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Public policy prof to lead national group

Kathy Brock, a professor in the School of Policy Studies and the Department of Political Studies, was recently elected the first female president of the Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration (CAPPA), the leading national organization representing the schools of public administration, policy and management across Canada and academics engaged in research and teaching on all facets of government.

In addition to her CAPPA commitments, Dr. Brock has also been working on her own research and commenting in the media about the recent provincial election. She took some time out from her busy schedule to discuss her appointment and the importance of public policy research with Senior Communications Officer Mark Kerr.

MK: Why did you want to serve as president of CAPPA?

Kathy Brock was interested in serving as president of the Canadian Association of Progams in Public Administration because the organization has evolved in recent years and become more involved in reaching out to all of the public policy schools in Canada.

KB: A number of public administration departments and schools have come online in the past few years. It’s a changing field. I was interested in the position because CAPPA has become a much more dynamic organization in the last five years and more involved in reaching out to all of the public policy schools across Canada.

CAPPA is looking at developing an accreditation process for schools, and I really believe in that. I think if we have an accreditation process, we will be more consistent with international standards. Accreditation increases both the acceptance of our research and work within government. It also says to the public policy and public administration community that our students are going to be strong whether they get placed at the national, provincial, Aboriginal level or internationally.

And it’s a great opportunity for the Queen’s School of Policy Studies. We are seen to be a leader in the field and this is taking that leadership very responsibly and working with others in a more collective way. Plus, the researchers, teachers and thinkers I am working with are excellent. They are a lot of fun to work with.

MK: What do you want to accomplish as president?

KB: Accreditation, for sure, as well as working with others to develop a number of national courses that all schools could implement. Those courses would ensure Canadian students have core competencies.
More generally, I would like to focus on the promotion of academic research in the public sector. I think we can harness the schools to do that. I am involved in a national survey and one of the things we have been seeing is that governments are not as inclined to turn to university researchers as they were in the past. They are more likely to go to the private sector – consulting firms, NGOs and non-profits.

MK: Why has there been a shift away from the use of academic research in the public sector?

KB: Honestly, I think it’s because we don’t do the translation of research well. When consultants or non-profits go in, they put research in a very practical context. Often they don’t do the theoretical and conceptual research as well as the academic community does, but they know how to present their results much more effectively and target it to the audience.

Governments are talking about evidence-based research all the time, and that’s one of the reasons we have to be a player in the field. Academic communities are where you get balanced, evidence-based research that can meet those needs.

The interview was condensed and edited for clarity.

QSB executive education in world's top 30

By Communications Staff,

Queen’s School of Business’ open enrollment executive education was recently ranked No. 28 in the world by the Financial Times. Six Canadian business schools were included in this year’s annual ranking of global executive education providers.

“Queen’s School of Business is not only the largest provider of executive education in Canada, we are also among the best,” said Salman Mufti, Associate Dean and Executive Director, Queen’s School of Business – Executive Education. “This accolade further strengthens our goal to be a top-10 ranked, global provider of executive education.”

The Financial Times executive education ranking is based on a wide range of criteria, from teaching methods and course design to follow up and repeat business. This is the 16th year the Financial Times has ranked global executive education. For more details, visit the Financial Times 2014 executive education ranking.

Queen's announces realignment of School of Policy Studies

Queen’s announced today a realignment of the School of Policy Studies (SPS), effective July 1, and the establishment of a new Policy Council to champion the enrichment of the school’s programs.

The changes will see the SPS director report to David Saunders, Dean of the Queen’s School of Business (QSB), while the Master of Industrial Relations (MIR) program will become part of the Faculty of Arts and Science. The SPS will remain a separate academic unit, and a separate budget unit within the Queen’s budget model.

“The SPS has a long history of preparing students for challenging careers in public service; this realignment is the first step in ensuring its programs keep pace with the evolving needs of the public sector,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “With more than a dozen other universities offering public administration programs, we must ensure that the SPS is able to maintain a leading position, consistent with Queen’s century-old reputation as a training ground for the nation’s policy makers.”

The realignment comes after an external review of the school identified ways in which its existing strengths could be enhanced by aligning SPS with a professional faculty like QSB.

In addition, a new Policy Council will be established to make recommendations around the enrichment of the school’s programs and broadening its collaborations with other faculties. The council will be chaired by the provost and will include deans from faculties where there is a policy interest and expertise, the director of the SPS, as well as external experts.

“The continued success of the SPS depends on both the excellence of its programs and its financial sustainability,” says Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “This change in reporting structure and the creation of the Policy Council are first steps in the process of working together to ensure the future success of the school.”

Kim Nossal, Director of the School of Policy Studies and Stauffer-Dunning Chair of Policy Studies, says the change will help the school work more closely with other units.

“The SPS has always been a leading centre for advanced education, research, debate and interaction with the public service,” says Dr. Nossal. “I look forward to working with the new Policy Council, Dean Saunders and others from across the university so that we can continue that tradition. The new structure will allow us to enrich the student learning experience by tapping policy expertise across faculties, and to secure the future financial sustainability of the school.”

While the Industrial Relations Centre will move with the MIR program to the Faculty of Arts and Science, the other research units – including the Centre for International and Defence Policy, the Institute of Intergovernmental Relations, and the Queen’s Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy – will remain within the school.

More about the School of Policy Studies


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