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Last modified: Thursday, January 15, 2004

Former Bush administration official rejoins IU faculty

Lenkowsky to teach philanthropic studies and public affairs

EDITORS: Lenkowsky is scheduled to be in Indianapolis today (Jan. 15) and will be available for interviews.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A former federal agency head appointed to national leadership positions by three U.S. presidents is resuming his role as an Indiana University professor. Leslie Lenkowsky, former chief executive officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service, is returning to teaching at IU this semester.

Lenkowsky, who had been on a leave of absence while leading CNCS, is a professor of public affairs and philanthropic studies in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the Center on Philanthropy at IU. He will teach courses on philanthropy, nonprofit organizations and public policy at IU Bloomington and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. He previously was a professor of philanthropic studies and public policy at IUPUI, and he has been a member of the Indiana University faculty since 1997.

"I am delighted to return to Indiana University because after two years in Washington, it is clearer to me than ever that the finest programs and best scholarly resources in philanthropic studies and nonprofit management in the country are here," Lenkowsky said. "IU's students are the future leaders -- and guardians -- of our traditions of giving and volunteering, and I look forward to sharing my experience in government and elsewhere with them."

"The faculty members affiliated with SPEA and the Center on Philanthropy are doing cutting-edge research on the nonprofit sector, from which I benefited immensely when I was in government and to which I hope to contribute now that I have returned to the university," Lenkowsky added. "Being at IU means that I will continue to have unequalled opportunities to work with people -- at the university, around the United States and throughout the world -- who are building better societies and governments."

Lenkowsky was appointed to lead CNCS by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2001. He stepped down last August. The federal agency engages more than 1 million Americans in improving local communities through AmeriCorps, Learn and Serve America, and the National Senior Service Corps. Lenkowsky was appointed as a founding director of CNCS by President Bill Clinton and previously had been named by President George H.W. Bush to the Commission on National and Community Service.

During Lenkowsky's term as CEO, President George W. Bush proposed to increase the agency's budget by 40 percent to nearly $1 billion, to expand AmeriCorps from 50,000 to 75,000 members for the largest growth in the national service program's history, and to enlarge Senior Corps from 500,000 to 600,000 members. Congress is expected to complete action on these proposals in January.

In addition, Lenkowsky was an architect of the USA Freedom Corps, a major White House initiative to foster greater volunteering by Americans. He also was instrumental in the creation of a White House conference on history, citizenship and service, which launched a number of initiatives in Learn and Serve America, and other federal programs to enhance what American students know about the nation's founding principles and accomplishments.

"The School of Public and Environmental Affairs is delighted to welcome back to the university Les Lenkowsky as a clinical professor on both our Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses," said Astrid Merget, dean of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. "Dr. Lenkowsky brings a distinctive blend of solid scholarship, exemplary professional experience and dedicated public service. That blend harmonizes with the school's mission and adds a rich asset to our community.

"Our students will benefit from Dr. Lenkowsky's talent for integrating scholarship and practice," Merget added. "He will enhance our faculty with his expertise in civic engagement, nonprofit and philanthropic leadership, as well as public policy and management."

Prior to joining the IU faculty, Lenkowsky was president of Hudson Institute, a public policy research institution headquartered in Indianapolis. He also has served as president of the Institute for Educational Affairs, deputy director of the United States Information Agency, research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University, director of the Philanthropy Roundtable and director of research at the Smith Richardson Foundation.

"The richness of Dr. Lenkowsky's experience in philanthropic institutions and in government will enable him to offer our students a unique perspective on both sectors of American life and how they interact," said Eugene R. Tempel, executive director of the Center on Philanthropy. "He is a real asset to the university and truly devoted to his students. We are very happy that he has chosen to return to our philanthropic studies faculty."

A graduate of Franklin and Marshall College, Lenkowsky received his doctorate from Harvard University.

The IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs, located on six IU campuses, is committed to teaching, research and service in areas such as criminal justice, environmental science, health administration and public policy. The school maintains continuing relations with a large number of public agencies at all levels of government; public and private hospitals and health organizations; and nonprofit organizations and corporations in the private sector. SPEA has earned national distinction for innovative educational programs that combine administrative, social, economic, financial and environmental disciplines.

The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University is a leading academic center dedicated to increasing the understanding of philanthropy and improving its practice through research, teaching, public service and public affairs programs in philanthropy, fundraising and management of nonprofit organizations.