Dalhousie University. Institute of Public Affairs.

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Dalhousie University. Institute of Public Affairs.

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The Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) was founded in 1936 by Dr. Lothar Richter and Dalhousie University through a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation in recognition of the need for more economic and social support during the Depression. Initially, it was considered an experimental organization, intended to unify Dalhousie University with the community in respect to public policy and social science and to achieve greater regional economic and social development. The four main activity areas of the IPA were government, business, labour, and community, with a special focus on public administration.

Dr. Guy Henson became the director in 1957 and was given a mandate to reorganize the IPA. Under his guidance, the Institute broadened its research programs concerned with socio-economic programs. The IPA became deeply involved with the Africville Relocation Project and began to do significant work in the field of labour-management relations.

Kell Antoft succeeded Henson as director in 1977, a position he held for five years. In 1980, the Institute moved into its own building, the Henson Centre, named in honour of the efforts of the former director. In 1984, the Henson Centre, the IPA, and the Office of Part Time Studies of Extension were amalgamated to create Henson College of Public Affairs and Continuing Education. Funding for Henson College was discontinued in 1993 by Dalhousie University, which led to a decrease in the College's activities. As a result of this loss of funding, Henson College was amalgamated in 2003 into the College of Continuing Education (CCE). The CCE does not necessarily carry on the work and missions of the IPA or Henson College, and therefore should not be considered a newly named version of either organization. However, it is the sole remaining institution that arose from the work performed by its predecessors.

The Institute of Public Affairs maintained its own library, which supported the needs of its staff in addition to the public. The holdings totalled more than 18,000 items, which covered topics such as economic development, local government, industrial relations, management development, and labour organization. Beginning in 1984, the Institute's library was gradually integrated into Dalhousie University Libraries.


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