Sandra Newman has been appointed director of the Institute for Policy Studies. Newman, who has served as interim director since July 1997, when Lester Salamon stepped down as director to focus on his research program on nonprofits, was selected after a national search by an interdivisional committee of Hopkins faculty.
IPS, located in the Wyman Park Building on the Homewood campus, is devoted to the analysis of public problems and the identification of solutions to them.
"Sandee has done an excellent job as interim director," said Steven Knapp, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. "She has established a strong vision for the future of the institute and has shown a keen interest in maximizing collaborations with faculty across the university."
A nationally known expert in housing policy, Newman came to Hopkins 18 years ago from the University of Michigan, where she was a senior researcher at the Institute for Social Research and a tenured associate professor in the College of Architecture and Urban Planning. She was the associate director for research at IPS before becoming interim director.
"I am honored to be taking on the leadership of this outstanding organization," Newman said. "IPS has a constellation of strengths, including highly regarded colleagues engaged in cutting-edge research across a broad spectrum of social policy and one of the best ranked graduate programs in policy studies in the country."
The institute's staff of 43 includes policy researchers who study such questions as the best approaches to aftercare programs for serious juvenile offenders, the effects of the minimum wage on employment of women leaving welfare and the appropriate methodological approaches and research designs to apply to the study of complex issues.
In 1992, IPS began the Master of Arts in Policy Studies program within the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, the only such program in the country housed in a policy research institute within a university. IPS also hosts two international fellows programs--in urban studies and philanthropy--which bring scholars from around the world to IPS for a semester or year of study.
During her term as interim director, Newman set her sights on forging links with faculty across disciplines, building staff in some key areas and focusing attention on the problems and prospects of Baltimore. "My colleagues and I worked hard on these issues over the past two and a half years, and we've made real inroads in all areas. I am looking forward to building on these successes."
One of her main priorities as director will be raising an endowment for the institute. A recent evaluation of IPS by an external review committee appointed by Provost Knapp had high praise for the institute while noting that it had accomplished much with essentially no hard support.
"Although we are in excellent shape, with a 50 percent increase in grant dollars in the last five years, grant and contract dollars cannot support a wide range of needs that will allow us to move to an even higher level of achievement," Newman explained. "For example, moving into new areas of inquiry, doing truly interdisciplinary work and taking risks aren't encouraged by the traditional grant and contract process. But they are vital to keeping researchers fresh and inspired."
High on her list of priorities for use of the endowment are aid for the most meritorious graduate students, sponsoring special seminars and visiting scholars who can contribute to the intellectual life of the institute and an internal grants program for IPS researchers.
"This appointment is really great news for the institute," commented Burt Barnow, principal research scientist at IPS. "Sandee is a nationally recognized scholar and a dedicated teacher. For the past two years she has been providing outstanding leadership to the institute, strengthening our reputation as both a public policy research organization and one of the finest public policy programs in the country."
"She is one of the leading scholars of housing policy in the country and has made key contributions in that field," said Andrew Cherlin, professor and chairman of the Sociology Department, who chaired the search committee. "We felt she was a fine scholar with an excellent publication record and an excellent record of obtaining grants and research funds." In addition, Cherlin said, Newman is a very good administrator and "I think she'll be an excellent leader for the institute."
Newman's research is interdisciplinary, focusing on the intersection of housing, employment, welfare and health. She holds joint appointments in the departments of Sociology (Arts and Sciences), Health Policy and Management (Public Health) and Geography and Environmental Engineering (Engineering). Her recent work examines the nature and effects of housing assistance policy for the poor, and the housing problems and needs of vulnerable populations including those with disabilities.
In addition to her research, Newman teaches the core course in policy analysis in the MAPS program and an undergraduate course in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Introduction to Urban Policy, which consists of a three-credit seminar and a three-credit internship with a city agency or nonprofit organization.
A New York native, Newman received her doctorate in urban planning from New York University in 1973.