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Last modified: Thursday, February 17, 2005

Lilly Endowment awards $2 million grant to the Center for Urban Policy and the Environment

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Astrid E. Merget, dean of the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, announced today (Feb. 15) that Lilly Endowment Inc. is awarding a $2 million grant to SPEA's Center for Urban Policy and the Environment.

"This generous grant will enable the center to continue its important work. The center has provided us with a rich body of literature on policy matters important to leaders and decision-makers. It has worked to strengthen executive leadership; create lean, responsive government; develop high-performing agencies and increase citizen involvement," said Merget.

Merget said that one of the best indicators of the center's success is in the resources that have been invested in its work. "Since 1992, the center has received grants and contracts worth more than $27 million. More importantly, these investments have made the discussion of urban policy, the environment and our entire range of civic affairs more sophisticated and enlightened," she said.

Located at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, much of the center's work involves social and economic issues that affect quality of life. In addition to its ongoing research, the center has worked with more than 150 clients and partners from government, business, and nonprofits, exploring topics such as neighborhood empowerment, community safety, riverboat gambling, tax structures, land use, the economic impact of the arts and sports and drinking water and sewer infrastructures.

John L. Krauss, director of the center, said, "We are very grateful to Lilly Endowment, both for this generous award and for its past support. Lilly Endowment funds have enabled center scholars to create a valuable base of research about Indiana and the Central Indiana region. These studies have helped policy-makers understand how investments by government, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and citizens improve our quality of life. Thanks to the Endowment, we will continue to build a solid foundation of analysis to improve Indiana."

For more information about the Center for Urban Policy and the Environment, visit its Web site at