Latest Messages

Help us finalize UBC’s strategic plan, starting November 23

If you are a manager of staff whose work is not computer-based, please print this email and display it in a common work area for them to review.

To: Faculty, staff and students in Vancouver and the Okanagan

UBC is in the final stages of a comprehensive strategic planning process. As we enter this final phase, I am hoping you will join the conversation and provide your input.

UBC’s new plan will serve as a road map, helping us focus even more intently on our core activities of learning and research. It also provides an opportunity for you to help shape the priorities that will influence our university for years to come.

We have already received thousands of thoughtful comments from faculty, staff, students, alumni, external partners and our broader community. This input has helped us identify draft priority areas for the plan.

We have also engaged with Deans, the Executive and other university leaders to explore these priority areas and articulate them within an overarching framework. The framework reflects UBC’s core mandate of excellence in learning and research, with the draft priorities represented as areas for transformational focus, or as underpinning strengths and commitments that define our university.

More recently, we have established representative working groups to substantiate the framework through objectives and strategies attached to each major area. Their recommendations will be provided to the Steering Committee, Deans and the Executive.

Share your input in person
As we continue through the final stages of this process, I would like to invite you to help us validate the emerging plan and explore ideas of how we can bring it to life. A series of open house events will take place during November. Details are as follows:

UBC Vancouver
Friday November 24, 2017
12 pm to 4 pm
Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
Golden Jubilee Room (4th floor)

Wednesday November 29, 2017
4 pm to 7 pm
Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
Golden Jubilee Room (4th floor)

UBC Okanagan
Thursday November 30, 2017
11 am to 2 pm
Charles E. Fipke Centre for Innovative Research (foyer)

Share your input online
You are also invited to share your input via an online survey, which will run from November 23 until December 8. You will receive a broadcast email on November 23 with a link to that survey, so please look out for it.

To learn more about the strategic plan and the process so far, visit www.ubc.ca/strategicplan.

Collectively, we can build a plan that reflects our distinctive strengths and values. Whether you are a student, faculty member or staff, we value your input and encourage you to continue with us on this journey.

Professor Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor


Freedom of expression – draft statement

If you are a manager of staff whose work is not computer-based, please print this email and display it in a common work area for them to review.

To: Faculty, staff and students in Vancouver and the Okanagan

As follow-up to my September 5th letter to the UBC community, I received a draft statement on freedom of expression from an internal working group convened by Professor Neil Guppy, Senior Advisor to the Provosts on Academic Freedom.

The working group, comprising ten faculty and staff members, worked through several iterations of a statement. Input on an early draft was also received from elected student representatives (Senate and AMS).

I am grateful to the working group for moving this discussion forward, and would like to thank them for their hard work on this complex issue. The intent behind this process is to generate a draft document to serve as the focal point of a community discussion around freedom of expression.

The members of the working group are:

Alan Hu, Faculty of Science
Alan Richardson, Faculty of Arts
Janet Teasdale, VP Students
Judy Illes, Faculty of Medicine
Karl Aquino, Sauder School of Business
Mary Bryson, Faculty of Education
Michael Griffin, Faculty of Arts
Neil Guppy, Faculty of Arts (Working Group Lead)
Sally Thorne, Faculty of Applied Science
Shirley Nakata, Ombudsperson for Students

To continue this discussion, we would now like to hear from a broader set of voices, to facilitate as wide and deep a conversation as possible. To this end, we have provided the latest draft statement which we hope will serve as a catalyst to encourage discussion and debate about how freedom of expression should be understood and contextualized in the modern university community.

We welcome your thoughts and encourage you to view the statement online. We also invite you to be part of the conversation and share your own views from now until November 30, 2017. To view the statement and join the conversation visit https://academic.ubc.ca/freedom-of-expression-statement.

Professor Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor

 


Join us for a conversation about your workplace experience

If you are a manager of staff whose work is not computer-based, please print this email and display it in a common work area for them to review.

To: Faculty and staff in Vancouver and the Okanagan

Your workplace experience influences your ability to do your best work and has an impact on research, learning, the student experience, and community engagement. With over 15,000 faculty and staff, we all contribute to the success of UBC.

As you may have already seen in my broadcast email on November 1, I am asking all faculty and staff to participate in the 2017 UBC Workplace Experiences Survey by November 21. We need to hear from everyone so that we receive rich and representative insights into the workplace experience at UBC. For more information, including access to the survey, I encourage you to visit http://ubc.ca/wes.

I invite you to join me live on Facebook at 2:00pm this Friday, November 10, as I discuss faculty and staff engagement and answer your real-time questions. If you are unable to join in live, you can access the video online (https://www.facebook.com/universityofbc/videos/10155756010888704/) at a later time.

This event will be moderated by UBC Journalism Senior Instructor Kathryn Gretsinger. Also joining me will be special guests Professor Bill Aiello, Department of Computer Science, and Shanda Jordan Gaetz, Executive Director, Faculty Affairs in the Faculty of Medicine.

Go to https://www.facebook.com/universityofbc/videos/10155756010888704/this Friday at 2:00pm to participate. I hope you will join in our live discussion.

Professor Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor


Share your experience in the 2017 UBC Workplace Experiences Survey

If you are a manager of staff whose work is not computer-based, please print this email and display it in a common work area for them to review.

To: Faculty and staff in Vancouver and the Okanagan

UBC is a top-40 institution. Share your feedback on your experience being part of it.

Today, UBC invites all faculty and staff to take the 2017 Workplace Experiences Survey. The survey is your opportunity to share feedback on your experiences of UBC as a workplace.

You can access the online survey at: http://wes.ubc.ca. The survey closes on November 21, 2017.

The survey includes questions about topics, such as professional growth, health and wellbeing, leadership, inclusion and respect, as well as faculty-related topics, such as tenure and promotion.

  • It takes 15-20 minutes to complete;
  • All individual survey feedback is anonymous and confidential;
  • Reports are prepared for UBC overall, by campus, as well as at the unit level (for units with 10 or more respondents).

Your feedback will help shape future priorities and initiatives. Past results have shaped UBC-wide initiatives, such as health and wellbeing, internal communications, career navigation for staff, and orientation and onboarding.

UBC uses Canadian-based survey consultant TalentMap to administer the survey.

Learn more at: http://ubc.ca/wes.

Please note: the survey link will redirect to an external website hosted by our Canadian-based, third-party consultant TalentMap. The survey includes general demographic questions, however you will not be asked to provide personal information, such as your CWL or password. If you have any concerns, contact workplace.surveys@ubc.ca.

Professor Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor  


Vancouver campus incident

To: Students in Vancouver

Yesterday, you may be aware that the RCMP confirmed a fatality on our Vancouver campus. It is with deep regret that I inform you, today, that this was a student from our UBC community.

Death can be difficult for us to understand, especially when it is sudden. Many of us may be confronted with a variety of emotions which might include shock, sadness and confusion. I know that those of you who have been affected will seek the support of family and friends. Please know that UBC cares about every member of our community and we are here for you as well.

If you want to talk to a professional about this tragic event there are many resources available:

UBC Counselling Services: https://students.ubc.ca/health-wellness/mental-health-support-counselling-services
Room 1040, Brock Hall
1874 East Mall
604 822-3811

UBC Student Health Service: https://students.ubc.ca/health-wellness/student-health-service
Koerner Pavillion
2211 Wesbrook Mall, Room M334
604 822-7011

Our Chaplains from a variety of faiths are also available to help: https://students.ubc.ca/campus-life/religion-spirituality/chaplains

I recognize that heading into the weekend UBC Counselling Service and Student Health Service will be closed. Through the AMS/GSS Health & Dental Plan, students have access to Empower Me, a mental health service offering 24/7 counselling support. They can be reached toll-free at 1-844-741-6389.

During times like these it is important to remember that we are all part of the UBC community. In the coming days and beyond, I encourage each of you to continue to look out for one another, and help those in need, to access the supports available.

Louise Cowin
Vice-President, Students


External review of Enrolment Services

To: Faculty, staff and students in Vancouver and the Okanagan

An external review of Enrolment Services is being carried out to assist the university as it considers the reappointment of Dr. Kate Ross. Dr. Ross’ current term as Associate Vice-President, Enrolment Services and Registrar comes to an end on 31 October, 2018. The terms of reference for the review can be found at https://academic.ubc.ca/enrolment-services-review-reference.

A review team will visit UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan between January 8 and 10, 2018. The members of the review team are:

  • Ms. Charmaine Hack, University Registrar, Ryerson University;
  • Ms. Melissa Pool, University Registrar, McMaster University;
  • Mr. Walter Wong, University Registrar, University of California, Berkeley.

The review team will meet with faculty, students, staff, senior administrators, registrars from other post-secondary institutions, and other individuals or groups that may interact with Enrolment Services at UBC.

Prior to their visit, the review team will receive documentation on all aspects of the unit’s operations, including the nature and quality of its services to students and faculty, its facilities and resources, its administrative structure and organization, and its internal and external linkages.

You are invited to provide relevant written comments – along with your name and affiliation to UBC – to Dr. Herbert Rosengarten, the review coordinator, atherbert.rosengarten@ubc.ca by January 3, 2018. All comments will be held in strict confidence, and will be forwarded to the members of the review team. The reviewers’ findings will be of value to the senior administration, the unit itself, and the university community as a whole.

We strongly encourage you to participate in this important process – your input is greatly appreciated.

Andrew Szeri
Provost and Vice-President Academic, UBC Vancouver

Deborah Buszard
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal, UBC Okanagan


Update on new expenditure guidelines for all UBC faculty and staff

If you are a manager of staff whose work is not computer-based, please print this email and display it in a common work area for them to review.

To: Faculty and staff in Vancouver and the Okanagan

Since the announcement of new expenditure guidelines on September 27, we have received a number of comments, questions and concerns. I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to share their feedback with us.

There has been a positive response to the founding principles, as well as the compilation of various policies and practices into one document. However, we have learned that a number of changes to current practice – specific to computer and related purchases, as well as pre-approval for travel – require further thought and consultation.

For both of these areas, we propose to establish a working group with representatives from across the university.

In addition to establishing the working groups, we are developing “Frequently Asked Questions” which will be posted online soon. The guidelines will also be subject to regular review and we look forward to working with faculty and staff representatives to refine them.

You can view the expenditure guidelines at http://universitycounsel.ubc.ca/files/2017/09/Expenditure-Guidelines.pdf.

If you have any questions about these guidelines, please feel free to contact your local Finance Director: http://vpfinance.ubc.ca/about-us/contact/support-by-unit/.

Andrew Simpson,
Vice-President, Finance & Operations


Inviting pledges for the United Way campaign

If you are a manager of staff whose work is not computer-based, please print this email and display it in a common work area for them to review.

To: Faculty and staff in Vancouver and the Okanagan

The UBC Community United Way campaign officially opens next week with a Week of Caring, with many opportunities to participate. 

I personally support the United Way, and I encourage you to consider making a donation. On Tuesday, October 10, you will receive a personalized email from unitedwayeaccess@uwlm.ca inviting you to make a payroll pledge online.

If each member of UBC’s working community were to donate $3 per pay, our campaign would exceed 1 million dollars. This would give hope to more than 100,000 people in all our Lower Mainland and Okanagan communities, benefiting people of all ages.

Learn more about the campaign at your campus, and the different ways you can get involved:

I know we can do this because together, we are possibility.

Thank you for your support of the UBC Community United Way campaign.

Professor Santa J. Ono,
President and Vice-Chancellor


New expenditure guidelines for all UBC faculty and staff

If you are a manager of staff whose work is not computer-based, please print this email and display it in a common work area for them to review.

To: Faculty and staff in Vancouver and the Okanagan

The university has developed new expenditure guidelines to help everyone improve transparency and enhance stewardship of public funds by providing clear, supplemental guidance on what is reasonable and appropriate when faculty and staff spend, or are reimbursed with, UBC funds. These guidelines will be effective October 1, 2017 and can be read at http://universitycounsel.ubc.ca/files/2017/09/Expenditure-Guidelines.pdf.

Beyond guidance for specific cases such as travel, donations, gifts, hospitality and entertainment, computers, mobile devices, or home internet connections, the guidelines ask all faculty and staff to consider these four questions:

  1. Does the expense need to be incurred and is there value for UBC?
  2. Is there an alternative that is less expensive but still appropriate, safe, and convenient?
  3. Would this expense be considered excessive/unreasonable from the general public’s view?
  4. Is it an arm’s length transaction (i.e. no conflict) that conforms to sound business practice?

The guidelines will apply to expenditures and reimbursements made under UBC Policies:

The guidelines also apply to additional operational activities and purchases, including those not covered by the policies.

For more information about expenditures at UBC, please visit http://vpfinance.ubc.ca/policies-guidelines/ or email the Office of the Comptroller at ian.burgess@ubc.ca.

Andrew Simpson
Vice-President, Finance & Operations


Creating a community free from sexual misconduct

If you are a manager of staff whose work is not computer-based, please print this email and display it in a common work area for them to review.

To: Faculty, staff and students in Vancouver and the Okanagan

A large part of the UBC experience centres on it being a welcoming, safe and inclusive environment. As we begin the winter term, we want to ensure you are aware of the Sexual Assault and Other Sexual Misconduct policy, and the progress we are making in its implementation.

If you haven’t already done so, we encourage you to read Policy #131 — Sexual Assault and Other Sexual Misconduct. This policy sets out UBC’s commitments, describes the new Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office, provides important definitions, and outlines the investigation process that will take place when a complainant chooses to report sexual assault or other sexual misconduct for the purpose of investigation. You can read Policy #131 at http://universitycounsel.ubc.ca/files/2017/04/policy131.pdf

Since the policy came into effect, UBC has appointed Myrna McCallum as the Director of Investigations. Her roles focuses on ensuring that reports of sexual violence from members of the UBC community across all our locations are received and investigated sensitively and consistently, in-keeping with the principles set out in the policy. You can read more about Myrna at http://sexualviolenceresponse.ubc.ca/policy/people/#mccallum

We are also pleased to announce the appointment of Sonya Boyce as Director, Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office for the Vancouver campus. Sonya will begin this role on October 16, and will have responsibility for establishing the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office. You can read more about Sonya at http://sexualviolenceresponse.ubc.ca/policy/people/#boyce. Recruitment is also underway for the Director, Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office for the Okanagan campus. Further announcements will be made once the selection has been made.

Interim resources and support are available on each campus while these offices are established:

The creation of Policy #131 signals UBC’s unwavering commitment to addressing sexual assault and other sexual misconduct. In addition, UBC is carrying out the annual student-focused ‘Consent Campaign’ as well as expanding our education for faculty and staff on ‘Responding to Disclosures of Sexual Assault’.

We encourage you to take a part in this ongoing dialogue. Whether you are a student, faculty member or staff, we hope you will join us in continuing to ensure that our university is a supportive community, free from sexual misconduct.

Louise Cowin
Vice-President, Students

Lisa Castle
Vice-President, Human Resources

Hubert Lai, Q.C.
University Counsel



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