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Thomas Stucky named to SPEA leadership position at IUPUI

For Immediate Release May 25, 2017
Thomas Stucky
Thomas Stucky

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs Dean John Graham has announced new leadership at the school’s Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus. Professor Thomas D. Stucky, who has been with SPEA at IUPUI since 2004, has been tapped as the executive associate dean beginning July 1.

Stucky replaces Lilliard Richardson, who has completed his five-year term in the role. Richardson will be taking a research leave in the IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health and serving as a faculty fellow in the Center for Health Policy before returning to the SPEA faculty as a full-time policy studies professor.

Suzann Lupton, who came to the SPEA at IUPUI public affairs faculty in 2010, is joining Stucky in the leadership transition as assistant dean. A former attorney with Baker & Daniels, Lupton will be responsible for a variety of areas, including public affairs education, diversity promotion and student services.

During Richardson’s tenure, SPEA experienced a 23 percent increase in its undergraduate student body, including a 44 percent increase in underrepresented minorities. Additionally, its graduate program jumped 18 spots in the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings, placing 41st among the nation’s top public affairs schools. The school’s nonprofit-management program was ranked fourth nationally, and its environmental policy and management program enjoyed its first national ranking at 13th.

“Lilliard has positioned the school for future success, and we’re extremely grateful for the role he’s played in elevating SPEA’s profile in Indianapolis,” Graham said. “I know that Tom is looking forward to the challenges ahead, and I’m confident he’ll continue to shape the school in a way that’s adaptable to the ever-changing education landscape of the 21st century.”

Stucky has served in a number of administrative roles with the school during the past decade. He was the director of SPEA’s criminal justice and public safety programs for six years and has most recently served as the director of faculty development.

“The school is in a position of strength,” said Stucky, who holds a doctorate in sociology from the University of Iowa. “We’ve had a number of years of really productive activity. We have excellent faculty and staff, and I think we’ll continue to see leaps forward in the coming years.”

Stucky says the school’s core strengths, including that of community engagement, are vital in developing graduates who will leave the campus environment and help create sustainable communities.

Suzann Lupton
Suzann Lupton

“SPEA’s mission really aligns very closely with IUPUI’s mission of civic engagement and producing high-quality research,” Stucky said. “SPEA has always had a tradition of having professors who are engaged in the community, and that then transfers to the classroom.

“We’ve always been centrally involved in community-based learning activities on campus,” he added. “As an urban-serving university, we’re serving our central mission by continuing to make it a top priority within the learning environment.”

Lupton praised the role of SPEA’s core staff in engaging students in academic and personal growth opportunities and said she is looking forward to working with them more closely in her new role.

“Every day, I applaud their dedicated efforts to help our students,” Lupton said. “We could not carry out our community-service mission without them. We give our students the opportunity and skills they need to build stronger communities as well as better lives for themselves and their families. But none of the good work that happens in the classroom would take place without them.”  

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