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Thursday, November 29, 2007

roles and mandates.

Completely under the radar, Alberta's Department of Advanced Education and Technology released its Roles and Mandates framework document yesterday.

In the early months of 2007, in my role as Chair of the Council of Alberta University Students, I was part of the original consultations for this framework. Though I'm not that they were really 'consultations,' as no one seemed very clear as to what 'Roles and Responsibilities' (as it was then known) was supposed to accomplish, only that the Minister wanted to define them.

At the time, the new framework looked suspiciously like a makework/legacy building framework project from new-Minister Doug Horner (Roles and Mandates followed a string of Advanced Education frameworks, including from Dave Hancock's A Learning Alberta and short-term-disaster of a Minster Denis Herard's *weak* Affordability Framework).

As unsexy as 'Roles and Mandates' sounds (and probably is), I've been a little disappointed at how low under the radar the entire process has flown. If the framework is as important as CAUS' latest media release gushes, it's too bad that groups like CAUS and Public Interest Alberta's PSE Taskforce weren't more aggressive in bringing this to the media and Albertans attention (especially with a provincial election around the corner).


Anonymous said...

Sooo does this mean you like it or you don't?

daveberta said...

I haven't had a chance to read through it yet, but I'll plan to provide some feedback (which I'm sure will make an extraordinarily boring blog post).

Steven Dollansky said...

I really don't think the public cares about Roles and Mandates. That being said, it is an incredibly important document that will change how the entire system is funded and expanded. The reason CAUS didn't try to make a big deal out of a document that does not have any flair is because there are much larger fish to fry.

Also, the GoA should be commended for a job well done here. They listened to what stakeholders had to say and made the document significantly better based on that input. Minister Horner has done a very admirable job thus far and I'm not all that excited about the uncertainty surrounding who will fill the position following an election.

Anonymous said...

sd, at the same time you state that the public doesn't care AND that it's an incredibly important document that will change how the entire system is funded and expanded.

If this is really going to change the face of postseconday ed in Alberta why don't you think the public would care?

An important role that public interest and lobby groups play in the public policy world is explaining how and convincing the public why frameworks such as this one are important.

Glen said...

Briefly looking through the document, I have to admit that there's room for optimism about it.

Statements like this always make me hope for the best: "Building an educated society means realigning strategic efforts to address critical gaps among Albertans that have no yet accessed learning opportunities."

We'll have to see - post election might be a whole new world.

Anonymous said...

The PCs have a nasty habit of releasing grandious reports and then forgeting about them very quickly, this is why getting the public and media onside is important. In pre-election time, all that matters is what's on the voters mind and PSE is not on the voters minds.

Anonymous said...

Any guesses as to what the top issues of the coming campaign will be? It will be hard for the 2 opposition parties to campaign on things like royalty rates at this point.

I can't seem to find a common "pulse" amongst the folks I know as to what Joe Average is most concerned with on the provincial front right now. Love him or hate him, Ed has done a good job of rounding the sharp edges off all of Klein's biggest baggage.

Anonymous said...

Well said, anonymous. The list of opposition "outrage" items grows thin. Once Bill 46 is put to bed, and people realize that it doesn't mean that an oilwell will be drilled in their living room, another ALP election platform plank will be withdrawn.

It's funny. First the PC's were criticized for "taskforcing" everything to death. Now they are rolling out policy fast and furious, they are being too aggressive.

Your buddy Graham Thomson must have carpal tunnel syndrome by now trying to undermine the PCs and promote the Alberta "Not-to-be-confused-with-the-Federal-Liberals" Liberals. I guess the ALP hired Larry Johnsrude (an honourable man, I must say) because they were already getting Thomson's services for free.

Anonymous said...

The real truth of the matter is that if the Liberal PSE critic wasn't doing such an INCREDIBLY POOR job then the liberal party might have known about what the Students were thinking before this whole process finished. Seems to me that the liberals don't care about students or PSE anymore - like Anon above said - they are running out of things to be "outraged" over.