When I first heard of the close collaboration between professors in different fields at the Faculty of Public Affairs at Carleton University, it was hard to believe.
I was teaching at the time at the University of Alberta, which had a very traditional university culture where everyone had their own corner of the campus—economists here, sociologists there—with separate buildings and different languages.
The idea that a political scientist would sit down with an anthropologist and an English professor to talk about their various research projects in Africa was unheard of.
But when I arrived at the Faculty of Public Affairs in 2011, the sense of intellectual flexibility was immediately evident. Researchers with similar interests were sharing ideas and developing new programs, whether they spoke the language of economics or legal studies.
This is an important part of what makes Carleton University’s Faculty of Public Affairs truly unique.
In the fall of 2015, we introduced two new multi-disciplinary programs, both emerging from the ongoing interdisciplinary conversation I’ve been describing.
The Bachelor of Global and International Studies is a degree that exposes students to political science, law, economics, literature, geography, history—all from a global perspective. Offered in collaboration with our Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, it also includes opportunities for specialization, language acquisition, and international study.
The Graduate Programs in Indigenous Policy and Administration are being launched by our School of Public Policy and Administration to assist those interested in working in Indigenous governance and administration to strengthen their organizations.
Not only do these programs reflect our internal cooperation, they also reflect our sense of responsibility to bring our research and learning to the community, whether local or global, to improve the world around us.
If you are a student considering a program in our faculty, we invite you to become part of this incredibly rich learning environment where you will explore ideas well beyond your own major, and learn to engage the world as a well-rounded citizen who can speak many academic languages.
Even as Dean, I am still learning.
And it’s great fun!
Dean, Faculty of Public Affairs.