Enhancing Public Policy at ANU

Dr Ken Henry speaking at the announcement.

Dr Ken Henry speaking at the announcement.

Yesterday ANU announced a major new boost to the University’s longstanding role in national public policy research. You can read a copy of the media release here.

This is the speech I delivered at the announcement at the Crawford School of Public Policy:

‘”In 2010, the Commonwealth and ANU signed a memorandum of understanding to build a strategic relationship focused on enhancing public policy. Today we will announce a number of initiatives aimed at building on that relationship to position ANU as a major international player in public policy.

The original agreement envisaged an expanded Crawford School as a key element of that development, which also included the development of a public policy precinct within ANU. Today we will also deliver on this vision.

ANU is a remarkable public policy resource. Expertise exists across every one of our Colleges. The challenge for ANU is how to harness these resources and effectively build bridges between the academic establishment and the Australian Public Service (APS).

The Kennedy School of Government at Harvard is often held up as an example of the very best of public policy within a university. It is a physical school but is capable of bringing in expertise from across Harvard. In addition, it has relatively porous walls allowing a flow of people and ideas between the university and the public service. These are the elements we aim to emulate at ANU.

Consistent with the original MoU with the Commonwealth which established the Australian National Institute of Public Policy, the Crawford School will become the central element of public policy at ANU. Noting this, the School will be renamed the ANU Crawford School of  Public Policy and will continue to be led by Professor Tom Kompas. Over time, additional academic appointments within Crawford will build research and academic capabilities in public policy at the very highest level.

The building works underway at present will deliver on the vision of a public policy precinct. Once completed, the National Security College, HC Coombs Policy Forum, ANSZOG at ANU and the Sir Roland Wilson Foundation will all be housed within this expanded building.

The Crawford School of Public Policy will be the key element in public policy at ANU. However, major public policy expertise also resides outside Crawford. Such is the depth of public policy expertise across the campus.

To harness this academic resource an Institute of Public Policy will be created, administered here within Crawford. This new Institute will act as an umbrella, facilitating interaction across campus. The Institute will have an Executive Chair and I am delighted to announce that Dr Ken Henry has agreed to fill this position. Ken brings credibility, in both academic circles and the public service, to this position.

The Institute will also have an Advisory Board and I am pleased to announce that Dr Ian Watt, Dr Don Russell and Professor Allan Fels have agreed to serve as the external members on this Board. The Board will ensure closer collaboration between ANU and the APS.

The Institute will co-ordinate activities across the University. In particular, the Institute will co-ordinate a Public Policy Fellows Program. Individuals judged as making a significant contribution to public policy will be elected to the Program and carry the title of ANU Public Policy Fellows. I imagine many of the outstanding contributors to public policy across ANU will become Fellows, recognising their contributions. However, I would hope that members of the APS and the wider community active in this space will also consider such recognition.

The program will facilitate interaction between Fellows, joint PhD supervision opportunities and the potential to have students jointly supervised by ANU and APS-based Fellows.

I am today, delighted to announce the inaugural appointments as ANU Public Policy Fellows. They come from all ANU Colleges and demonstrate the richness and diversity of talent within the University.

  • Professor Kaarin Anstey – Centre for Research on Ageing, Health and Wellbeing, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment
  • Professor Ken Baldwin – Director, ANU Energy Change Institute and Deputy Director Research School of Physics and Engineering, College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences
  • Professor Andrew Blakers – Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems,College of Engineering and Computer Science
  • Professor Stephen Dovers – Fenner School of Environment and Society,College of Medicine, Biology and Environment
  • Professor Matthew Gray – Director of Research, ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences and Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research
  • Professor Peter McDonald – Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute, College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Professor Warwick McKibbin – Director,  Research School of Economics, College of Business and Economics
  • Professor Donald Rothwell –ANU College of Law
  • Professor Hugh White – Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, College of Asia and the Pacific

Our initial group of Fellows cover areas as diverse as environment, health, finance and economics, defence, Indigenous affairs, population and international law.

Although I could speak about each of our Fellows in detail, let me mention just three, to demonstrate both the impact and the diversity of the work.

Professor Warwick McKibbin, Director of the Research School of Economics, was a former member of the Board of the Reserve Bank. He has made significant contributions to policy in areas as broad as Taxation and Revenue, the pricing of carbon and monetary and fiscal theory.

Professor Andrew Blakers is Director of the Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems and a world leader in the development of solar photovoltaic technology but has also contributed to the policy debate on renewable energy and feed-in tariffs.

Professor Hugh White is the former Head of the Strategic & Defence Studies Centre. He will require little introduction to most. He studies and writes extensively on Australian strategic and defence policy, and the regional and global security issues that most directly affectAustralia

It is this excellence we will build on in the future. The new structures we announce today will further position the ANU and the new Crawford School of Public Policy as a regional and international leader.


Filed under: Executive, The University

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Updated:  16 April 2012/ Responsible Officer:  Director, SCAPA/ Page Contact:  Director, SCAPA