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Public policy commission submits interim report

The Principal’s Commission on the Future of Public Policy at Queen’s University has submitted its interim report to Principal Daniel Woolf.

“I would like to thank members of the commission for their diligent work to this point in the process,” Principal Woolf says. “The interim report offers an in-depth look at the current state of public policy in Canada, and the opportunities and challenges Queen’s faces in this field. I look forward to the commission continuing its work over the next several months and receiving its specific recommendations later this year.”

For more than a century, public policy studies have played an important role at Queen’s, with many alumni serving as a great source of institutional strength in the public sphere. The public policy landscape has shifted in recent years, though, with future policy leaders facing new learning requirements. Furthermore, the public policy education landscape is now more crowded, with 29 schools of public policy across Canada.

Principal Woolf established the commission on September 2016 to determine how this historically strong area could be reinvigorated, both within the School of Policy Studies and in other externally facing academic units at Queen’s. Chaired by Michael Horgan, MA’79, the commission is examining how Queen’s can modernize its approach to public policy in light of changes in public policy-making and public service, as well as new learning requirements for policy leaders.

At the outset, we had a sense that the public policy landscape is evolving. Through broad consultations, we gained a better understanding of just how rapid these changes are occurring.
— Michael Horgan, Chair, Principal's Commission on the Future of Public Policy at Queen's University 

After its initial meeting in October 2016, the commission conducted broad consultations to review the evolving landscape of public policy in Canada, with a particular focus on the relationship and interaction of academic institutions and the public sector.

The commission organized a number of formal consultation sessions with alumni, public sector leaders in Toronto and Ottawa, and Queen’s faculty, adjunct professors and fellows, staff, and students in Kingston. The commission conducted one-on-one and group meetings and telephone conversations, in addition to inviting submissions based on discussion questions it posted on its website.

“At the outset, we had a sense that the public policy landscape is evolving. Through broad consultations, we gained a better understanding of just how rapid these changes are occurring,” Mr. Hogan says. “Through the summer and fall, we will analyse the implications of these changes for Queen’s in order to put forth recommendations that will allow the university to respond effectively and strategically to this new environment.”

Visit the commission’s website to read the interim report and learn more about its work and membership. While the consultation phase has concluded, additional feedback and comments can still be sent to future.publicpolicy@queensu.ca.