Public policy events diversify

By Eric Mathison

Students can expect a curriculum that spans beyond the classroom as the University of Calgary School of Public Policy will once again host its Harold N. Kvisle Academic Lecture Series. While last year’s series was primarily focused on regional issues, such as energy and business in Alberta, this year’s series tackles a wider focus with 15 events planned throughout the upcoming year.

“We really tried to broaden our scope,” said Emily Bailey, public policy’s coordinator of executive programs and outreach. “Public policy is so multi-disciplinary, it involves fields such as economics, political science, international relations and business. Exploring the connections between these subjects is important for academics, government and the corporate world.”

“This series gives the campus community the chance to take part in the discussion,” Bailey said.

The first event is part of a series on the role of the G8 and G20 in international affairs. The keynote event for the fall, taking place on November 3, sets former Republican senator and Hollywood actor Fred Thompson against Howard Dean, past Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, to debate the results of US mid-term elections planned for November 2. Mark Steyn, a well-known political commentator for MacLean’s magazine, will be moderating.

Other noteworthy speakers include U of C president Elizabeth Cannon and retired Major-General Cameron Ross, who will speak next year on future security and defence challenges.

In addition to events on campus, The School of Public Policy will also host events for the business community throughout the year, including the Nexen Global Round Table which launches with a gala dinner featuring Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mohamed ElBaradei. Dr. ElBaradei is the past director general for the United Nation’s International Atomic Energy Association, responsible for negotiating on behalf of the Obama administration with Tehran to break the stalemate over Iran’s nuclear program.

The U of C’s 12-month masters of public policy degree program is now in the final stages of approval from the Alberta government with an anticipated launch in fall 2010. The program will have an initial intake of 35 students and will emphasize the practical aspect of policy analysis while matching students with government ministries, NGOs or businesses for a final capstone research term.

All events are free for student members of the School of Public Policy Student Association.

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