Statement from the elected members of the UBC Board of Governors

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.

We, the eight elected members of the UBC Board of Governors (students, staff, and faculty) voted to accept the resignation of Dr. Arvind Gupta as President of UBC. We did so after respectful deliberation among all Board members and based on our own observations. None of us was bullied or pressured. We continue to believe that this decision was in the best interests of the university.

The Executive Committee of the Board, which was involved in earlier stages of the process leading to Dr. Gupta’s resignation, included two of the elected faculty members, Richard Johnston and Michael Treschow.

We regret that we did not make this statement earlier. We see now that we were excessively cautious. The events of the last few weeks compel us to speak out.

We are listening carefully to the concerns raised within the university community, and are committed to seeking greater transparency in Board practices.

Elected Members of the UBC Board of Governors

Shannon Dunn (staff) Richard Johnston (faculty)
Darran Fernandez (staff) Darrin Lehman (faculty)
Veronica Knott (student) Michael Treschow (faculty)
Jeff Krupa (student) Julie Van de Valk (student)

Reappointment of Dr. Louise Cowin as Vice-President, Students

Faculty, staff and students in Vancouver and the Okanagan

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.

The UBC Board of Governors has approved the reappointment of Dr. Louise Cowin as Vice-President, Students for a second term for five years, starting October 1, 2016.

Dr. Cowin holds a BA in Educational and Sports Studies (Borough Road Physical Education College, London, England); an MSc in Physical Education (Dalhousie); and a PhD in Educational Studies (McGill).  Prior to joining UBC as Vice-President, Students in October 2011, Dr. Cowin was Warden, Hart House, University of Toronto.

During her time at UBC, Dr. Cowin has established strong relationships with student leaders and has worked closely with both graduate and undergraduate students on a variety of issues, including new student residences, enhancements to student development and services, and the expansion of the student experience both in and outside the classroom.

She has been a tireless advocate for students, consulting widely on issues such as tuition fees, financial assistance, mental health concerns, and the importance of creating a diverse and inclusive environment.  As a result of the controversial athletics review, she oversaw the development and endorsement of the athletics strategic plan that will provide the basis for the reconfiguration of the Athletics and Recreation portfolio at UBC Vancouver.

Dr. Cowin is universally recognized as an innovative and effective leader who contributes to the overall administration of the university.  Her commitment to working with students to enhance the overall student learning experience will inform her next five years at UBC.

Martha C. Piper

Interim President and Vice-Chancellor

Release of the Paula Butler Review Executive Summary

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

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. 

In December 2015, barrister and solicitor Paula Butler, of Butler Workplace Solutions, an independent expert in workplace harassment, was retained by the university to review UBC’s response to concerns of sexual harassment and sexual assault raised by UBC students regarding a fellow student.

Today, UBC has released the executive summary report. The report determines that there was no breach of UBC’s policies, including Policy 3 Discrimination and Harassment, the Student Code of Conduct, and Rules for the President’s UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan Non-Academic Misconduct Committees.

You can view the executive summary online at

I would also like to take this opportunity to remind you about the resources available should you, or someone you know, disclose that they have been sexually assaulted.  People are likely to disclose to someone they trust, therefore it is important that each member of our community knows how to effectively refer those who disclose to resources for support, accommodations, and reporting. For Vancouver students, resources can be found at  Okanagan students see Faculty and staff see

Sara-Jane Finlay 
Associate Vice President
Equity and Inclusion

Presidential search: Position profile finalized

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

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.

The past month has been very active for the Presidential Search Committee and I am delighted to announce that we have finalized and made public the position profile for the 15th President and Vice-Chancellor of UBC. The document titled ‘Information for Candidates’ may be found here:

The document was prepared by the Search Committee and approved by the Board of Governors after extensive stakeholder consultations in Vancouver and the Okanagan to seek feedback on the priorities and attributes for our next President. The consultations included: in-person meetings with the full committee for key internal and external stakeholders; town-hall meetings (Vancouver & Kelowna); an Alumni survey; and input from different levels of government, donors, business, health and community organizations,  First Nations, and a number of individual submissions.

The committee heard a wide range of views from stakeholders and reached a consensus on what should be included in the information document for Candidates. I would like to acknowledge and thank all our search committee members who have worked tirelessly to reach this consensus.

There is one recent change in the committee membership. Stuart Belkin, UBC’s new Chair of the Board of Governors will be taking Celeste Haldane’s spot as one of the three governors on the 21-member committee. This will permit Celeste to focus on her responsibilities as the new Chair of the Governance Committee of the Board. I would like to thank Celeste for her excellent contributions on the search committee and appreciate Celeste’s willingness to provide ongoing advice to the committee on aboriginal engagement.

We now move to the next and very important phase of the search process: contacting potential candidates which will eventually progress to interviewing short listed candidates. We remain on track to announce our new President by June 30.

We expect a strong level of interest in the presidency of UBC as it is one of the top 20 public universities in the world and one of the top six public universities in North America, with outstanding faculty, students and staff.

In the meantime I encourage you to continue to submit your comments in confidence to the Search Committee by email to or online:
Best regards,

Lindsay Gordon
Chair, Presidential Search Committee

Rainbow flag burning incident shakes UBC

To: Faculty, staff, and students in Vancouver

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.

Our community has been shaken by a distressing incident directed at our LGBTQ+ community members and specifically the Pride Collective at UBC. As we shared in a statement last night, the university received news on February 9 that the pride rainbow flag raised at the opening ceremony for OUTweek (February 5), was burned sometime over the Family Day long weekend.

We hope this was a singular occurrence and that there will be no further incidents such as this on campus. The university is cooperating with Campus Security and the RCMP as they continue their investigation.

We condemn this as a serious incident that violates the values of equity, inclusion and respect deeply held by the university community. The university fully supports OUTweek and the Pride Collective at UBC who organize this annual celebration of gender and sexual diversity on campus.

The freedom to explore topics around gender and sexual identity are an integral part of what makes a university a place of learning. Any incident that disrupts this freedom is taken very seriously as it contradicts the respectful environment our community upholds.

The flagpole sustained some minor damage during the incident and is being repaired on Thursday. We are working with the Alma Mater Society and the Pride Collective at UBC on plans to re-raise the flag.

To read the university statement and find resources for students, faculty and staff, visit:


Show your support for the Pride Collective at UBC:
Sexual Assault Support Centre (SASC): Tel: (604) 827-5180
Employee and Family Assistance Program: Care Access Centre 1-800-387-4765

Angela Redish
Provost and Vice President Academic pro tem

Lisa Castle
Vice President, Human Resources

Louise Cowin
Vice President, Students

Sara-Jane Finlay
Associate Vice President, Equity and Inclusion

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