On Campus

Big coup for U Calgary

The University of Calgary was able to announce a major coup last week: the creation of a new school of public policy, and the hiring of Jack Mintz to lead it.

U Calgary already has a well-deserved reputation as a center of influential public policy thinkers, and a particular school of conservative thought. A group of political scientists of the “Calgary school” have had the kind of influence on Canada, and on conservatives and the Conservative Party, that the Chicago school economists have had around the world. Among the influential graduates of Calgary’s poli sci PhD program is this guy.

Mintz, who assumes his duties at Calgary on January 1, is the former CEO of the C.D. Howe Institute – which is a much smaller think-tank than you might expect, because it has always managed to punch above its weight. It has become the most important Canadian source of thoughtful, non-partisan papers by academics seeking to engage with the real world of policy making. Mintz is also one of Canada’s leading tax policy scholars, and brings management experience and intellectual heft to the job, as well as name recognition among media types (Mintz has been the media go-to guy on various tax events, such as last fall’s federal decision to tax income trusts) and connections with policy makers and powerbrokers back east. A real coup for Calgary.

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