University releases ‘An Ambitious Vision for Public Policy at Queen’s’

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Report seeks to align Queen’s with increasing relevance of public policy studies

Grant Hall.
Grant Hall. 
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The University is working to adapt their School of Policy Studies as public policy becomes a more relevant and complex area of study. Implemented in Sept. 2016, the Principal’s Commission on the Future of Public Policy addressed the changing landscape of the field in its recently released Jan. 29 report.

The final report by the commission is titled ‘An Ambitious Vision for Public Policy at Queen’s.’ It presents the argument for expanding on public policy studies at the University and comments on the growing complexity of challenges Canadians face.

Members of the commission included former Government of Canada ministers, Queen’s School of Policy Studies professors and directors as well as student representative Rector Cam Yung.

“The public policy challenges facing Canada and the world are daunting in their depth, breadth, and complexity,” the report reads. “And they affect every aspect of Canadians’ quality of life, security, and well-being.”

Among the recommendations, the committee believes the creation of the Queen’s School of Public Policy and Global Affairs would represent the University’s commitment to becoming an “academic leader in Canada for public policy relevance and influence.”

If implemented, the School would be a University-wide platform for public policy research and would focus on addressing issues of public interest that transcend boundaries globally and in terms of subject matter.

The Commission emphasized the importance of the Principal’s involvement in implementing the “ambition approach to elevating public policy at Queen’s.” It recommends the creation of the School under the supervision of the Dean of Arts and Science and a mandate for the School built on three core functions: teaching and learning, research and innovation as well as knowledge sharing and outreach.

To ensure the recommendations are implemented, the report calls for an Implementation Advisory Task Force to be created under the Provost. The task force will be responsible for creating a three-month implementation planning process where timely goals can be set for the University.

In an interview with The Gazette, Principal Woolf reiterated, “Queen’s is focused on having a greater impact on the practice and execution of public policy across Canada and globally.”

For the recommended School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, the University will be tasked with resourcing and staffing. It’s suggested by the report that the ongoing faculty renewal process be utilized to ensure engaged and committed faculty are established within the School.

“Extensive consultations, along with Commission members’ own experiences, make it clear that the public policy world has changed dramatically in recent decades,” the report concludes. “If Queen’s University wants to remain a vital, credible part of a new, increasingly crowded landscape, its approach needs to change.”

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