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School of Public Administration takes major step forward

Posted by School of Public Administration on August 8, 2017 in News

The School of Public Administration (SPA) at Dalhousie University is undertaking a dramatic expansion to its academic roster starting in September. Four faculty appointments will bring new talent and specializations to the School that will enable it to fulfill its dual mission of professional preparation for the public service of tomorrow and advancing research in public sector management and policy.

While the new additions nearly double the School’s teaching and research capacity, as importantly, they bring it a wealth of new expertise and knowledge that will enrich the students’ learning experience as well as increase the School’s research capacity on important public policy and management questions.

“I am delighted with this growth in the School of Public Administration,” says Sylvain Charlebois, Dean of the Faculty of Management. “The SPA expansion is an excellent example of the Faculty’s new vision – Inspiring Transformational Solutions for Society – put into practice. In particular, it embodies our first strategic objective, which is to advance experiential learning, teaching and research.”

SPA Director Bob Moody says the addition of Joshua Nichols, Isabelle Caron, Jennifer Baechler and Markus Sharaput enhances the offerings of the School of Public Administration, the leading English-language teaching and research institution of its kind in Atlantic Canada. The new faculty members join the SPA’s current, robust complement of five professors: Marguerite Cassin, Stéphane Mechoulan, Kevin Quigley, Jeffrey Roy and Dominika Wranik.

Dr. Moody says the new hires could not come at a better time given that the School’s onsite Master of Public Administration (MPA) and online Master of Public Administration–Management (MPA-M) programs are experiencing significant increases in enrolment.

“As social and economic issues in Canada evolve, grow and change, there will be increasingly higher expectations placed on governments to have well-qualified, high-performing public servants. Consequently, greater demands will be placed on schools like ours,” said Moody. “The addition of these new faculty members, working in tandem with our current faculty, allows us to meet the challenges and growing demands of the modern public service.”

Joshua Nichols (Assistant Professor) is from the Treaty 8 Territory in Northeastern British Columbia and a member of the Law Society of BC and the Indigenous Bar Association. Dr. Nichols will bring expertise and research capacity in indigenous governance that were previously unavailable to the SPA. While the prime focus of his position is research, Nichols will develop and deliver new courses on indigenous governance and leadership for MPA and MPA-M students.

Nichols comes to the SPA from the PhD program in law at the University of Victoria. He is currently a fellow with the Centre for International Governance Innovation in the International Law Research Program in Waterloo, Ontario. He also has a JD from the University of British Columbia, a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Toronto and a MA in sociology and BA in political science from the University of Alberta. His latest book, A Reconciliation without Recollection: An Investigation of the Foundations of Aboriginal Law, is forthcoming from the University of Toronto Press.

Isabelle Caron (Assistant Professor) brings valued practical experience as well as academic credentials to the SPA. She holds a Master’s in Sociology from the University of Ottawa, a multidisciplinary bachelor’s degree from Université Laval and has been a visiting scholar in the PhD program in Public Administration at Université de Lausanne, Switzerland. Ms. Caron is completing her PhD studies in public administration at the University of Ottawa (her dissertation defence is scheduled for later this fall). For 13 years she held senior policy positions in several Government of Canada departments and agencies including the Privy Council Office and Treasury Board Secretariat. Her research interests focus on public finance and budgetary policies, administrative reforms, corporate governance and public management, public involvement, and open government policies. Caron’s upcoming co-authored paper, “Budgeting and Financing,” will be published in the book Issues in Canadian Governance (Emond Publishing, Toronto). Caron is originally from Quebec.

Jennifer Baechler (Senior Instructor) comes to the SPA via Dalhousie University where she has been associate director of the Corporate Residency MBA Program for the Faculty of Management, as well as a lecturer/assistant professor at the Rowe School of Business. She holds a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies from Dalhousie and a MA in Peace and Conflict Studies from the European University Centre for Peace Studies (Austria). The primary focus of Dr. Baechler’s research relates to the theory and practice of cross-boundary collaboration, encompassing the fields of public administration, political science and international development. Her teaching has been focused primarily on two initiatives: coordinating Management Without Borders, an experiential learning class for graduate students in the Faculty of Management, and co-developing and co-delivering a suite of courses designed to explore topics and skill areas related to leadership development and career management. Baechler brings her expertise in experiential learning to support the implementation of the strategic direction of the Faculty of Management. She comes to the School of Public Administration with Cape Breton roots.

Markus Sharaput (Senior Instructor) has most recently served as assistant professor for both graduate and undergraduate studies in management and public administration at Dalhousie. He taught courses on business and government, policy formulation and analysis, organizational design, public sector ethics, government structure and research methods. Dr. Sharaput holds a PhD in political science from York University in Toronto, a MA from Carleton University and a BA from York University and has held teaching positions at Ryerson, Lakehead, York and Memorial universities. Sharaput has extensive experience and success in coaching students, particularly at the national level, in policy paper and case study competitions. He specializes in research in the area of economic interventions by government including innovation policy, regional economic development, and science and technology. He is co-investigator on a research project, “Capacity and Resilience”, funded by the Atlantic Provinces Research Initiative at ACOA and the Government of Nova Scotia, which is exploring how rural communities are faring economically and socially in current conditions. Sharaput’s most recent paper, “A Developing Context: Evaluation and FedNor’s Evolving Institutional Context,” was published in Canadian Public Administration in 2016. He originates from Ontario.