Call for applications: Senior Advisor on academic freedom

To: Faculty in Vancouver and the Okanagan

UBC is committed to a proactive approach to the preservation and advancement of academic freedom. The university is seeking to appoint a Senior Advisor on academic freedom to lead a system-wide conversation concerning the scope of academic freedom, and to develop materials to educate the university community concerning the need to support and protect academic freedom.

Composition of the advisory committee and the call for applications may be found on the Office of the Provost and Vice-President Academic website.

Call for applications: http://vpacademic.ubc.ca/2016/03/call-for-applications-senior-advisor-to-the-provosts-on-academic-freedom/

Composition of the advisory committee: http://vpacademic.ubc.ca/2016/02/advisory-committee-for-the-selection-of-a-senior-advisor-to-the-provosts-on-academic-freedom/

Angela Redish
Provost and Vice-President Academic pro tem

2016/17 Budget Update

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.

With the 2016/17 UBC Vancouver budget process well underway, we would like to provide an update of progress to date, as well as the path forward.

In recent months, there have been discussions at various levels of the university around the 2016/17 budget. This included a two-day workshop at which the Executive and Vancouver Deans came together to review the challenges, opportunities and budget position of each of the Faculties and administrative units.

As part of the process, a large number of proposals were submitted, and these are being evaluated for possible funding next year. The proposals are being considered in a number of forums, including the Senate Budget Committee, the Executive, the Board of Governors and the Council of Deans (which established a sub-committee to review detailed proposals).

The final budget proposal will be presented to the Board of Governors for approval in April. In advance of the board meeting, we would like to share some key elements of UBC’s financial position.

  • Although UBC continues to operate in a constrained funding environment, we are in a more favourable position than last year. The Province of BC (although still to provide UBC with formal budget notification) is unlikely to make further cuts to the operating grants of the universities, and will provide assistance for mandated salary increases. Unfortunately, this still means that any inflation costs (including cost pressures arising from the fall in the Canadian dollar and non-mandated salary increases) have to be either absorbed or covered by other sources of revenue growth.
  • Growth in revenue from domestic tuition is capped within the government’s fee regulations, limiting any increase to 2%.
  • International tuition rates, for new-to-UBC first-year students, are increasing (up to 15%) as a result of a review of UBC rates compared to peer universities. This will provide some discretionary resources to meet a number of cost pressures, as well as establishing an Academic Excellence Fund, focused on strategic initiatives to support excellence in research, teaching and the student learning experience. The Provost’s Office is working with the offices of the Vice-President, Students and Vice-President, Research and International, to determine allocations from the Academic Excellence Fund.
  • The Province has provided additional funding for routine capital expenditure (including deferred maintenance) in 2015/16 and has indicated support for further enhancements to this funding over the next three years. If approved, this will enable an important improvement in the underlying condition of many of the university’s buildings and operations.

Many central administrative units absorbed significant budget reductions in the last year, and most of these flow into 2016/17. As part of an ongoing commitment to continuous improvement, UBC will continue to review its operating and administrative processes and systems. This includes considering a benchmarking programme that will assist us in better understanding the effectiveness and efficiency of many current functions and operations.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have taken part in this year’s budget process, as well as those who have implemented cost reductions in the last year. We will provide further updates over the coming months. Further information about UBC’s financial reporting can be found athttp://vpfinance.ubc.ca/reporting/.

Angela Redish
Provost and Vice-President Academic pro tem

Andrew Simpson
Vice-President, Finance

Participate in housing needs survey by March 6

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.

What is your perspective regarding finding a suitable home in Metro Vancouver? Faculty and staff based in the region are invited to share their experience and needs by participating in the 2016 UBC Faculty and Staff Housing Needs survey. 

The results from this important survey will contribute to an updated understanding of faculty and staff demographics, household composition, current housing circumstances, and future housing needs and preferences. This information will help inform ongoing strategic policy discussions related to faculty and staff housing support at UBC.  

To complete the online survey, please visit the secure survey website by March 6, 2016: https://survey.ubc.ca/s/housingneedssurvey

The survey will take approximately 20 minutes to complete, and there is no need to provide your name. The information collected in this survey will be bundled anonymously for analysis and reporting. The final analysis report will be made available on the Housing and Relocation Services website in summer 2016.

Survey respondents are eligible to win one of two Fitbits or an iPad award. If you have any questions about this survey, please contact Housing and Relocation Services at info.facultyhousing@ubc.ca.

Eric Eich
Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President, Academic Affairs

Lisa Castle
Vice-President, Human Resources

Call for nominations to fill a faculty member vacancy on the Vancouver Senate

To: Faculty in Vancouver

A vacancy has opened for one representative of the joint faculties to serve on the Vancouver Senate for the remainder of the 2014–2017 triennium (a term ending August 31, 2017).

This email is a call for nominations in a by-election for the vacant position. All faculty members from the Vancouver Campus are eligible to nominate, run, and vote in this election.

For the purposes of this election, “faculty member” is defined as any one holding the rank of professor (any grade), professor of teaching, instructor (any grade), or 12-month lecturer.  Please note that sessional instructors and emeritus, clinical, adjunct, and honorary professors are not eligible.

Nominations are now open and close on Friday, February 26, 2016 at 4:00 pm. If required, an election will be held online via the WebVote system in late March.

To request a nomination form or for more information, please contact Stephanie Oldford at elections.information@ubc.ca.

 

Kate Ross
Associate Vice-President, Enrolment Services and Registrar

 

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)
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