From Executive Associate Dean Lilliard Richardson

An academic’s job has three parts: teaching, conducting research, and serving our communities.  

That keeps us busy and makes us fall into a familiar semester-by-semester rhythm that can sometimes cause ruts. SPEA at IUPUI, though, doesn’t believe in ruts. Our dynamic campus and changing downtown community force us to be constantly creative while adhering to these core values, whether it is preparing for the fall 2015 semester or participating in the SPEA 2020 planning process:

Student diversity. We seek to train leaders who prosper in increasingly diverse workplaces. In the coming years, SPEA IUPUI will focus on funding programs and scholarships for graduate and undergraduate students who have diverse socio-economic backgrounds. SPEA IUPUI will also track growth of diversity and network with leaders who have diversity and enrichment expertise on and off campus.

New academic programs. SPEA IUPUI hopes to implement several new programs that build on our strengths including a nonprofit management bachelor’s degree, an urban affairs concentration in the MPA, and an arts administration concentration in the MPA. The programs also include certificates in cyber-security (with the IU School of Informatics), crime analytics (with Informatics), disaster health management (with the schools of Nursing and Public Health), and Ph.D. minors in public affairs and criminal justice.

Community partnerships. In the nation’s 13th largest city, SPEA IUPUI has a clear advantage when it comes to community partnerships. My goal for SPEA IUPUI is to implement new metrics to measure, promote, and create more effective community engagement. 

As much as we wish it to be, the road ahead won’t always be smooth. But with a focus on excellent teaching, student diversity, and new programs and partnerships, we’ll steer clear of the ruts.