From left, Brunet-Jailly, Gagné and Pineau. [Becky Lockhart photos]


IT’S “BONJOUR, UVIC!” FOR PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION TRIO

by Becky Lockhart

The three most recent additions to the school of public administration share more than a common language — they bring a diversity of experience in the public sector, economics and business.

Dr. Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly had always dreamed of living by the sea and working at a good university. So it’s no surprise that he’s happy to be teaching courses at UVic on local government, urban politics and law and public administration.

“I couldn’t do better,” says the Paris-born scholar who was raised on the French Riviera. With a PhD in political science from the University of Western Ontario, a law degree and 10 years of work in the French government, Brunet-Jailly has a diversity of experience to bring to the classroom. And he doesn’t miss his native country “as much as people assume I would.”

Brunet-Jailly’s decision to work in North America was based on the realization that to get the best jobs and research opportunities “you have to be here.” He’s currently finishing a book that deals with his PhD work on public policy and public service in urban regions located on international borders. It includes case studies of Detroit, Vancouver, Tijuana, San Diego, Lille (France), and Enshede (Holland).

“I think we can learn so much from others, and comparing is a wonderful way to see what people do in other places. It’s the best possible way to be ‘inspired’, and be creative about a problem, an issue or something difficult.”

Pierre Olivier Pineau didn’t plan to teach at an English-speaking university, but he says it’s a natural choice for an academic to embrace the English language. “Writing about your work in English makes it available to more people,” explains the Quebec native, who attended l’École des Hautes Études Commerciales in Montreal and joined UVic’s public administration department last summer.

Pineau had a chance to practise communicating in his second language while teaching last year in Concordia’s economics department, and during the two years he spent in Finland teaching and doing PhD research.

His dissertation focused on electricity reforms and deregulation, a line of research he intends to continue. “I want to focus on the structure of the electricity market in Canada and the social, economic and environmental policies surrounding this,” he says.

Pineau realized he truly wanted to work in public administration when he learned more about the UVic school. “It’s a professional school, so we have to teach people how to apply the tools, not just give them ideas.”

Lynda Gagné is interested in how childcare, the maternal labour supply and other family environmental factors affect child development and behaviour. She’s also looked at the effect of childcare costs on the maternal labour supply and at the equity of the childcare expense deduction.
An economist who has worked as an accountant and spent time in the public sector, Gagné is currently finishing her UBC PhD thesis on childcare in Canada, and is teaching classes in accounting and economics.

And despite her Quebec accent — she was born in Rimouski — she’s spent most of her life in B.C. Her family moved to Terrace when she was still young. “My French is not as good as my English,” she laughs.

A faculty member at UBC who knew Gagné wanted to work at UVic encouraged her to consider the school of public administration. “I was really lucky, because there were two positions I was qualified for.” Her current teaching responsibilities are a good fit, she says, because they’re a mix of accounting and economics. And she’s always been interested in the public sector and policy-making.


ECONOMIST COMES HOME FROM OZ

by Becky Lockhart

After 10 years in Australia, Dr. Graham Voss couldn’t resist coming back to a job on the campus he first experienced as an undergrad.

“Sydney is quite easily one of the most beautiful places in the world,” he says of the city he left this summer. Voss grew up in Victoria, and it was the only place in Canada able to draw him back to his home country.

A macroeconomist with a BA from UVic and a PhD from Queen’s who went on to teach for seven years at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Voss looks at the big picture of the economy. His areas of interest include monetary and fiscal policy, exchange rates, and the role banks play in the economy.

When he left Sydney, he’d been working at the Reserve Bank of Australia for three years. “I didn’t go into it with plans to stay,” he says, explaining that his work there was really a form of research. So why the move back to academia? “You have more academic freedom in a university.”

Voss is now teaching economics classes. Although his primary research area to date has been macroeconomic policy, he’s also working on another “interesting puzzle” that suggests to him how little is known about how economies work. He and a colleague in Australia are studying the economic growth of industrialized countries to determine what factors make some countries grow at similar rates at similar times.

Sometimes it’s obvious, he says, if there are significant trade relationships that allow countries to influence one another in terms of growth and investment. But it seems as though there could be other forces at work, such as approaches to managing the economy, and even common languages.