Indiana University professorship honors memory of environmental policy pioneer

Nov. 22, 2013


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University’s Evan Ringquist is the inaugural recipient of a professorship that honors the memory of Lynton Keith Caldwell, a distinguished and influential scholar in the fields of environmental policy and administration.

Caldwell was one of the key catalysts for the founding of the Indiana University Bloomington School of Public and Environmental Affairs in 1972. At the time, it was the nation’s first public institution marrying the undergraduate and graduate study of environmental science, environmental policy and public affairs. Among his many professional accomplishments, Caldwell was the force behind the creation of the National Environmental Policy Act and its action-forcing provision, the Environmental Impact Statement. He was 92 when he died in 2006.

"The selection of Evan Ringquist as the first Lynton Caldwell Professor of Environmental Policy is entirely fitting," SPEA Dean John D. Graham said. "Evan is an outstanding scholar, deservedly admired by his colleagues on the faculty and by his students."

Ringquist specializes in the study of environmental, energy and natural resources policy. He is also an expert on U.S. political institutions and, especially, bureaucracy.

"Keith Caldwell had a towering intellect and a keen insight," Ringquist said. "He saw the urgency of the threats to our environment. He saw how good government and strong laws could protect our air, land and water. It is an honor to accept this professorship and to continue the essential work of exploring the issues that he was among the first to see as significant."

Professorships come with a financial allowance that supports faculty members in their teaching, public service and research.

One of Ringquist’s most recent projects involved tracking campaign promises made by candidates. Were those promises carried out once a legislator was elected? Ringquist and two co-authors found that pro-environmental pledges were frequently abandoned by winning candidates. He offered a thought-provoking explanation in the article "Campaign Promises, Democratic Governance, and Environmental Policy in the U.S. Congress," published in the May 2013 edition of the Policy Studies Journal.

"Evan is so deserving of this honor and the opportunities that come with it," SPEA Executive Associate Dean David Reingold said. "We are grateful to Keith Caldwell’s family for making it possible. His legacy is that Indiana University and, indeed, our very earth is a better place, and Evan will carry on that work. What greater compliment for a life’s work can there be?"

About the School of Public and Environmental Affairs:

SPEA was founded in 1972 and is a world leader in public and environmental affairs and is the largest school of public administration and public policy in the United States. In the 2012 "Best Graduate Schools" by U.S. News & World Report, SPEA ranks second and is the nation's highest-ranked professional graduate program in public affairs at a public institution. Four of its specialty programs are ranked in the top-five listings. SPEA's doctoral programs in public affairs and public policy are also ranked by the National Research Council as among the top two in the nation.