INDIANA , 2011 UNIVERSITY Re: SCHOOL OF PUBLIC Dear Search Committee Chair:AND ENVIRONMETNAL AFFAIRS I am very pleased to recommend Dr. Donald Hirasuna for the position. I first spoke with Don about 12 years ago when he asked me to comment on one of his reports for the Minnesota legislators. We have kept in touch professionally over the years. We have just recently decided to collaborate on an article on the EITC and child support enforcement. Dr. Hirasuna produces very high-quality, methodologically rigorous, research on regional economics, poverty and public policy that is useful and valued by both academics and policymakers. Much to his credit, his interdisciplinary research is respected and used in both the academic and public policy arenas. I believe that Dr. Hirasuna is able to appeal to both academics and practitioners because of his strong academic training in economic theory and quantitative methods as well as his twelve years of experience as a legislative analyst in the Minnesota House of Representatives and his recent School of Public andEnvironmental Affairs 241 work at US Bank where he helps meet Basel Accord requirements for 1315 E. Tenth Street capital reserves with respect to home mortgages and other bank Bloomington, Indiana 47405-1701 products. His research is grounded in reality – making it useful as 812-856-5926 well as intellectually sophisticated and nuanced. In fact, his Fax: 812-856-4605 experience with the legislature and US Bank has really honed his email@example.com ability to ask research questions that truly matter. Because he bridges the academy and the public policy world, he has the capability to become a leading academic researcher as well as a leading economist in public policy service activities. In fact, within the academy, he is already well on his way.
Although he is not a newly-minted Ph.D., Dr. Hirasuna still demonstrates both theability and willingness to address many subjects related to poverty, policy, andregional economics.Part of this is Dr. Hirasuna’s good judgment in his ability to identify good advice, butalso in his ability to incorporate advice from a wide variety of sources to produceextremely valuable research. This was particularly true for revisions to a manuscriptwhich he undertook and I eventually published in the Journal of Policy Analysis andManagement. Another reason is that Dr. Hirasuna’s jobs required him to produce highquality work that would be respected by academics and public policy officials innumerous fields outside of his primary areas of specialization.Dr. Hirasuna’s recent and impressive work on utilization of state earned incomecredits by welfare recipients and rural-urban differences in public assistance receipt areimportant, groundbreaking articles that will influence research and policy. His workwill and often has a demonstrable impact, which is something that very few others canclaim. Further, as the editor of JPAM, I know that very few articles are accepted (8.7percent) and that Don easily survived rigorous reviews demonstrating his ability toproduce good research, his knowledge of research related to regional economies andhis capacity to produce well-written documents.At a more personal level, I like Dr. Hirasuna. He is kind and wise and I would love tohave him as a colleague - unlike some of the contentious, self-centered individualswho find their way into the academy. He is a calm and reasoned person and I believethat his maturity, intellect, demeanor and organizational talents would make him anideal colleague. He is both a team-player and a team-builder.Sincerely,Maureen A. PirogRudy Professor of Public and Environmental AffairsEditor-in-Chief, Journal of Policy Analysis and ManagementCo-Director, Institute for Family and Social Responsibility