Indiana University

IU Public Policy Institute founding director Krauss taking advantage of early retirement program

  • Oct. 14, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS -- One of Indiana’s foremost public-policy leaders is stepping down from his full-time role at Indiana University. John L. Krauss, 65, founding director of the IU Public Policy Institute, will depart that role in May 2014 to take advantage of a one-time early-retirement option offered to IU faculty and staff.

After leaving IU, Krauss plans to combine mediation, strategic public-policy consulting, teaching at the IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law and working with IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz on an urban-serving universities coalition.

“John is a person of absolute integrity and high ethical standards who has devoted his life to the advancement of public administration,” said former Indianapolis Mayor Bill Hudnut. “While he’s been at this for nearly 40 years, he’s showing no signs of fading from the scene.”

IU and the School of Public and Environmental Affairs have named former Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard, who chairs the Public Policy Institute’s advisory board, and David Reingold, executive associate dean for SPEA at IU Bloomington, as co-chairs of the national search for Krauss’ replacement. The remaining members of the search committee will be named shortly. 

Bantz said Krauss had made a big impact on the university and the people it serves.

“John is the perfect illustration of someone who’s combined a career in public service with an academic program,” Bantz said. “Under John’s leadership, the IU Public Policy Institute has translated research into real-world practice and delivered exceptional service throughout Indiana and beyond.”

Krauss’ 40-year public-service career includes leadership roles with Indianapolis Mayors Richard Lugar and William Hudnut, co-founding the IU Center for Urban Policy and the Environment, founding the IU Public Policy Institute, and raising millions of dollars in outside funding to support the institute’s work.

A graduate of Colorado College and the IU McKinney School of Law, Krauss began his public service career in 1971 when he served as an assistant to Indiana Gov. Edgar Whitcomb.

In 1972, Krauss joined Lugar’s administration as executive director of the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee, which helped implement Lugar’s public-private partnership.

Under Hudnut, Krauss became deputy mayor from 1982 to 1991. In this role, he directed the blueprint for a revitalized central business district, coordinated economic development and negotiated the private-sector partnerships that led to successful completion of Circle Centre.

Krauss joined the Indiana University faculty in 1991 and has played many roles. He co-founded and has long directed IU’s Center for Urban Policy and the Environment, an applied research unit within S P EA.

In 2008, Krauss led formation of the Public Policy Institute, which initially included the IU Center for Public Policy and the Environment, the IU Center on Health Policy and the IU Center on Criminal Justice. The IU Center on Health Policy was subsequently merged into the new IU Fairbanks School of Public Health. The institute’s research areas now reflect the remaining two centers.

Under his leadership, the Public Policy Institute has worked for more than 150 local and state governmental units, businesses, foundations and nonprofit organizations and published more than 1,000 reports, articles and briefs to help community leaders and policymakers understand the long-term effects of possible policy and funding choices.

One of its most visible projects to date has been the Kernan-Shepard Commission on Local Government Reform, a study project for Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels that was chaired by former Gov. Joe Kernan and then-Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard. Krauss and his team managed the project.

“There’s probably no other team in the public or private sector that could have done what John and his group did for our commission,” said Shepard, who serves as the institute’s executive in residence. “The breadth of their intellect and knowledge makes the IU Public Policy Institute a genuine jewel in IU’s crown.”  

“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,” Krauss said. “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. ”

In addition to his Public Policy Institute role, Krauss has served as a clinical professor of public and environmental affairs within S P EA and as an adjunct professor of law at the IU McKinney School of Law. He designed and directs an intensive mediation-training course at the McKinney School in which he annually trains more than 100 third-year law students, attorneys, superior/appellate judges, agency heads and professionals in mediation skills and dispute resolution.

He helped establish the Indiana Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations in 1995 and has since served as the commission’s director. The commission brings together leaders in the Indiana Senate, the House of Representatives, the executive branch and local government to find solutions for intergovernmental issues. And Krauss developed alternative dispute resolution programs for the Indiana attorney general’s office.

Krauss serves as a trustee of Citizens Energy Group, a gubernatorial appointee to the Indiana Education Employment Relations Board; vice chair of Tourism for Tomorrow; secretary/treasurer of the Mitch Daniels Leadership Foundation; Dean’s Advisory Board member for the Herron School of Art and Design; and trustee and past vice chair of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. He also was a commissioner and past chairman of the Indiana Supreme Court Commission on Continuing Legal Education.

John L. Krauss

John L. Krauss

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Media Contacts

Richard Schneider

Ronnetta Spalding

IU Public Policy Institute