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Last modified: Thursday, December 15, 2005

SPEA establishes new program at Oxford University

Dec. 15, 2005

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University will begin offering "IU at Oxford," a new summer program for undergraduates, in July.

The program at Oxford University, directed by SPEA Professor Kenneth Richards, will run from July 8 to Aug. 5. The courses will focus on public policy and will include guest lectures by Oxford faculty. The program will also include field trips to places of interest such as the Oxford Museum, the British Parliament in London, and the museum that houses one of the original copies of the Magna Carta.

"This is going to be a great program for IU undergraduates," Richards said. "Oxford University is such an inspirational setting, and the faculty members there are outstanding. The field trips, which should be a lot of fun, are also designed to complement the course content."

IU at Oxford is comprised of two SPEA courses: "Decision Making in Public and Private Contexts: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly;" and "Governance of Private and Public Organizations: Herding Cats." Both courses, according to Richards, are designed to be useful not only to SPEA students, but to anyone who wants to explore how organizations, including government, are run.

"We will be looking at how individuals and groups make simple decisions and how they make far more complex decisions. We will draw on economics, political science, psychology, law and anthropology to develop an overall understanding of decision-making. And the second course, the study of governance, is a perfect complement to the study of group decision-making," Richards said.

The cost for the program will be $3,721 for in-state students and $500 more for out-of-state students. Program costs for students have been reduced through a grant from the Edward L. Hutton Foundation. The fees for the program include housing, weekday meals and a High Table banquet at the end of the four weeks. Students will be responsible for their own transportation to and from the city of Oxford.

"We worked very hard to keep the program affordable," Richards explained, "but we did not want to compromise on quality. We are going to be living right in the city of Oxford and enjoying a wonderful variety of meals. There will lots of great activities. It is an ancient city but with all of the modern amenities."

The program is open to all IU undergraduates. Richards hopes to attract IU students who are studying political science, journalism and business as well as SPEA students. Students who are interested in the program may contact the IU Office of Overseas Study for more information at 812-855-9304 or The deadline for applications is Feb 13.

SPEA, located on eight campuses, 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.

The school maintains continuing relationships 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.