Building a more inclusive UBC: virtual forum

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.

On May 7, we invite you to join us for a virtual forum on UBC’s Inclusion Action Plan to hear about ways that UBC is activating inclusion across the university.

This virtual forum is open to students, faculty and staff. It is an opportunity to learn about UBC’s Inclusion Action Plan, hear leadership perspectives, priorities and efforts, and to participate in a live Q&A with our panelists.

About the event

Hosted by President Santa J. Ono and moderated by Dr. Handel Kashope Wright, participants will hear from the following UBC leaders:

  • Andrew Szeri, Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Vancouver
  • Ananya Mukherjee Reed, Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Okanagan
  • Marcia Buchholz, Vice-President, Human Resources
  • Ainsley Carry, Vice-President, Students
  • Sara-Jane Finlay, Associate Vice-President, Equity & Inclusion

Date: Friday, May 7
Time: 1pm – 2:30pm
Location: Zoom
RSVP at https://ubc.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_47npHDjjS9K_emt4EDk8Uw

About UBC’s Inclusion Action Plan

Building Inclusive UBC: An Inclusion Action Plan, presents an opportunity for UBC to continue developing its potential as a ground-breaking institution, creating global influence through its equitable, diverse, and inclusive campuses.

The emerging research is unequivocal: diversity enhances innovation, and inclusive spaces are required to ensure that diverse teams are able to collaborate effectively. As the world becomes more connected, and UBC focuses on contributing to global citizenship and finding solutions to complex issues, this plan supports our continuing progress.

The action plan is designed to advance five goal areas:

  • Recruitment, retention and success
  • Capacity building
  • Systems change
  • Learning, research, and engagement
  • Accountability

To support the activation of inclusion, the following resources are available:

  • Activate Inclusion: Equity Enhancement Fund
  • UBC Anti-Racism Initiatives Fund
  • Activating Inclusion Toolkit

To access the full plan and associated resources, visit https://equity.ubc.ca/iap.

Please join us as we explore next steps in advancing inclusion at UBC and learn how the plan might impact you and your work.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor

Sara-Jane Finlay
Associate Vice-President, Equity & Inclusion


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Update on UBC’s Campus Return Plan

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Last month I wrote to you confirming that we are planning for a return to on-campus activity for Winter Session, Term 1, with the guidance of the Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, and public health teams in the health authorities. As we prepare for this increase in on-campus activity, I am writing to provide you with further updates outlined below.

Importantly, I would first like to recognize all our students, faculty and staff for your resilience and sense of purpose in responding to the challenges that COVID-19 has presented over this past year. We are watching the course of the pandemic carefully, with the recent rise in cases and new variants of the virus. We are also seeing accelerated progress on the immunization campaign, and are working closely with public health officials at the provincial and regional levels on our plans in this rapidly changing environment.

While it is critical that we continue to be vigilant and adhere to public health measures, we have reason to be optimistic as the vaccine reaches more people. We look forward to a September return to campus and continuing UBC’s excellence in teaching, learning and research.

Course delivery and student housing

Faculties are currently planning the fall course schedule, with as much on-campus instruction for our students as possible, subject to ongoing public health guidance. Certain courses, or elements of courses, will continue online. Details on the mode of delivery will be confirmed by Faculties before the course schedule is finalized in mid-May. In collaboration with other post-secondary institutions across BC and Canada, we are working to address issues related to study permits and quarantine procedures for those students coming from abroad.

UBC Student Housing will accommodate upper-year and graduate students in our Winter Session (September to April) residences on both campuses and year-round residences in Vancouver. UBC Student Housing also plans to provide Winter Session accommodation for eligible first-year residents in all first-year residence communities beginning this fall.

Upper-year students who have applied for Winter Session and/or year-round residence should continue to monitor their waitlist numbers as we will continue to send offers, based on availability. First-year students who are eligible for the First Year Guarantee will receive an update regarding their housing application in mid-June.

We recognize that many undergraduate students will be entering their second year, but will be part of the campus community for the first time. We have given significant consideration to this unique situation and, while we do not have the capacity to provide student housing this fall for all second-year students, we have taken steps to increase their likelihood of being offered housing.

Orientation and extracurricular activities

Orientation programs will be available for new-to-UBC students for Winter Session, Term 1, as well as other extracurricular activities. The nature of the activity and whether it will be in-person or virtual (or a combination of the two) will be confirmed as we work with public health to ensure the safety of these activities.

Research

A series of virtual town halls have been scheduled to hear from faculty in Vancouver and the Okanagan about the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on their research and scholarly activities. Organized by the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation, these town halls will run from April 27 to May 10. For more information and to register, visit https://research.ubc.ca/research-and-scholarship-town-halls.

Remote working

This past year has required many organizations, including UBC, to pivot to working remotely for most employees. Many faculty and staff who could not perform their work remotely, served with dedication throughout the pandemic to follow through on their responsibilities on campus. Now as we plan to return to on-campus activity, we have an opportunity to reflect and innovate as we consider future work practices and requirements.

With this in mind, the university recently sought feedback from faculty and staff, via a survey on the impact of remote work and how we might approach this over the longer term. As we plan for an increase in on-campus activities, we are concurrently developing a remote work approach suitable for some employees, with a targeted announcement date of mid-June. You can read more details athttps://ubctoday.ubc.ca/news/april-04-2021/ubcs-approach-working-remotely.

COVID-19 vaccine rollout

It is vital that members of our community support the provincial vaccine program and I urge you to register for vaccination as soon as you are eligible. Vaccines are the best way to protect against COVID-19. They do more than protect you, they also protect everyone around you. I recently received my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, in accordance with my age and eligibility. The more people in a community who are immunized against COVID-19, the harder it is for the virus to spread. As we look globally, jurisdictions where a large portion of the population is vaccinated are experiencing a much lower burden of infection than just a few months ago. You can learn more at https://immunizebc.ca/.

Keeping our community safe

Dr. Bonnie Henry has been clear that UBC and other post-secondary institutions should be confident that a return to on-campus instruction and increased levels of on-campus research activity can be undertaken safely and successfully. With more in-person activity, we should expect to continue to support our community by maintaining some of the public health and social measures that we have become familiar with and responsible for over this past year.

We also know that in the unexpected event that public health guidance changes in September, we have the ability to pivot, reflecting our commitment to the health and safety of our UBC community. We will be streamlining the COVID-19 Safety Plan process, informed by new COVID-19 Go-Forward Guidelines for B.C.’s Post-Secondary Sector, which will be provided by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training. More information about the safety planning process will be provided as it becomes available.

Useful FAQs

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have posted useful FAQs and resources athttps://covid19.ubc.ca/ and https://ok.ubc.ca/covid19/. We now have additional FAQs to help inform and support our UBC community, with regard to the Campus Return Plan. Further updates and FAQs will be posted in the coming weeks and months.

Thank you again to all our community members. COVID-19 has required us to be agile in our response as the situation continually evolves; however, we remain committed to returning to the vibrancy of our campus activities in the fall.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor


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Share your voice by April 16 to help shape UBC’s Climate Action Plan

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 2019, UBC declared a climate emergency, which included a commitment to accelerate the reduction of emissions at UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan. A key step is UBC’s development of a Climate Action Plan 2030 (CAP 2030) for both campuses.

This ambitious initiative is aimed at implementing strategies that will result in emissions reductions from UBC’s core operations by 2030 through clean energy solutions and energy-efficient technologies, along with identifying new ways to reduce emissions through our day-to-day activities, including commuting, food, waste and air travel.

CAP 2030 helps advance our strategic plan: Shaping UBC’s Next Century (https://strategicplan.ubc.ca/) and supports the university to further key commitments of its climate emergency declaration. This work builds on past successes in climate change mitigation and action on both campuses, which have seen a significant reduction in emissions from core operations. The plans are also informed by the feedback we received from UBC students, faculty and staff through the climate emergency engagement process.

In order to be successful in our ambitions, we as an institution need to take a collective approach — in which we all make decisions that have positive impact and take responsibility for how we can support CAP 2030. Key to this process is sharing your voice on the emerging plan and the role it can play in advancing UBC’s commitment to tackling climate change.

How to get involved

Starting today, UBC is launching a three-week university-wide engagement process to create awareness about the climate action plans emerging on each campus, answer questions, and hear your perspectives. You can get involved in a variety of ways:

  • Learn more about the emerging directions of UBC’s CAP 2030.
  • Attend a virtual webinar to understand more about our evolving CAP 2030 initiative through a presentation and discussion.
  • Share your voice in a survey and let us know how we can work collectively to reduce emissions in the coming years.

You can learn more about CAP 2030, access the online survey and register for a virtual webinar below.

UBC Vancouver: https://planning.ubc.ca/climate-action-plan-2030.
UBC Okanagan: https://sustain.ok.ubc.ca/cap/.

I strongly encourage you to participate in the survey, to help us shape CAP 2030 and determine the way forward. It will take less than 10 minutes to complete and responses will be confidential. The deadline for responses is 4pm on April 16, 2021. By sharing your thoughts, you will help inform our ongoing discussions around CAP 2030 and help us identify different ways in which we can achieve our CAP 2030 goals and ambitions.

As one of the world’s leading universities, UBC plays a critical role in being responsive to society’s key issues. In developing CAP 2030, careful consideration is being given to defining ways to reduce greenhouse emissions in an equitable manner. We believe this will position UBC as a model for demonstrating how universities can mobilize to address the climate crisis through bold, impactful actions.

I encourage you to add your voice to the dialogue and support this important initiative.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor


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Celebrate UBC global engagement at the strategy launch

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We are delighted to announce the launch of In Service, UBC’s global engagement strategy. We invite students, faculty, staff and international partners near and far to join us for a virtual event, where we will share the strategy and vision behind In Service, host a lively discussion and honour this significant milestone together.

In Service will serve as the university’s roadmap for global engagement over the next decade. UBC continues to transform itself to meet the challenges of our time, and we believe the university has an important role to play in building a sustainable, just society.

About the event

The celebration will include local and global speakers in conversation on what it means to be a university in service to the world through equitable collaboration – from research on issues of global relevance to capacity development work and global educational experiences.

Date: April 12
Time: 8:30–9:45 am PST
RSVP by April 6 — to reserve your spot and submit discussion questions: https://global.ubc.ca/strategy-launch-event.

About the strategy

UBC’s global engagement strategy, In Service, sets a path to harness the university’s resources and strengths for the greater good. Embracing the view that universities should address issues of global relevance and work collaboratively with partners from a range of sectors and geographies, the strategy will guide our global partnerships, educational initiatives, research collaborations and community engagement endeavors, building on our strong foundation of international alliances and networks. (For more information and to read the strategy, visit: https://global.ubc.ca/ubc-global-engagement-strategy.)

With the aim of fostering global citizenship and contributing to a better world, In Service details four themes:

  • UBC as a “global actor”
  • Students as global citizens
  • Issues of global relevance
  • Developing global capacity

Over a comprehensive, two-year public consultation process, UBC, local and global community members helped craft the strategy, including students, faculty, staff, UBC leadership, residents and community leaders. It has truly been a community effort — and we are grateful to all for their valuable contributions.

Please join us to mark this exciting new direction for the university. We look forward to seeing you online on April 12.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor

Murali Chandreshekaran
Vice-Provost, International


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Update on UBC’s spring graduation ceremonies

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This morning, I contacted students who are due to graduate this spring with details of their virtual ceremony.

In light of the current restrictions related to COVID-19, we are not yet permitted to hold mass in-person gatherings. As we did in 2020, we look forward to celebrating our graduates at a virtual ceremony, on Wednesday, June 2, 2021. We will hold one ceremony for students graduating from UBC Vancouver that morning, and one ceremony for students graduating from UBC Okanagan that afternoon.

I know what an important event this is for our faculty members in particular, to see our students successfully completing their years of study. While I understand this virtual ceremony will not be the same as seeing our students graduate in person, it is an opportunity to come together as a community to celebrate their outstanding achievements. Whether you know someone who is graduating this spring or not, I encourage you to take the time to join me in celebrating the achievements of the Class of 2021.

Last week, we announced that UBC is planning for a return to on-campus activities in September. We have also previously stated our commitment to holding an in-person graduation ceremony for the Class of 2021, when it is safe to do so. The health and wellbeing of our UBC community remain our first priority, and we are embarking on planning for on-campus activities, in collaboration with public health.

We will advise you on our plans to hold an in-person graduation ceremony for the Class of 2021 when we have more information. In the meantime, I hope you and your families stay healthy and safe.

For more information, visit graduation.ubc.ca.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor


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Increased on-campus activity for the 2021/22 Winter Session

Today, Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, provided information for B.C. public post-secondary institutions to guide planning for a return to on-campus activity this fall.

Based on current immunization timelines and vaccine approvals, and with strong and effective safety plans in place, I can confirm that UBC is planning for a return to on-campus activity for Winter Session, Term 1, in September.

Dr. Henry is clear that post-secondary institutions, such as UBC, should be confident that a return to on-campus instruction and increased levels of on-campus research activity can be undertaken safely and successfully. Recently, the Provincial Health Office indicated that current projections of the COVID-19 vaccine supply in B.C. suggest everyone, who is eligible, will receive a vaccination by mid-summer.

It is important to stress that the health and wellbeing of our UBC community remain our first priority. As such, we are embarking on further planning, in collaboration with public health, to accommodate more on-campus activities. This includes transit planning; quarantine arrangements for international students (if required); options for on-site immunization; and the availability of study spaces.

We are also streamlining the COVID-19 Safety Plan process, informed by new Go-Forward Guidelines, which will be provided by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training. More information about the safety planning process will be provided as it becomes available.

Updates regarding the fall course schedule and various orientation activities will be provided in the coming weeks. We will also provide specific information regarding student housing and course registration as we approach housing allocation and registration periods.

As we work towards more in-person activity, we will continue to support our community in maintaining the preventive practices of daily health self-assessment; hand hygiene; wearing non-medical masks; early detection and testing; and isolation, when indicated — the public health and social measures that we have all become familiar with and responsible for over this past year.

We will keep you informed as planning progresses. In the meantime, you are encouraged to visit https://covid19.ubc.ca and https://ok.ubc.ca/covid19 for general updates as they become available.

For our faculty and staff, unless specified in your Faculty/unit’s COVID-19 Safety Plan, remote work arrangements should continue to stay in place at this time.

Thank you to all our students, faculty and staff for your perseverance as we continue to navigate COVID-19 and its impact on our daily lives. We look forward to seeing our UBC community return, making our campuses vibrant once more.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor


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

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This message includes a small correction since its issue date.


Increased on-campus activity for the 2021/22 Winter Session

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, Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, provided information for B.C. public post-secondary institutions to guide planning for a return to on-campus activity this fall.

Based on current immunization timelines and vaccine approvals, and with strong and effective safety plans in place, I can confirm that UBC is planning for a return to on-campus activity for Winter Session, Term 1, in September.

Dr. Henry is clear that post-secondary institutions, such as UBC, should be confident that a return to on-campus instruction and increased levels of on-campus research activity can be undertaken safely and successfully. Recently, the Provincial Health Office indicated that current projections of the COVID-19 vaccine supply in B.C. suggest everyone, who is eligible, will receive a vaccination by mid-summer.

It is important to stress that the health and wellbeing of our UBC community remain our first priority. As such, we are embarking on further planning, in collaboration with public health, to accommodate more on-campus activities. This includes transit planning; quarantine arrangements for international students (if required); options for on-site immunization; and the availability of study spaces.

We are also streamlining the COVID-19 Safety Plan process, informed by new Go-Forward Guidelines, which will be provided by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training. More information about the safety planning process will be provided as it becomes available.

Updates regarding the fall course schedule and various orientation activities will be provided in the coming weeks. We will also provide specific information regarding student housing and course registration as we approach housing allocation and registration periods.

As we work towards more in-person activity, we will continue to support our community in maintaining the preventive practices of daily health self-assessment; hand hygiene; wearing non-medical masks; early detection and testing; and isolation, when indicated — the public health and social measures that we have all become familiar with and responsible for over this past year.

We will keep you informed as planning progresses. In the meantime, you are encouraged to visit https://covid19.ubc.ca and https://ok.ubc.ca/covid19 for general updates as they become available.

For our faculty and staff, unless specified in your Faculty/unit’s COVID-19 Safety Plan, remote work arrangements should continue to stay in place at this time.

Thank you to all our students, faculty and staff for your perseverance as we continue to navigate COVID-19 and its impact on our daily lives. We look forward to seeing our UBC community return, making our campuses vibrant once more.

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

This message includes a small correction since its issue date.


Share your feedback in the Workplace Preferences Survey by March 3

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 COVID-19 continues to impact the way we teach, perform research, and work, we would like to invite faculty and staff to share your feedback on working at UBC over the past year in the Workplace Preferences Survey.

Some of you may have already participated in this survey, which was deployed last August for faculty and staff in Vancouver, as well as for faculty and staff in the Okanagan in January. We would like to understand what changes may have occurred to your experience since we last surveyed. We are now inviting all faculty and staff at UBC Vancouver to take part, and share how COVID-19 has impacted your experience of working remotely or on campus.

You can access the survey at https://hr.ubc.ca/workplace-surveys. The survey will take about five minutes to complete and responses will be confidential. The deadline is 4pm on Wednesday, March 3, 2021.

Whether you have completed a survey in recent months, or are sharing your feedback for the first time, we want to hear from you. Your comments will inform ongoing discussions about what the UBC workplace might look like in the future, as we continue to support the gradual resumption of activity on our campuses.

Marcia Buchholz
Vice-President, Human Resources


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External audit of gender diversity

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External audit of gender diversity

Last March, UBC formed a Trans, Two-Spirit, and Gender Diversity Task Force, comprised of students, faculty and staff from both campuses. As part of their work to build a more inclusive UBC, the group has engaged the services of TransFocus Consulting, to conduct an independent, university-wide audit of gender diversity inclusion.

Gender diversity encompasses all the ways in which individuals identify with and express their gender. As part of the audit, all UBC students, faculty and staff are encouraged to participate in an online survey to share their experiences and ideas related to gender diversity across several themes. You can access the survey using the link below:

https://equity.ubc.ca/gdasurvey

The deadline for participating is March 15, 2021. All responses are confidential and will help inform recommendations for greater inclusion of transgender, Two-Spirit and gender diverse (T2SGD) students, faculty and staff at UBC.

In addition to the online survey, TransFocus Consulting will conduct intersectional focus groups with members of the UBC community who self-identify as T2SGD and who are also Black, Indigenous, people of colour, and/or people with disabilities.

For more information about the university-wide audit, including how to participate in the intersectional focus groups, please visit https://equity.ubc.ca/trans-two-spirit-and-gender-diversity-task-force/overview-of-gender-diversity-audit/.

Please note that the data collected through the survey and focus groups may also be used in academic research. Dr. Sara-Jane Finlay, Associate Vice-President, Equity & Inclusion, is the Principal Investigator for the study (Behavior Research Ethics Board ID #H20-03431) and can be contacted at sara-jane.finlay@ubc.ca or 604 822 5454.

Everyone’s voice is critical to enhancing the university’s practices, policies, and systems related to gender diversity. Please take a moment to participate in the survey and help make UBC a safe and inclusive place for people across the gender spectrum to live, learn, and work as they are.

Andrew Szeri
Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Vancouver

Lesley Cormack
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal, UBC Okanagan

Ainsley Carry
Vice-President, Students

Marcia Buchholz
Vice-President, Human Resources

Sara-Jane Finlay
Associate Vice-President, Equity & Inclusion


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2021 President’s awards for staff: Call for nominations

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.

Each year through the President’s staff awards, we recognize and celebrate staff members who demonstrate outstanding achievement and excellence within the UBC community, and who enable us to shape the future of research, teaching, and work.

Once again, I invite you to nominate your colleagues for the 2021 awards. Nominations may be submitted by faculty, staff, and students. The deadline for nominations is 4pm on March 19, 2021.

There are two award programs, each with distinct criteria and eligibility.

 

President’s Service Awards for Excellence

This is the premier staff award at UBC, and honours staff with sustained exceptional contribution. All staff with five or more years of continuous service are eligible for this award. Up to five recipients receive a medal and $5,000 each.

 

President’s Staff Awards

The President’s Staff Awards honour exceptional contribution in specific areas that are important to UBC. All staff at UBC Vancouver with two or more years of continuous service are eligible for this award. Up to 14 recipients are selected each year (two per category), and recipients receive $2,000 each. The President’s Staff Awards recognize contributions in the following categories:

  • Advancing Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence (individuals or groups may be nominated)
  • Wellbeing (individuals or groups may be nominated)
  • Leadership
  • Emerging Leadership
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Enhancing the UBC Experience (individuals or groups may be nominated)
  • Community Engagement

To download the nomination package, visit: https://focusonpeople.ubc.ca/awards/presidents-awards-for-staff/.

To read about past award recipients, visit the Focus on People website: https://focusonpeople.ubc.ca/2020/09/03/2020-presidents-awards-for-staff-recipients/.

I encourage you to take the time to nominate your colleagues, and help demonstrate the excellent work of our staff at UBC.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor


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