IU public affairs grad school ranked No. 1 in nation

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Mar. 16, 2016)– U.S. News & World Reports has ranked Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs number one in the nation among public affairs graduate schools.

The top ranking of the Bloomington-based SPEA places the program ahead of Harvard, Princeton and other traditionally high-scoring universities.

IU SPEA is tied with the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

SPEA Dean John Graham noted the IU program moved up from its most recent number two ranking in 2012.

“To be ranked as the top program in the nation…is a crowning achievement for our faculty and staff,” said Graham in a prepared statement released by IU. “Our programs in nonprofit management, environmental policy and management, and public financing and budgeting are also considered the best in the nation.”

IUPUI’s SPEA in Indianapolis, affiliated with the Bloomington program, moved up to 41st of 272 ranked public affairs schools across the country.

The Public Policy Institute of IUPUI SPEA recently sponsored a National Public Safety Forum along with IMPD in Indianapolis.

The forum brought forth academics and law enforcement professionals from across the nation to discuss 21st century policing techniques and IMPD’s recent focus on holistic solutions to fighting crime.

As Indianapolis seeks to integrate statistical research and data findings into its community policing approach it relies on SPEA experts to analyze input and distill predictable results that could guide IMPD patrol and enforcement policies and procedures.

On Wednesday Assistant Professor Brad Ray of IUPUI SPEA published data regarding the performance of the Marion Superior Court Mental Health Alternative Court that determined mentally ill offenders, on average, cost taxpayers more than $12,000 last year in incarceration and services.

Ray’s research found arrestees diverted to treatment and monitoring programs can be expected to re-offend only half the time.

IMPD Chief Troy Riggs and Marion County Sheriff John Layton, along with Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry, have made finding alternatives to arresting, prosecuting and jailing offenders with mental illness issues for relatively minor crimes key to controlling public safety budgets and manpower requirements.

The top-of-the-line across-the-board rankings of the IU and IUPUI SPEA are expected to not only raise and maintain the school’s academic reputations but also serve as magnets for students, research and funding, according to the IU release.