1 Task Force on Changing Structures: Discussion Paper 2 nd Draft FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES ONLY (As of April 10, 2006) Vision To provide a focal point for interdisciplinary research, teaching and dialogue on innovation in public policy and a platform for engagement in regional, national, and international research and engagement projects that improve the quality of public policymaking in the innovation area. Mission To devise research and educational programs that ensure policy makers have the knowledge and expertise necessary to devise and examine public policy in a world where innovation in everything from new technologies to new institutional and organizational structures is a distinguishing feature. Public Policy Research On the research front, the School s focus will be on innovation and public policy in five areas: Health, Education and Social Policy Social Economy Agriculture, Biotechnology and the New Rural Economy Trade Policy Resources and the Environment These five areas reflect key research strengths that currently exist on campus, as well as areas in which the university has indicated it would like to develop strength. Although additional areas can be added to the list, the initial focus will be restricted to these five areas; the emphasis given to each of these areas will shift over time as policy issues change and faculty interest and expertise evolve. These five research areas plus the overarching theme of innovation that links the areas together are represented by an impressive number of research grants and research and graduate training activity. Research grant examples include: SSHRC grants on social cohesion and the social economy; leadership and participation in three BIOCAP/SSHRC grants; numerous SSHRC/NSERC/CIHR research grants; a NSERC/SSHRC Chair in Managing Technological Change; SSHRC MCRI grants (Innovation Systems, Modeling Agricultural Biotechnology and Intellectual Property Protection); two SSHRC Initiatives in the New Economy (capacity building through learning communities, educational leaders in the new economy); one SSHRC Valuing Literacy (Comparative Adult Education Public Policy in Sweden and Canada), Industry Canada NCEs; Genome Prairie s GELS/GE3LS grants; the Public Health and the Agricultural Rural Ecosystem (PHARE) training program; leadership and participation in Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada network grants on innovation, trade and consumer demand; CIDA and World Bank projects; a Canada Research Chair in the New Rural Economy; and links with the Estey Centre for Law and Economics in International Trade. Faculty with expertise and interest in these areas
2 2 are found throughout the university. There are also dozens of graduate courses across campus related to these five research areas. These five research areas are highly interconnected. For instance, trade issues are important in the resource and environment area, as many of the key policy debates are driven by transformative technologies in biotechnology. The new rural economy and the environment are very closely linked through land use decisions, which themselves are affected by policy variables. Environmental degradation, pressures facing Indigenous people, and the need for more effective health, education and social policy are resulting in community groups and voluntary organizations (captured in the social economy) taking important policy actions. Health and education provision is increasingly having an impact on trade and it is more and more difficult to provide in rural and remote areas. Given this interdependence, it is critical that all five areas are represented in the School s research and teaching activities. Each of the research groupings would be developed into areas in which the University of Saskatchewan will be an acknowledged leader nationally and internationally. To achieve this recognition, the groupings will require a core group of faculty working closely together, but still strongly connected to the other groupings in the School. The groupings will also be the focal point for specialized graduate training via streams or concentrations. As will be described in more detail below, graduate students in the School will be expected to select an area of concentration in addition to the core set of policy courses offered by the School. While it is important to develop specific research strengths and reputations, the School must also be more than just the sum of its parts. To accomplish this integration, the five research areas will be linked together explicitly through the concept of innovation. Innovation has been identified as both a key driver and a key response to the technological and social change that is currently underway in the world. Innovation is increasingly viewed as the result of a triple-helix of university-industry-government interactions (Etzkowitz, 2005); included in these interactions is the role of the voluntary sector or the social economy NGOs, service organizations, voluntary groups and co-operatives. The focus on innovation will both differentiate the School of Public Policy from other public policy schools and will provide students and researchers with an effective framework within which to view and integrate developments in public policy. Included among the questions that will form the heart of the School s research and graduate teaching program are What are the specific drivers of innovation? What are the impacts of innovation and how can they be addressed? How can appropriate forms of innovation be encouraged? Since, as Etzkowitz points out, the invention of new social and institutional arrangements is as important as technological innovation, the research will focus on the system of social and technological changes that beget and result from each other. The School s research agenda will be ambitious. The goal is to create and support research groupings that will attract major interdisciplinary grants on policy relevant research. The School will also facilitate the collaborative work of a critical mass of researchers on campus that will spawn new research ideas and generate success in the increasingly competitive environment of research and innovation. Graduate Programs On the graduate training front, the School of Public Policy will offer a thesis-based and a coursebased Masters degree in Public Policy (MPP) and a PhD program in Public Policy (PPP). The School will also be the administrative home to the distance delivered course-based program in
3 3 international trade (Masters of International Trade [MIT]). Programming will begin in Details on the graduate programs can be found on PAWS. Masters Program (Masters in Public Policy MPP) The core of the MPP program will be three courses developed expressly for this program. These three courses could cover, inter alia, the nature of innovation and its impact on policy, political economy, policy-making institutions and processes, policy analysis and research methodology. These courses will provide students with strong theoretical and empirical skills. After taking the core courses in the fall semester, MPP students would then take additional courses in their area of concentration; these concentrations would correspond to the research groupings outlined above. It is envisaged that most of the concentration courses would be provided in existing graduate programs on campus and would thus tap into existing research and graduate training strengths. Supervision of graduate thesis or projects (in the case of a coursebased MPP) would take place by faculty that are connected to the School through one of the research groupings. Students entering the MPP will be required to have a Bachelor s degree in high standing. Subject to some minimum prerequisites that will have to be defined, students from a wide variety of disciplines e.g., everything from the fine arts to the social sciences to the physical sciences to the professional college disciplines will be eligible. To underpin the interdependence of the School with existing departments and groups on campus, it is proposed that joint degrees be established where appropriate. For instance, a joint degree in Economics and Public Policy, Agricultural Economics and Public Policy, or Education and Public Policy would be highly attractive to students who want to marry a specific disciplinary interest with a public policy interest. The development of these joint degrees will require negotiation with each of the relevant departments/programs. Although joint degrees are frequently found in U.S. public policy schools, this structure is not common in the Canadian context. The development of these degrees would represent a major attraction for students and would set the School apart from schools at other Canadian universities. The possibility of students participating in work placements or internships will be investigated. PhD Program (PhD in Public Policy PPP) The structure of the PPP will be similar to that of the MPP. Students would be expected to take two core courses that will be developed expressly for the PPP. One of these courses would be a policy analysis course and would focus on the analysis of specific policies or programs. The remainder of the courses in the PPP would be taken in a student s area of concentration. Faculty connected to the School through one of the research groupings would take responsibility for PhD thesis supervision. As at the Masters degree level, joint degrees with other departments/programs on campus will be developed. Most students would enter directly into the PhD program; these students would possess a Masters degree in a relevant area. Very strong students at the MPP level would have the option of converting from the MPP to the PPP. MIT Program (Masters in International Trade) This program has been developed and approved and is described elsewhere. The School of Public Policy would be the administrative home for the MIT program.
4 4 Policy Discourse The third major component of the School is to promote and facilitate public discourse on public policy issues. One of the activities in this area will be the hosting of seminars that feature high profile speakers on topical issues. The School and its members will also provide commentary on contemporary policy issues, hold local, national and international conferences and symposia, and establish publications on policy issues. This work will build on the research and graduate training activities of the School and will contribute significantly to enhancing the university s profile as one of the places to go in Canada for debate, discussion and evaluation of public policy. Linkage with Existing Research Units As outlined above, the success of the School hinges on the development of a highly complementary relationship with existing research units on campus. For these units, the School can be an excellent source of both graduate students interested in specific policy areas, and research funding. At the same time, centres and departments can provide the School with research topics, expertise and networks. This complementary relationship would be fostered and strengthened by the structure of the research groupings and the participation of students. In addition, the School of Public Policy could serve as an umbrella home for existing research centres, thereby enhancing the linkages between the School and centres. Indeed, one of the goals of the School is to closely link the policy work undertaken by centres with the work and programs of the School. The most obvious candidate for a strong connection is the Centre for the Study of Co-operatives, whose research work on the social economy will clearly influence the direction and priorities of the School. The Centre for the Study of Agriculture, Law and the Environment, with its expertise on environmental and food regulation, is also a possibility. Centres that choose to be affiliated with the School would report through the School but retain their identities and governance structures. Market Demand and Competition Since the early 1990s there has been a substantial shift in the age profile of the public service in Canada, with a substantial decline in the number of civil servants under the age of 35 and an increase in the number in the year age group. In , the average age of public service employees in Canada was 44, with just over 50 percent of employees over the age of 45. In the Executive category, the average employee age was 50 years, with 60 percent of employees over the age of 50 (Public Service Human Resources Management Agency of Canada, 2005). For Saskatchewan, these numbers are even higher (Public Service Commission, 2005) for instance, the average age of senior executives is nearly 52. In addition there has been a move to improved credentials within the public service, with more jobs in the Scientific and Professional, and Administrative and Foreign Service categories (Nehmé, 1998, Public Service Commission of Canada, 2002). It should also be noted that local government, particularly those in cities, and First Nations are becoming increasingly important policy players in Canada. The impact of both demographic forces and structural change will be a significant demand from federal, provincial, municipal and First Nations governments for employees with the policy skills that the School will provide. Policy in Canada is not developed exclusively in the public service. Instead, policy is created within policy networks and communities involving a mix of players from government, industry, and the voluntary sector (Skogstad, 2005). All these players will require training in policy, further expanding the base for potential students. The basic structure of the School is similar to that of other public policy schools in both Canada and the U.S., which typically include research, graduate programs (usually at the Masters level),
5 5 and public discourse (see PAWS (Appendix B for details) for examples of some of the major schools in Canada and the U.S.). Virtually all policy schools have thematic streams or concentrations. U.S. schools appear to have stronger linkages with research centres than do the Canadian schools thus, the proposed structure for the School of Public Policy falls more within the U.S. mould. On the graduate teaching side, most of the Masters programs in Canada are two years in duration; Queen s (with a one year program) is an exception. The proposed research and program focus of the School is unique in Canada for instance, the University of Saskatchewan is clearly the national leader in social economy research and in agriculture, biotechnology and rural economy policy research. On the Prairies, the proposed School would be the only one focused on public policy as opposed to public administration (see Gow and Sutherland (2004) for an extensive review of graduate public policy and administration programs in Canada). In Western Canada, only Simon Fraser has a clear focus on public policy in its graduate program; the other universities focus more on public administration. This is specifically the case for the University of Regina the result is that the mandates of the two Saskatchewan public policy schools will be substantially different. This different focus means that the programs of the two Saskatchewan universities are complementary e.g., students enrolling in the School of Public Policy that would like more of an administrative angle could arrange to take courses at the University of Regina. The proposed program will also be different from its Canadian counterparts in that a substantial degree of integration of the public policy program with other graduate programs e.g., through joint degrees is envisaged. Faculty and Staff In the short term, we envisage a number of new and existing positions to be drawn together to form the school. We anticipate these would be in the form of a number of new faculty positions, including an Executive Director responsible for the overall leadership of the school; a number of existing faculty positions drawn from appropriate/cognate/contributing disciplines as Senior Policy Fellows (Political Science, History, Economics, Agricultural Economics, Education, and/or Sociology); a number of joint appointments from existing departmental faculty; a number of Policy Scholars who would be faculty in existing departments that are affiliated with the school through graduate supervision and teaching; some support staff to provide technical, administrative and secretarial support; affiliation with existing Canada Research Chairs and Professors Emeriti; and the creation of a new University of Saskatchewan Centennial Chair position from the University s capital campaign. To develop the critical mass necessary to meets its research and graduate training goals, the School of Public Policy requires a core group of faculty comprised of the Director, a University of Saskatchewan Chair, Senior Policy Fellow positions and any new faculty positions that are created in the School. To ensure strong connections with departments and centres on campus, the Senior Policy Fellows and new faculty appointments will also have important linkages to departments and centres. These connections will also be created through Policy Fellow positions that involve joint appointments of existing departmental faculty. The Policy Fellows and the Policy Scholars (faculty with an affiliation to the School) will participate in the School through research, the teaching of courses in the various concentrations, and in supervising graduate students. Affiliations will also be established with appropriate Canada Research Chairs. The specific faculty that would take up the Policy and Senior Policy Fellow positions will be determined when approval for the School is obtained. Space The School of Public Policy will be located in a common space. One possibility for this space is the office area in the Diefenbaker Centre currently occupied by the Native Law Centre. An
6 6 integrated use of that space will require a thorough space utilization study. It is likely that additional space will be required for research projects and jointly appointed faculty. Costs of the utilization study and of converting existing space will be borne by the central administration. Structure and Governance The governance structure of the School of Public Policy will be determined by the Schools document. The School is best positioned in the university as an academic entity connected to the College of Arts and Science for purposes of collegial processes, but able to change program structure, admit students, engage in fundraising and undertake contracts independent of college supervision or permissions (as per the Schools document ). The School will be led by an Executive Director whose principal task will be to ensure that the School has the necessary resources to discharge its mission and that these resources are deployed in ways that advance the vision of the School. The School s Executive Director will report to the Provost on all matters except those associated with the hiring and career progress of faculty. The School will be an interdisciplinary unit with its own collegial processes (annual assessment, tenure and promotion), but these latter tasks will be undertaken in collaboration with the College of Arts and Science and that College s CRC. Objectives and Accountabilities The School is a new initiative to be launched in Before it is officially launched, further consultations and discussions will take place. Formal proposals will be taken to both Council and the College of Graduate Studies; other more informal opportunities for input will also exist. It is proposed that the School be reviewed after five years, with a decision made after 10 years as to its continuation. The success of the School will be measured against the following objectives: 1. Create enhanced research capabilities in the public policy area by bringing together researchers that will be better positioned (e.g., through interdisciplinary linkages and wider networks) to attract research funding and graduate students; 2. Develop a national and international reputation in public policy as it applies to innovation in the following areas: health, education and social policy; the social economy; agriculture, biotechnology and the new rural economy; trade policy; and resources and the environment; 3. Create university-wide and societal awareness of the importance of innovation in society and the various ways in which society encourages, takes advantage of and adapts to this innovation through public policy; 4. Develop sound interdisciplinary graduate studies programming that attracts students from a wide variety of disciplines and institutions; 5. Increase graduate enrolment at the University of Saskatchewan through the development of innovative and targeted graduate programs; 6. Demonstrate the advantages of interdisciplinary research and teaching in the development and examination of public policy; 7. Develop a complementary relationship with the Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Regina in which teaching and other resources could effectively be shared.
7 7 References Etzkowitz, H Innovation: The Endless Transition. Paper presented at the Weathering the Storm or Reaping the Harvest? Universities and the Innovation Agenda conference, Saskatoon, SK, November Gow, J.I. and S.L Sutherland Comparison of Canadian Masters Programs in Public Administration, Public Management and Public Policy. Research paper prepared for the Institute of Public Administration of Canada, Toronto, Ontario. Nehmé, M Demographic Profile of the Federal Public Service for the Fiscal Years Research Directorate, Public Service Commission of Canada, Ottawa, June. Public Service Commission Saskatchewan Public Service Demographics. Government of Saskatchewan. Public Service Commission of Canada Executive Succession Reconsidered: Planning for Public Service Renewal. Ottawa, October. Public Service Human Resources Management Agency of Canada Employment Equity in the Federal Public Service Government of Canada. Ottawa. Skogstad, G Policy Networks and Policy Communities: Conceptual Evolution and Governing Realities. Prepared for the Workshop on Canada s Contribution to Comparative Theorizing. Annual Meeting of the Canadian Political Science Association, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario.