A brilliant proposal

Social scientists rejoice! The University of Calgary’s research-happy gravy train may soon be making a stop at the thirteen story building we call home.

As a sixth-year International Relations student who has seen money poured into Medicine, Kinesiology and the foundations of various buildings for various innovations and technologies, it is heartening to see that some of my ever-increasing tuition may soon be put back into my education.

The proposed University of Calgary Institute for Advanced Policy Research is going through the bureaucratic paces, helped along by its initiator, Dean of Social Science Dr. Stephen Randall. With an interdisciplinary mandate and a focus on research, the Institute would be a major selling point to students currently weighing their post-secondary options.

Seeking to build on the work currently being done by established centres such as the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies and the Centre for the Study of Public Policy, the proposed Institute is a long overdue initiative.

Calgary has become synonymous with growth and innovation and it’s high time our institute of higher learning follow suit–not just in areas of medicine, technology and science, but in a realm of increasing relevance and importance: global governance.

The twenty first century has already begun with rule books being rewritten, maps redrawn and age-old concepts about the world order seriously reconsidered. Non-state actors have been thrust to the forefront, states have increasingly relinquished aspects of their own sovereignty for greater protection and/or prosperity and multinational corporations continue to challenge national jurisdiction.

From a more personal perspective, this institute is the embodiment of everything my U of C academic experience has lacked. Were it in place five years ago, I may have been sifting through graduate school applications or fervently pursuing a summer research topic right now. Instead I am piddling along, jumping through the last half dozen prerequisite hoops, eagerly anticipating the end of my academically underwhelming University of Calgary experience.

My simple message to the Board of Governors is this: Approve the Institute for Advanced Policy Research and get the ball rolling immediately. You owe it to the students and to the relevance and prestige of this institution.

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