent years, he has worked closely with state and local government and community-based health care agencies in applying scientific knowledge to improve policies that address significant health problems facing the state of Indiana.

Wright received his bachelor's degree in sociology from Lewis and Clark College in 1984; his master's degree in sociology from IU Bloomington in 1987; and his doctorate in sociology from IU Bloomington in 1994.

"I am very pleased that Eric Wright has accepted the associate deanship of SPEA. He brings both scholarly and administrative skills to this important position," said Uday Sukhatme, executive vice chancellor and dean of the faculties at IUPUI. "As recognition of his scholarly impact, the Center for Health Policy, directed by Dr. Wright, was selected for funding under IUPUI's Signature Centers Initiative. The result is the multidisciplinary Consortium for Health Policy, Law and Bioethics, which is already bringing distinction to IUPUI through its scholarly endeavors."

The previous associate dean of SPEA at IUPUI, Greg Lindsey, left in 2008 to become associate dean of the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. Professor Dave McSwane has served as interim dean for the campus for the past year.

The IU School of Public and Environment Affairs has two associate deans, one for IUPUI and one for the Bloomington campus. David A. Reingold serves as the associate dean of SPEA for IU Bloomington. His primary teaching and research areas include urban poverty, social policy, low-income housing policy, civil society and government performance.

The IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs is committed to teaching, research and service in areas such as public and nonprofit management, public policy, environmental science, criminal justice, arts administration and health administration. SPEA has earned national distinction for innovative programs that combine administrative, social, economic, financial and environmental disciplines.