50th Anniversary

Celebrating 50 years

On the afternoon of January 14, 1972, a press release from Indiana University announced the establishment of a force that would change the world. It read:

“A School of Public and Environmental Affairs for Indiana University was approved here today by the Indiana Commission on Higher Education. It will have primarily a problem-solving, public service, and interdisciplinary character.”

The announcement was the culmination of years of work to reorganize activities on campus to better serve the state and prepare students for a future that was changing.


One of the most respected institutions of its kind

During our 50 years, the O’Neill School has become one of the most respected institutions in the nation and the world. The school reached number three in the U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of “America’s Top Graduate Schools” in 1998, rose to the number two overall spot with Harvard’s Kennedy School in 2011, and reached a major milestone in 2016 when we were ranked number one, the ranking we share in 2022 with Syracuse University’s Maxwell School.

Smiling Dean Mooney

“In 2022-23, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the school, and what better way to mark our ongoing innovation and commitment to leading for the greater good than again being named number one for public affairs in this year's edition of the Best Graduate Schools. We are honored to receive the recognition of our peers for our outstanding faculty, staff, students, and alumni who are making a difference in many areas of public affairs impacting our nation and the world.”

—Dean Siân Mooney

50 years at O'Neill