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Last modified: Friday, December 14, 2007

Governor praises IU, SPEA for state policy contributions

Dec. 13, 2007

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels praised Indiana University and its School of Public and Environmental Affairs this week for providing research applied directly to helping address issues for state and local government.

Daniels spoke Tuesday (Dec. 11) at the release of a report from the Blue Ribbon Commission on Local Government Reform. The commission was staffed by faculty and analysts from the Center for Urban Policy and the Environment, part of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

The governor also singled out former SPEA Dean A. James Barnes, professor of public and environmental affairs at IU Bloomington and former deputy director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, for conducting a review of state and federal laws related to Great Lakes water quality and Indiana's implementation of those laws. Barnes' report was released by the governor's office last week.

"I have said so often that there had to be ways to engage the tremendous academic and intellectual capacity of the state in solving public problems," Daniels said. "And now, twice in one week, IU and SPEA have stepped forward."

The Commission on Local Government Reform, co-chaired by Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard and former Gov. Joe Kernan, produced 27 recommendations to modernize and improve the efficiency of local government. They included having a single, elected chief executive for counties; appointing county sheriffs, auditors, assessors and other officials instead of electing them; transferring township government duties to counties; and consolidating school and library districts.

IU President Emeritus Adam W. Herbert, a faculty member in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, was one of the seven members of the commission. Its staff included John L. Krauss, director of the Center for Urban Policy and the Environment; Greg Lindsey, associate dean of SPEA at IUPUI; Jamie Palmer, project manager and senior policy analyst; and eight other analysts, data specialists and research assistants from the IUPUI center.