IU Public Policy Institute founder retiring

John L. Krauss is stepping down from his full-time position running the Indiana University Public Policy Institute, but he’s not departing the world of public policy that he has inhabited for four decades.

He will work independently in mediation and consulting, continue teaching at the IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law and work on a coalition of urban-serving universities with Charles R. Bantz, chancellor of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

John Krauss

John Krauss

Krauss has also served as a clinical professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI. At the McKinney School, he designed and directed mediation and dispute-resolution training for third-year law students, attorneys, judges and government officials.

In 2008, he put together the Public Policy Institute, an umbrella organization for the Center for Urban Policy and the Environment, the Center for Criminal Justice Research and the Center for Health Policy. (The health policy center later moved to IUPUI’s Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health).

The institute has worked with more than 150 local and state government units, businesses and organizations and published more than 1,000 reports, articles and policy briefs. Perhaps its highest-profile job was staffing the Kernan-Shepard Commission on Local Government Reform created by former Gov. Mitch Daniels.

“When I joined IU in 1991, I had no idea that my public affairs colleagues and I would get to affect so many issues for so many policymakers statewide and beyond,” he said in a news release. “I’m so grateful to IU, to Lilly Endowment and to all the clients who’ve entrusted us with the research and analysis they’ve needed to help them make better-informed decisions. It’s truly been an honor to serve.”

Krauss entered public service in 1971 as an assistant to Gov. Edgar Whitcomb. He later worked for Indianapolis Mayors Richard Lugar and William Hudnut. At 65, he’s taking advantage of an early retirement option that IU offered to faculty and staff.

“Krauss has been an important voice in the city for decades,” Indianapolis Star columnist Matthew Tully wrote last week. “He played a key role in the rebirth of downtown but, for me, his importance was summed up one night in 2012 when his institute pulled off a unique event in the year’s otherwise mind-numbing election season. The coup was a series of back-to-back, substantive policy conversations with the candidates for governor. It was a night of depth and civility unmatched by anything else in 2012, and it was a reminder of why so many of us think so highly of Krauss.”

Former Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard and David Reingold, executive associate dean of SPEA at IU Bloomington, are co-chairing a national search for Krauss’s successor at the Public Policy Institute.

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