Alper to retire this fall from Center for Canadian-American Studies and BPRI

Don Alper, Western Washington University’s director of the Center for Canadian-American Studies and Border Policy Research Institute and a professor of Political Science, will be resigning from those positions at the end of September, and retiring from the university at the end of the year.

“Don Alper has been an outstanding leader for Western, for Washington, and for the development of Canadian-American relations. His work with Canadian-American Studies and the Border Policy Research Institute has been a model for others to follow, and a source of great pride for Western. His scholarship, teaching and service to the community, both locally an internationally, are without parallel,” said Western President Bruce Shepard.

Alper’s work has had a strong and lasting impact on Western’s students and programs, and he is an internationally recognized scholar and leader in the field of Canadian Studies. A search for his successor will begin soon.

“Teaching political science and helping to advance the study of Canada-US relations has been my passion throughout my career. Western is a place where both endeavors are highly valued. The university stands out as a premier center of teaching and research on Canadian studies,” Alper said.

Alper has a doctorate in Political Science from the University of British Columbia and has taught at Western for 42 years. He has been director of the Center for Canadian-American Studies at Western since 1993. The Center, which has won 9 Title VI federal grants from the US Department of Education, is a nationally recognized center of excellence for American scholarship on Canada.

In 2004 Alper led the effort to create the Border Policy Research Institute, a multi-disciplinary institute housed at Western that undertakes research that informs policy-makers on matters related to the Canada - U.S. border. The BPRI is unique, being the only research institute in the US focused on the Canada-US border. The University established the BPRI to further a mission of promoting research, academic programs, and public programming on critical policy issues affecting the Pacific Northwest. Its work has resulted in the advancement of many policy initiatives designed to improve the functioning of the border.

He was awarded the 2007 Donner Medal for his outstanding contributions in teaching, scholarship, administration and public affairs in Canadian Studies within the United States. The medal, awarded every two years, is the highest award given by the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States. He also was awarded a Certificate of Merit from the International Council of Canadian Studies that same year.

Alper also has received several WWU merit awards and has published numerous articles, books, manuscript reviews and conference papers.