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Laura Gibbons
Indiana Association of Cities and Towns
317-237-6200 ex. 232

Jana Wilson
School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Last modified: Monday, November 3, 2008

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

Nov. 3, 2008

INDIANAPOLIS -- Mayors of 39 Indiana cities will take part in specialized training Thursday and Friday (Nov. 6-7) as the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns launch the first Mayors Institute.

The two-day program will feature talks and panel discussions by experts on governing, including former Indiana Gov. and South Bend Mayor Joe Kernan, former Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith and former Fort Wayne Mayor Graham Richard. It will take place in the Executive Education Classroom of the IUPUI SPEA Building, 801 W. Michigan St. in Indianapolis.

"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."

Joe Kernan

Joe Kernan

Thursday's activities will include 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, the agenda includes a talk by Richard and a session on benefits and HR 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

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

Mayors taking part come from cities ranging in size from Petersburg and Rising Sun (population around 2,500) to Indianapolis. Plans call for the Mayors Institute to provide additional training on a quarterly basis for the next three years.

Graham Richard

Graham Richard

Print-Quality Photo

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