E-mail from the Indiana State Majority Caucus:
Long ‘calls on’ Kruse to be new Senate Ed Chair
President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) today called on Sen. Dennis Kruse (R-Auburn) to become the new chair of the Senate Committee on Education and Career Development.
Kruse previously served as the committee’s ranking member under its former chair, Sen. Teresa Lubbers (R-Indianapolis). Lubbers resigned recently to become Indiana’s Commissioner of Higher Education.
“Sen. Kruse brings a unique philosophical, legislative and professional background to this important post,” Long said in making today’s Statehouse announcement.
“Philosophically, Dennis is a thoughtful, innovative and principled conservative. Legislatively, he’s admired for tackling complex issues after gathering and considering all points of view. Professionally, he is a leader in business, education and training. This blend will serve Indiana’s students and parents well as Hoosiers continue to advance academic achievement statewide,” Long said.
Kruse will leave the chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Pensions and Labor, where he is credited for working closely with business and labor leaders. Long said Kruse agreed to remain a member of pensions and labor and to lend his expertise to its new chair, which Long said he expects to announce in the coming days.
A citizen legislator with 20 years experience, Kruse is a licensed auctioneer and real estate broker in northeast Indiana. Kruse also owns and operates the well-respected Reppert School of Auctioneering, which draws students from across the U.S. and throughout the world.
Kruse said he considers himself a life-long learner – something he said he keeps in mind as a state policymaker. In addition to attending Anderson and Purdue universities, Kruse also graduated from Indiana University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in education. Kruse substitute taught public school for some time before joining his family’s auction business and going into national and international training.
Lubbers, the former committee chair and new higher education chief, joined Long and Kruse for today’s announcement.
“Sen. Kruse has been a strong supporter of rigorous academic curricula and standards, fair and improved assessment tools, and increased accountability and discipline,” Lubbers said. “He is a very good listener and a very quick study. He brings to this new role a reputation of cooperation and collaboration that will continue moving Indiana forward with positive educational improvements and changes. ”
Kruse said he will try to build on Lubbers’ efforts to improve education and career opportunities statewide.
“We have made strides in recent years and must do all we can at the state level to continue extending those opportunities to every Hoosier wherever and how ever they may be taught and trained,” Kruse said. “I stand here today with admiration and respect for all those who are involved in the tireless task of preparing Hoosiers for college and the workforce – our students, our parents, our educators, our administrators, our employers and our fellow taxpayers.
“I believe one of the most important assignments our committee can take on – with so many of the stakeholders listening and watching – would be to devote at least part of our time to celebrating your successes and spotlighting your best practices, so that all Hoosier learners, employers and taxpayers may benefit,” Kruse said.
Editors’ Note: Kruse served two terms as township trustee in Northeast Indiana’s DeKalb County before being selected in 1989 to fill a vacancy in the Indiana House of Representatives. In seven consecutive elections that followed, voters re-elected Kruse as state representative. Kruse was then tapped in 2004 to fill a Senate vacancy. In 2006, Kruse was elected to his own four-year Senate term. Senate district 14 includes parts of Allen and Steuben counties and nearly all of DeKalb County.