November 10, 1978.
On this day, the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) hosted a speech by Dwight Ink, then executive director of the Personnel Management Project in the administration of President Jimmy Carter. Ink spoke on the need for proper qualifications and credentials in public service. Long active in civil service reform, Ink was president of the American Society of Public Administration. In his luncheon address to the Indiana Society for Public Administration, which co-hosted him with SPEA, Ink bemoaned the persistent political practice of populating executive-branch government positions with politcal hacks--persons with no training in the work undertaken by the government office or agency. "I am tired of hearing the press blame the bureaucrats for all of the ills of government which are caused primarily, though not exclusively, by political leadership and their susceptibility to special interest influence," he said. "The political process, being a means through which the public can develop and generate public policy, is undermined by the intervention of politics in the execution of the policies. It is very difficult for the public to distinguish between failures due to policy and failures due to the execution." The Sagamore, the IUPUI student newspaper, provided a detailed account of Ink's speech in its edition of November 20, 1978.
SPEA at IUPUI was formed in 1972 as part of an IU system-wide school. Pre-existing IUPUI undergraduate programs like Metropolitan Studies and Criminal Justice Education were blended into the curriculum. Graduate programs in SPEA began in 1973. At the time of Ink's visit, the Business/SPEA building on campus was under construction.
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