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Departments Collaborate, Propose Public Policy Major

Professors from the economics and political science departments propose a new major that will examine public policy from such analytical perspectives as sociology and environmental studies.

On April 17, Rollins will vote on whether to add a new major to its repertoire. A collaboration between the political science and economics departments, which has been years in the making, has yielded the plans for a novel Public Policy major.

Professor Davison from Political Science and Professors Taylor and Kypraios from Economics are eager to see their plans come to fruition.  “I’m very excited to teach it,” remarked Davison. Many Rollins students go on to study law, business administration, and other subjects for which a basis in public policy would be highly useful and relevant, he pointed out.

The major would examine how political science and economics interact to produce public policy and would be studied from several different analytical perspectives. It would include the topics of moral dilemmas and economic responsibilities, the consequences of policies on the lives of populations and individuals and would examine biases in the political process. Ideally, the course of study will be very hands-on, applied and practical.

Several other selective schools such as Williams College, Carlton College, Rhodes College, Washington University in St. Louis, and Stanford currently have public policy programs. Certain features of the major would be unique to Rollins, however. Students would be required to take two courses in citizenship and responsibility in order to consider the moral and ethical facets of public policy through political theory and ethical decision making. The major includes both domestic and international perspectives on the matter. Elective courses in environmental studies, sociology, and various disciplines will be  implemented for the purpose of examining race and poverty.

When asked of the specific significance of  studying public policy, Dr. Davison responded that “virtually every facet of life is touched by public policy.” The economy, education, health, the environment, and so many more areas are impacted by public policy. Truly, the decision to include the topic as a major seems an evident no-brainer.

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