Share your feedback in the Remote Work survey by May 10

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.

Last fall, UBC introduced a pilot Remote Work program to formalize hybrid work arrangements for faculty and staff, where operationally feasible. We are gaining insights into the Remote Work program and its effects on faculty and staff — as well as on the campuses and the culture of the university more broadly. We are now in a position to evaluate these insights further.

Whether you work remotely/hybrid or on-site, all faculty and staff are invited to share your feedback in the Remote Work survey.

You can access the survey at https://hr.ubc.ca/workplace-surveys.

The survey will take 5-10 minutes to complete. The deadline is 4pm on May 10, 2022. Your individual responses will remain confidential, and survey results will only be reported in aggregate.

Your feedback will help the university consider how future hybrid work arrangements will continue to make UBC an inspiring place for students to learn and for faculty and staff to research, teach and work, as well as help leaders understand how to support their teams. Results can also be used by leaders to understand experiences at the Administrative Unit/Faculty level.

Creating a flexible workplace environment through the Remote Work program supports a range of UBC’s institutional goals, including the attraction and retention of faculty and staff, as well as the university’s commitment to inclusion, wellbeing, and climate action. I encourage you to take time to participate in the survey and help shape the future of work at UBC.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Marcia Buchholz
Vice-President, Human Resources


This message was sent to faculty and staff in Vancouver and the Okanagan.

UBC Broadcast is used to communicate time sensitive, organization-wide information to faculty, staff and students. Learn more


Search for a new Associate Vice-President, Enrolment Services and Registrar

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.

UBC is embarking on a search for a new Associate Vice-President, Enrolment Services and Registrar, following an announcement that Dr. Kate Ross will be retiring.

The Associate Vice-President, Enrolment Services and Registrar plays a key role at UBC, with responsibility for leading Enrolment Services, as well as providing secretariat support to the UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan Senates and the Council of Senates. The Associate Vice-President, Enrolment Services and Registrar also plays a leadership role within the Integrated Renewal Program, which focuses on the upgrade and modernization of UBC’s operations and student information systems.

I have convened a search committee under Board Policy AP11. Members include:

  • Santa Ono, Chair
  • Rehan Sediq, Provost and Vice-President, Academic pro tem, UBC Okanagan
  • Julian Dierkes, Associate Professor, School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, UBC Vancouver
  • Bhushan Gopaluni, Associate Dean, Education and Professional Development, Faculty of Applied Science, UBC Vancouver
  • Robert Campbell, Associate Professor, Okanagan School of Education, UBC Okanagan
  • Jennifer Chin, Associate Registrar & Director, Student Support & Advising, Enrolment Services, UBC Vancouver
  • Leanne Isaak, Associate Director, Student Recruitment and Advising, UBC Okanagan
  • Tommy Zhang, student, UBC Vancouver
  • Saami Hafeez, student, UBC Okanagan

You can learn more about the role at https://president3.sites.olt.ubc.ca/final-advert-ubc-avp-es-and-registrar-april-2022-april-19/. Faculty, staff and students are invited to send comments related to the position profile to president.staff@ubc.ca by May 5, 2022.

As we embark on this search, please also join me in thanking Dr. Ross for her tremendous contributions to UBC over the last eight years.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor


This message was sent to faculty, staff and students in Vancouver and the Okanagan.

UBC Broadcast is used to communicate time sensitive, organization-wide information to faculty, staff and students. Learn more


Masks required in UBC public indoor spaces until June 30

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.

As we approach the end of Winter Session, we would like to recognize all our students, faculty and staff who have continued to demonstrate their resilience and respect for safety measures as we returned to campus for the majority of programs.

Over the last number of weeks, changes have been made to Public Health Orders to reflect the evolution of COVID-19 to a communicable disease, including the end of the requirement to wear masks for some activities and events.

At that time, UBC made the decision to continue to require that masks be worn in public indoor spaces on both campuses until the end of Winter Session on April 30, 2022. This decision was based on evidence that masks are a simple, but important, way to continue to provide all members of the UBC community with an added layer of protection. They also provide an additional layer of protection for our most vulnerable among us.

As there are now signs of further Omicron variants and increased case numbers, experts have indicated that BC is about to enter into a sixth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of these factors, UBC has made the decision to maintain the requirement to wear masks until June 30, 2022.

As a reminder, masks are required in all indoor public spaces on both UBC campuses. You can learn more by reading the UBC COVID-19 Campus Rules at https://srs.ubc.ca/covid-19/ubc-campus-rules-guidance-documents/. Students, faculty and staff who take part in academic activities outside of university campuses are still required to wear a mask if mandated by a Public Health Order; for example, in health care settings.

We appreciate that for many of us it has been a long period of adjusting and adhering to the health and safety protocols required to limit the spread of COVID-19, and while the pandemic is evolving, it is still very much with us. By continuing to follow measures such as wearing masks indoors in public spaces and staying home when sick, we can help keep ourselves and others safe.

UBC is also now transitioning from COVID-19 Safety Plans to a Communicable Disease Prevention Framework in alignment with the BC Centre for Disease Control and WorksafeBC. This means the university will replace the current seven institutional plans, with a single plan to cover all campus activities, effective May 1, 2022.

As we have done throughout the pandemic, UBC will continue to monitor the situation regarding COVID-19, and is well placed to adjust its approach if required. We urge all members of our community to receive their COVID-19 vaccine booster doses as soon as possible. We also encourage you to show empathy and support for your friends and colleagues, understanding that everyone has different circumstances as we move through this pandemic.

Thank you for your continued commitment to UBC.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor

Lesley Cormack
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal, UBC Okanagan


This message was sent to faculty, staff and students in Vancouver and the Okanagan.

UBC Broadcast is used to communicate time sensitive, organization-wide information to faculty, staff and students. Learn more


Invitation to attend the virtual launch of UBC’s Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence task force report

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.

Over the last year, UBC has launched a series of initiatives addressing systemic racism within our community, including forming an Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence (ARIE) task force.

Since beginning its work in March 2021, the ARIE task force has made a series of interim recommendations to address the many forms of systemic racism and to promote inclusive excellence at UBC. We are now pleased to invite you to attend the virtual launch of the ARIE task force report on April 22, 2022. The event will feature remarks from the task force co-chairs and UBC leadership, as well as a panel discussion about the recommendations.

The virtual event details are as follows:

Date: April 22, 2022
Time: 3:30pm to 5pm
RSVP at: https://ubc.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_nB_CR-YTQYKA_MbBBcBLvA

The report signals the completion of the ARIE task force’s work, and delivers 54 recommendations focused on students, faculty, and staff as well as Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour. The recommendations have been reviewed by relevant stakeholder groups as part of an engagement process. Several recommendations have already been implemented, and others are in the planning stage.

The ARIE task force joins the Indigenous Strategic Plan, the Inclusion Action Plan and other projects as primary aspects of UBC’s continuing efforts to address all forms of discrimination and to make for a more equitable and inclusively excellent institution. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the students, faculty, and staff who served as members of the task force, as well as co-chairs Dr. Handel Wright and Dr. Shirley Chau. On behalf of the university, we would like to thank them for their commitment to this difficult but important work.

Looking ahead, there is still much work to be done. We hope you will join us at the virtual launch event to learn more about the issues raised, recommendations made by the ARIE task force, and the next steps UBC will be taking. The full task force report will be made available on April 22 at https://antiracism.ubc.ca.

Steven Lewis Point
Chancellor

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor

Ainsley Carry
Vice-President, Students

Rehan Sadiq
Provost and Vice-President pro tem, Academic, UBC Okanagan


This message was sent to faculty, staff and students in Vancouver and the Okanagan.

UBC Broadcast is used to communicate time sensitive, organization-wide information to faculty, staff and students. Learn more


Leadership change within the Vice-President, Finance and Operations portfolio

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.

It is with very mixed emotions that I wish to announce that Peter Smailes, Vice-President, Finance and Operations, is leaving UBC to take up a new opportunity at Kwantlen Polytechnic University as their Vice-President, Administration.

Peter has worked for UBC for almost 30 years, with the last four years in the role of Vice-President, Finance and Operations. Some time ago, he shared with me his desire to take on a new challenge, and I wish him well in his new role at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

During his time at UBC, Peter has guided the university through capital financing and borrowing, cash management, tax, faculty housing assistance, revenue accounting, business contracts and leases, the relationship with UBC Investment Management Trust and UBC Properties Trust. He also took on the role of Executive Lead for the Integrated Renewal Program, and has provided steady and valued leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.

I would like to extend a special thank you to Peter for his dedication in advancing UBC over his long career. I have greatly valued his collegiality and support around the Executive table, his leadership at UBC and his contributions to the post-secondary sector as a whole.

Peter will be leaving his role at the end of May, at which point Karamjeet Heer will act as interim Vice-President, Finance, and John Metras will act as interim Vice-President, Operations. UBC is very fortunate to have two exceptional individuals to take on these roles, to ensure leadership continuity and to support the transition as we launch the search for a new Vice-President, Finance and Operations.

Although we will miss Peter, I fully understand his desire to take on a new challenge after such a long and distinguished career at UBC. Please join me in wishing him well, and in welcoming Karamjeet Heer and John Metras as interim Vice-Presidents.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor


This message was sent to faculty and staff in Vancouver and the Okanagan.

UBC Broadcast is used to communicate time sensitive, organization-wide information to faculty, staff and students. Learn more


Announcing the Provost and Vice-President, Academic pro tem, UBC Vancouver, and update on search for permanent role

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.

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dean Gage Averill as Provost and Vice-President, Academic pro tem, for UBC Vancouver.

Professor Averill is currently the Dean of the Faculty of Arts at UBC Vancouver and will be wrapping up his second term to take on the pro tem role commencing April 4, 2022. This will allow time for transition, working through the university calendar.

The recommendation of Professor Averill came through an ad-hoc committee last fall, and I would like to thank those committee members for identifying such a strong candidate. Professor Averill brings over a decade of experience leading the Faculty of Arts and engaging in campus-wide initiatives such as the Information Technology Advisory Council, Public Humanities Hub, UBC Health, UBC Sustainability, Flexible Learning, Remote Work, the Joint Consultation Committee with the Faculty Association and others. During his time as Dean, the Faculty of Arts has also built new schools, institutes, research centres, and interdisciplinary programs.

As Professor Averill takes up this pro tem role, I am also launching a full search for a new Provost and Vice-President, Academic, for UBC Vancouver. The role is broad and complex, with responsibilities which include:

  • Providing academic leadership to the Faculties on the UBC Vancouver campus.
  • Recruiting and retaining diverse world-class faculty members and the very best diverse undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Maintaining the highest standards of excellence in delivering undergraduate, graduate and professional education.
  • Leading institutional planning and ensuring the alignment of operating, capital, strategic and other operational resources to academic priorities.
  • Ensuring equity, diversity and inclusive excellence in the implementation of UBC’s strategic plans including: Shaping UBC’s Next Century; the Indigenous Strategic Plan; Inclusion Action Plan; and Climate and Sustainability.
  • Providing the systems, physical and organizational infrastructure necessary to support excellence in research and student learning.

In accordance with UBC Policy AP12, I have established a committee to support this formal search process. The committee consists of:

  • Santa Ono, President and Vice-Chancellor (Chair)
  • Anna Kindler, UBC Board of Governors
  • Mark Mac Lean, UBC Board of Governors
  • Kavie Toor, UBC Board of Governors
  • Alison Brewin, UBC Board of Governors
  • Susan Porter, Dean and Vice-Provost, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
  • Hsingchi Von Bergmann, Vancouver Senate
  • George Tsiakos, Vancouver Senate
  • Eshana Bhangu, Vancouver Senate
  • Sheryl Lightfoot, Senior Advisor to the President on Indigenous Affairs, and Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts
  • Minelle Mahtani, Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts
  • Julia Burnham, Graduate Student
  • Moloud Mazaheri, Undergraduate Student

In the context of the key responsibilities outlined above, I would like to hear from you about the characteristics and qualities you think are important in identifying the Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Vancouver. If you wish to share your thoughts, please email president.staff@ubc.ca.

I would also like to thank Professor Andrew Szeri for his very important contributions during his term as Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Vancouver. Professor Szeri has worked to advance UBC in a number of areas including development of the President’s Academic Excellence Initiative; restructuring of the Academic Excellence Funds; drafting our Strategic Plan, Shaping UBC’s Next Century and increasing student financial aid and recruitment. His leadership through the pandemic was also very appreciated.

Please join me in welcoming Professor Averill to the pro tem role and in thanking Professor Szeri for his leadership. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor


This message was sent to faculty and staff in Vancouver.

UBC Broadcast is used to communicate time sensitive, organization-wide information to faculty, staff and students. Learn more


COVID-19 update: Maintaining masks in UBC public indoor spaces

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.

Today, the BC Provincial Health Officer, Dr Bonnie Henry, announced that the Public Health Order requiring masks to be worn in public indoor spaces is lifted as of March 11, 2022. You can read more at https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2022HLTH0081-000324.

The latest changes indicate that while face coverings will be optional for people in all indoor public settings, individual organizations can choose to continue to require mask wearing on their premises. As such, UBC will continue with the current approach, requiring masks to be worn in public indoor spaces on both campuses, until the end of the 2021/22 Winter Session on April 30, 2022. Learn more about the UBC COVID-19 Campus Rules at https://srs.ubc.ca/covid-19/ubc-campus-rules-guidance-documents/.

Students who are attending academic activities in settings outside of the university campuses are still required to wear a mask if mandated in such settings (for example, health care settings).

Students in residence

As a reminder, students in residence are still bound by a separate Public Health Order until April 8, 2022. You can learn more at:

As you know, public health partners continue to monitor the situation regarding COVID-19, its variants and the distribution of COVID-19 vaccine booster doses across the province. Should there be any changes to public health guidance, UBC is well positioned to re-introduce safety measures, should they be required.

We urge all members of our community to receive their COVID-19 vaccine booster dose. As we approach spring, we would also like to thank our students, faculty and staff for their commitment to the university. Let’s continue to support one another, and create a safe environment for all members of the UBC community.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor

Lesley Cormack
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal, UBC Okanagan


This message was sent to faculty, staff and students in Vancouver and the Okanagan.

UBC Broadcast is used to communicate time sensitive, organization-wide information to faculty, staff and students. Learn more


Search for a new lead for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at UBC

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.

Last fall UBC announced that the Equity and Inclusion Office would be undergoing a leadership change, with the departure of Dr. Sara-Jane Finlay.

I am now pleased to launch a search for a new lead of our Equity and Inclusion Office. As UBC continues to advance its equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives, we will also be exploring ways for this role to provide leadership for accessibility.

The new lead for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion will work to advance human rights; planning and evaluation; education; and systems change across the university. The Equity and Inclusion Office works in partnership with units across both campuses to embed equity, diversity, inclusion and access into the structure, policies and processes of UBC.

I have convened a search committee under Board Policy AP15. Members include:

  • Elsie Achugbue, Director, Institutional Initiatives, Equity and Inclusion Office
  • Jerry Chen, Associate Vice-President, Human Resources
  • Lesley Cormack, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal, UBC Okanagan
  • Eduardo Jovel, Interim Director, First Nations House of Learning
  • Annie Yim, Acting Deputy Registrar and Director, Human Resources, Enrolment Services
  • Henry Yu, Principal, St. John’s College

You can learn more about the role at https://president3.sites.olt.ubc.ca/files/2022/03/avp_di_brief.pdf. Faculty, staff and students are invited to send comments, related to the position profile, to president.staff@ubc.ca by March 21, 2022.

I would once again like to thank Dr. Sara-Jane Finlay for leading the Equity and Inclusion Office since 2015, and to thank Dr. Margaret Moss for currently leading the office on an interim basis. This role is pivotal for the evolving mandate of equity, diversity and inclusion at UBC.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion remains a key strategic priority for me and the university as a whole. I look forward to this process identifying a leader who can continue to help us progress this priority.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor

Please note: This announcement was amended after being issued to reflect the fact that students are invited to send comments in addition to faculty and staff.


This message was sent to faculty and staff in Vancouver and the Okanagan.

UBC Broadcast is used to communicate time sensitive, organization-wide information to faculty, staff and students. Learn more


Announcing the launch of the Centre for Workplace Accessibility

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.

UBC strives to foster inclusive environments for all faculty and staff, where those who are historically, persistently, or systematically marginalized are treated equitably, are respected, and belong.

Informed by UBC’s Inclusion Action Plan, consultations with community members, the Disability Affinity Group, and employment equity data, strategic efforts are underway to work towards the goal of reducing and eliminating barriers for disabled faculty and staff.

As part of this work, Human Resources is pleased to announce the launch of a new Centre for Workplace Accessibility (CWA) at UBC Vancouver. The aim of the CWA will be to help remove barriers, expedite the accommodation process, and where possible, minimize the medicalization of disability by identifying resources, supports, or workplace adjustments.

Effective April 2022, and in partnership with UBC’s Centre for Accessibility, this new supportive office will be housed in a central location on the Vancouver campus. In the coming weeks we will be recruiting three new full-time positions to provide confidential on-site or virtual support. The objectives of the CWA are to:

  • Provide a central location where faculty and staff can confidentially discuss accessibility and accommodation needs, including information on the types of accommodations available, how to access them, and what to expect in the process.
  • Expedite the accommodations process by, for example, purchasing accessible equipment, software, or support services and coordinating implementation where approved.
  • Through a centralized Workplace Accommodation Fund, reduce any legitimate or perceived financial barriers that departments may have when accommodating a faculty or staff member.
  • Wherever possible, minimize the medicalization of disability by identifying resources, supports, or temporary workplace adjustments that can be arranged without requiring supporting medical documentation.
  • Increase awareness and education around inclusive workplace practices and the physical, social, and cultural barriers that exist for disabled faculty and staff.

The process for disability-related workplace accommodations for faculty and staff is currently supported by Workplace Health Services at UBC Vancouver and the Work Reintegration and Accommodation Program at UBC Okanagan. The CWA does not replace these programs, but rather is intended to enhance these resources by creating a central hub for faculty and staff to receive information, resources, and tools, and to support accommodations in order to promote meaningful participation in the workplace.

A Workplace Accommodation Fund will be set up to cover approved and reasonable expenses and reduce any perceived or legitimate financial barriers that departments may have, within acceptable financial limits or by established program guidelines. Funding for the CWA will extend into 2025. Learn more about the CWA at: https://hr.ubc.ca/cwa.

We look forward to the evolution of the CWA and the support it will provide for disabled faculty and staff. This is an important part of UBC’s strategic efforts to ensure it is an inclusive and accessible environment for all our faculty and staff. We will provide further updates as this work progresses.

Marcia Buchholz
Vice-President, Human Resources


This message was sent to faculty and staff in Vancouver.

UBC Broadcast is used to communicate time sensitive, organization-wide information to faculty, staff and students. Learn more


Changes to UBC’s COVID-19 Rapid Testing Program

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 September 2021, UBC launched the COVID-19 Rapid Testing Program and since that time, over 83,000 students, faculty and staff have declared their vaccination status.

The COVID-19 Rapid Testing Program has helped to ensure that over 97 percent of students, faculty and staff are double vaccinated. This level of vaccination, along with other public health measures, has resulted in a very low incidence rate of COVID-19 cases, one of the lowest community rates observed within the province. Thank you to all those who have declared their vaccination status and participated in weekly rapid testing.

The evolution of the virus and the presence of the Omicron variant now indicates that a different public health and safety approach should be taken. In recent weeks, we have seen changes in public health guidance and the lifting of some Public Health Orders, as the wave of the Omicron variant, which now accounts for almost 100% of cases, is subsiding in BC.

Current scientific evidence, including BC data, indicates that COVID-19 vaccination (two doses), continues to be highly effective at preventing severe illness, but has significantly lower effectiveness at preventing transmission of the Omicron variant. Vaccine effectiveness however, after a booster dose, has been shown to be 60% effective at preventing transmission of Omicron. Further details can be found at: https://covid19.ubc.ca/Letter-from-VCH.pdf and https://covid19.ubc.ca/Letter-from-David-Patrick-Sally-Otto-Dan-Coombs.pdf.

This means that regular rapid testing of asymptomatic individuals under the UBC COVID-19 Rapid Testing Program no longer has utility. In light of this, and supported by the UBC Board of Governors, the current Rapid Testing Program will be discontinued. However, we strongly recommend everyone be vaccinated and receive their booster dose, which minimizes the severity of illness and transmission to others. You can learn more at: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/booster.

As of March 1, 2022, the university will no longer require regular rapid testing or vaccine declarations except as needed to comply with the relevant Public Health Orders described below. Other safety measures, including the requirement to wear masks in indoor, public spaces continue as long as required by Public Health Orders. In addition, UBC will issue free rapid testing kits to students, faculty and staff who are on campus. Information about how to access the kits can be found at:

As we see increased activity on our campuses, it is vital that we continue to support those measures which are helping to keep our community safe. As a reminder, all members of the UBC community are required to follow the COVID-19 Campus Rules (https://srs.ubc.ca/covid-19/ubc-campus-rules-guidance-documents/) which includes doing health screening checks before attending campus and wearing masks in indoor, public spaces. These rules will continue to be reviewed and updated as public health guidance changes.

Members of our community under Public Health Orders

Although UBC is standing down the weekly rapid testing program, some members of our community are still bound by Public Health Orders that require proof of vaccination — these are students in residence and students and employees who are based within health care settings (“care locations”). You can learn more at:

Public health partners continue to monitor the situation regarding COVID-19, its variants and the distribution of booster doses across the province. Should there be any changes to public health guidance, UBC is well positioned to reinstate rapid testing or introduce other safety measures, should they be required.

This is a collective effort and we all play a vital role in supporting the UBC community. Please do your part by getting your booster dose and following public health guidance as required. Thank you for supporting a safe environment at UBC.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor

Lesley Cormack
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal, UBC Okanagan


This message was sent to faculty, staff and students in Vancouver and the Okanagan.

UBC Broadcast is used to communicate time sensitive, organization-wide information to faculty, staff and students. Learn more



See all archived messages.