BUFFALO, N.Y. – Satish A. Tripathi, president of the
University at Buffalo, and Jack Lightstone, president of Brock
University in St. Catharines, Ontario, have made official a joint
Master of Arts degree in Canadian and American studies to be
offered in the fall.
An agreement signed by the two presidents on Feb. 1 at Brock
University renews a five-year partnership agreement through which
the universities will continue to share research and education
initiatives. One of those initiatives is the joint MA degree.
UB Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Charles F.
Zukoski said the new program was significant for the university and
its students, noting it will be the first international joint
degree to be offered in the State University of New York
Stephen C. Dunnett, vice provost for international education at
UB, said the Feb. 1 event was “a wide-ranging meeting at
which the presidents and provosts of the two institutions discussed
a number of promising opportunities for expanding cooperation
relating to economic development in the bi-national Buffalo Niagara
region, cross-disciplinary research in targeted areas of mutual
interest and exchange of faculty and students.”
The new 12-month on-campus program is open to students from a
range of undergraduate disciplines, and was developed by the
Canadian Studies Program in the UB Department of Transnational
Studies and the Faculty in Humanities at Brock University.
Donald M. Eagles, PhD, professor of political science and
director of the UB Canadian studies program, was instrumental in
developing the new degree, which, he says, recognizes the vital
need for citizens on both sides of the border to understand one
Eagles, a Canadian citizen, said the program “will focus
on interdisciplinary research in the area of borders and
boundaries, a field whose relevance is evidenced by the
geographical location of the institutions and by the existing
cooperation between the two countries.
“We have developed as nations in different ways, with
unique sensibilities, loyalties and cultures,” he said,
“and it is imperative that we understand our differences as
well as our shared interests as best we can.
“We are among the most active campuses in the entire
United States when it comes to research and teaching on
Canada,” Eagles added, “and the UB faculty has long
appreciated the importance of that role.”
The program’s initial cohort will comprise six students
from each university in different fields of study. In addition to
graduate courses in their specific disciplines, they will be
required to undertake comparative analyses of social, economic,
political and cultural issues in the two nations through courses
taught by faculty members in the humanities and social sciences at
both universities. Additional electives covering other aspects of
the Canadian-American relationship will also be encouraged.