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Kurt Zorn named acting vice provost for undergraduate education at IU Bloomington

For Immediate Release Jul 1, 2020

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Kurt Zorn has been appointed acting vice provost for undergraduate education for Indiana University Bloomington, Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel has announced.

Zorn is currently the associate vice provost for undergraduate education and a professor in the Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He specializes in state and local public finance, with expertise in tax policy, transportation safety, economic development and gaming.

Dennis Groth, who has served in this role since 2013, is now interim dean for the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering. Under Groth’s leadership, the office implemented a number of programs and initiatives to ensure the success of IU Bloomington’s undergraduate students. These included enhanced academic and career advising for undergraduates at IU Bloomington; the IU2U program, a series of in-country workshops to prepare incoming international students and their families for IU; and the Office of Engaged Learning, which connects undergraduates to opportunities in research, internships, service-learning, overseas study and capstone courses.

“Kurt’s many accomplishments and years of service to Indiana University speak volumes about his commitment to IU’s students and, in particular, ensuring they leave IU with a world-class education and experiences that prepare them for successful and meaningful careers,” Robel said. “His varied teaching, research and service in the areas of business, public policy, international affairs and collegiate athletics make him extremely well-suited to understand what our students will need to be leaders in the global marketplace they will enter after they graduate.”

“Over the past 11 plus years, I have been honored to work with two inspirational individuals – Sonya Stephens and Dennis Groth – who are exemplars when it comes to advocacy and innovation in support of the success and well-being of our students,” Zorn said. “It is both humbling and exciting to be asked to continue their work supporting our students’ aspirations and academic accomplishments in collaboration with our campus partners and in conjunction with the cadre of talented individuals who comprise the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education.”

Zorn has conducted research, consulted and taught tax policy and fiscal decentralization in international settings including Egypt, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Russian Federation, China, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates. His work spans three decades and more than 60 articles and book chapters, and it has been published in journals including Public Budgeting & Finance, Economic Development Quarterly, Public Finance Quarterly, Growth and Change, Public Administration Review and The Journal of the Transportation Research Forum. Zorn is co-author of the book ”Why Airplanes Crash: Aviation Safety in a Changing World,” published by the Oxford University Press.

Zorn joined IU in 1980 and has served as director of state relations, advisor to the president, and interim dean and associate dean for academic and fiscal affairs at O’Neill. In addition to his academic duties, he serves as faculty athletics representative to the Big Ten and the NCAA. He is a member of the City of Bloomington Economic Development Commission and serves on the editorial board of Public Budgeting and Finance.

He previously served as chair of the Citizens’ Commission on Taxes, created by then-Indiana Gov. Frank O’Bannon to formulate recommendations for improving the state and local tax system in Indiana. He has also served as chairman of the Indiana State Board of Tax Commissioners, as well as consultant to the state of Indiana, Indiana Infrastructure Inc., U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of Transportation and the President’s Commission on Aviation Safety. He has won multiple awards, including the 2002-03 Gordon Faculty Award, Indiana University Division of Student Affairs.

Zorn earned his both his Ph.D. and M.A. in economics from Syracuse University and his B.A. in economics at State University of New York at Albany.

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Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President

Lana Spendl

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