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Last modified: Tuesday, June 1, 2004

SPEA scholar honored as Rudy Professor by IU

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Maureen Pirog, one of the nation's leading scholars on public assistance for families in need and child poverty, has been appointed as the Rudy Professor of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University Bloomington, effective July 1.

An IU faculty member in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs since 1983, Pirog is the founder and co-director of the IU Institute for Family and Social Responsibility. Pirog also is the new editor-in-chief of the premier scholarly journal in her field, The Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

Rudy Professorships are awarded to attract and retain outstanding IU faculty members who are viewed by peers as superior in their fields of study. It was established by the estate of James Rudy, an IU alumnus and an Owensboro, Ky., farmer who died in 1956.

"The school is delighted by the appointment of Dr. Pirog as a Rudy Professor. The designation recognizes her superb scholarship, which has drawn national acclaim," said SPEA Dean Astrid Merget. "As director of the school's Institute for Family and Social Responsibility, Professor Pirog has mounted important research on the consequences of welfare reform and especially on its impact for child support. That work also has served the state of Indiana in addressing consequential issues of implementation in various social policies within our state.

"The Rudy Professorship not only affirms her stature as a scholar but also advances her sustained program of research. We in the school are all honored by Professor Pirog's achievements," Merget added.

Pirog teaches about and studies child poverty with an emphasis on welfare reform and child support enforcement. Her work in these areas is highly visible outside academia, and her articles on both the earning capabilities of adolescent fathers in early adulthood and state-legislated child support guidelines were incorporated into federal welfare reform proposals.

As co-director of the Institute for Family and Social Responsibility, Pirog oversees a multidisciplinary, multi-campus institute that provides research expertise and technical assistance to state and national social service organizations. The institute is a joint program betwen SPEA and the IU School of Social Work.

The institute's mission is to bring together the resources of citizens, governments, communities and IU to better the lives of children and families. From a multidisciplinary approach, ongoing research projects examine the impacts of welfare reforms, the adequacy of child support guidelines, community responses to the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families legislation, performance contracting for intensive family preservation services and AIDS education for incarcerated youth.

The institute also serves as the National Child Support Enforcement Research Clearinghouse. It administers a university-wide competitive student internship program in collaboration with the Indiana Family Social Services Administration.

In her research activities, Pirog has collaborated with staff at institutions such as the Brookings Institution, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.

Pirog has bachelor of arts and master of arts degrees in economics from Boston College and a doctorate in public policy analysis from the University of Pennsylvania. Before coming to IU, she taught in the Finance Department of the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania.