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Cullen C. Merritt joined the O’Neill School at IUPUI in 2014 and is the founding director of the Project for Research on Organizations, Management, and Publicness Theory (PROMPT). He studies the implications of an organization’s publicness on its management strategy and performance. Additionally, he illuminates the management competencies integral to addressing complex public service challenges and the strategies that enable organizations to develop these competencies. His research, teaching, and service are motivated by the same desire to improve governance and empower managers to address public problems through innovative organizational design.
Dr. Merritt's research appears in Public Administration Review, The American Review of Public Administration, Public Administration, Perspectives on Public Management and Governance, Public Performance & Management Review, Public Personnel Management, and Punishment & Society, among other academic outlets.
He has formally advised or actively mentored over 20 students on peer-reviewed research, dissertations, and honors projects. For his teaching excellence, he was O'Neill’s sole recipient of the 2018 Indiana University Trustees’ Teaching Award based on faculty selection and earned O'Neill’s Favorite Professor of Undergraduate Programs Awards in 2018 and 2020 based on student nominations. Additionally, he was recognized as an IUPUI Athletics Favorite Professor in 2015, 2019, and 2020.
Dr. Merritt has applied his scholarly expertise to make service-related contributions to the O'Neill School, IUPUI, the public administration discipline, and the community. Most recently, he has served as president of the IUPUI Honors College Advisory Council, an advisory board member for the IUPUI Center for Research and Learning, member of the Public Personnel Management editorial board, member of the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) Undergraduate Education Committee, and co-principal investigator of a contract with the City-County Council of Indianapolis and Marion County to evaluate its effectiveness as a governing body. For his service, he received the 2019 Advocate of the Dream Award from the IUPUI Black Student Union (BSU) for using his professional role on and off campus to serve students and members of the BSU.
- Ph.D., Public Administration, University of Kansas, 2014
- M.P.A., University of Kansas, 2012
- B.A., Political Science, Texas A&M University, 2009
- Favorite Professor of Undergraduate Programs, O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs (2020, 2018)
- Advocate of the Dream Award, IUPUI Black Student Union (2019)
- Trustees’ Teaching Award, Indiana University (2018)
- IUPUI Athletics Favorite Professor (2020, 2019, 2015)
Selected Intellectual Contributions
- “Social Equity and COVID-19: The Case of African Americans” (with J. Wright) Public Administration Review (2020)
- “What Makes an Organization Public? Managers’ Perceptions in the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment System” American Review of Public Administration (2019)
- “The Cost of Saving Money: Public Service Motivation, Private Security Contracting, and the Salience of Employment Status” (with S. Kennedy and M. Kienapple) Public Performance & Management Review (2018)
- “Formalization and Consistency Heighten Organizational Rule Following: Experimental and Survey Evidence” (with E. Borry, L. Dehart-Davis, W. Kaufmann, Z. Mohr, and L. Tummers) Public Administration (2018)
- “What Individual and Organizational Competencies Facilitate Effective Collaboration? Findings from a Collaborative Governance Simulation” (with D. Kelley) Journal of Public Affairs Education (2018)
- “Good Governance, Political Experiences, and Public Support for Mandatory Sentencing: Evidence from a Progressive US State” (with J. Sundt and K. Schwaeble) Punishment and Society (2017)
- “Considering the Effects of Time on Leadership Development: A Local Government Training Evaluation” (with H. Getha-Taylor, J. Fowles, and C. Silvia) Public Personnel Management (2015)