The First Woman to Be Honored With a Statue on the Campus of Indiana University

Elinor Ostrom, Arthur F. Bentley Professor of Political Science at Indiana University in Bloomington, was awared the Nobel Prize in Economics a decade ago. She was the first – and still the only – woman to earn the honor. Professor Ostrom died in 2012 at the age of 78.

A historical marker was recently unveiled outside Woodburn Hall, where Professor Ostrom taught and had her office. Additionally, the university announced that is honoring Professor Ostrom with a life-size statue that will be placed near the historical market. It will be the first statue of a woman on the Bloomington campus.

Dr. Ostron was the author of the highly influential book, Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action (Cambridge University Press, 1990). The book argued that critical common property, such as air, groundwater and forests, is universally poorly managed by humans and thus needs either to be regulated by central authorities or privatized.

Professor Ostrom was a native of Los Angeles. She held bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles.



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