Dr. Michael MacMillan - Photo Credit: Stewart Cameron / SCANS
Photo Credit: Stewart Cameron / SCANS

Until recently, MSVU professor emeritus Dr. Michael MacMillan taught in the university’s departments of Political and Canadian Studies. Now retired, Dr. MacMillan’s passion for teaching has taken him to a new classroom with a slightly older average student.

The Seniors College in Nova Scotia aims to provide affordable learning opportunities on a variety of academic topics for adults aged 50 and up. The college has chapters in five communities: Halifax (home base), Truro, Chester, Mahone Bay, and Liverpool. Courses are taught by volunteers and are for learning enjoyment (no tests or assignments). Starting in mid-October, Dr. MacMillan will be teaching a course at the college titled Sea-Change or Status Quo?: US Midterm Elections 2022.

“The upcoming 2022 American midterm election is viewed as one that may dramatically shape not only the remainder of the Biden Presidency, but also the 2024 presidential election. In light of the deepening divisions in American society, these midterms may prove critically important for the future of American society,” notes the course description.

“[The midterm election] is occurring in the framework of a complex election process that is driven by conflicts over race, culture, and the role of the state, and agitated by Supreme Court decisions on hot button issues, most notably the abortion issue. In this course, the design and operation of the American electoral system will be discussed, as well as the impact of ethnicity, class and religion on patterns of voting behavior.”

Two of Dr. MacMillan’s principle areas of research interest are human rights and democratic theory. Some of his regular course offerings at MSVU included Democracy and Deliberation, Social and Political Justice, Human Rights: Theory and Practice, and Public Affairs and Policy Management.

“I’ve always enjoyed teaching about politics and the stimulating dialogue with students about the material. The Seniors College is a great venue because the students are highly motivated and bring their rich life experiences to the discussion,” explained Dr. MacMillan.

Dr. MacMillan first taught at the college in the fall of 2020, on the US Presidential election. He was planning to follow the election closely and thought it would be engaging to discuss the events with a class. It was a great success and encouraged him to do this subsequent course on the mid-term election.

Though Dr. MacMillan’s course for this fall is now full, there are lots of learning opportunities available through the Seniors College (only late registration available for this fall at this point). Explore the courses available through the Seniors College.