Support this year’s UBC United Way campaign

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Coming together and making a difference for our community is something we value at UBC. During our annual United Way Campaign, we want to encourage you to unite behind this cause to enhance health, care and inclusivity within our local communities. We’re pleased to announce that the UBC United Way campaign officially launches on October 6 in Vancouver and the Okanagan.

United Way British Columbia is strengthening the vital connections for many vulnerable individuals and families. As part of our UBC community, you can make an impact for our neighbours by continuing to support this great cause. As we continue to come together whether virtually or in person, we will make a difference for those around us.

This coming Thursday, you will receive an email from pledge@unitedway.ubc.cainviting you to make a payroll pledge online — we encourage you to show your support and become a donor. Our goal this year is to inspire 1,100 UBC faculty and staff across both campuses to contribute to the campaign.

To learn more about the UBC United Way campaign, visit:

Thank you in advance for supporting United Way during this year’s campaign. Whether you give your time, energy or financial support, your contribution makes a significant impact.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor

Lesley Cormack
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal, UBC Okanagan


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UBC appoints Dr. Deborah Buszard as Interim President and Vice-Chancellor

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As you are aware, President Santa Ono is leaving in mid-October to become President of the University of Michigan. As the Board of Governors prepares to commence the search for UBC’s next President and Vice-Chancellor, we are pleased to announce that Dr. Deborah Buszard has been appointed as Interim President and Vice-Chancellor.

Dr. Buszard held the position of Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal of our UBC Okanagan campus between 2012 and 2020. In that capacity she provided overall leadership to UBC Okanagan and was a core member of UBC’s executive leadership team.

Originally from the UK, Dr. Buszard’s research background is in plant science with a focus on fruit crops, and has current scholarly interests in global agriculture and food innovation, sustainability, and organizational and system transformation. Prior to joining UBC in 2012, she was a founding member of the College of Sustainability at Dalhousie University and served as Dean of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and Associate Vice-Principal of McGill University’s Macdonald campus.

Dr. Buszard begins her tenure as Interim President on October 14 and will continue in the role until the new President and Vice-Chancellor has been appointed. We look forward to working with her to continue progressing the university’s core purpose of teaching and research as well as furthering key strategic initiatives including Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence, Sustainability and Climate Action, and Indigenous Reconciliation and Engagement. We are confident that, in partnership with the UBC Executive and the Deans, Dr. Buszard will build on the success of recent years and continue to grow UBC’s reputation as a globally-leading centre of teaching, learning and research.

As we welcome Dr. Buszard into this role, we would like to once again thank our outgoing President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Santa Ono, for his dedication and commitment to the university. We wish him every success at the University of Michigan.

We look forward to providing further updates about the President search as it progresses.

Nancy McKenzie
Chair, UBC Board of Governors


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Share your thoughts on proposed amendments to the Policy on Academic Freedom by October 24

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Students, faculty and staff at UBC are invited to comment on proposed changes to the university’s Policy on Academic Freedom by October 24, 2022.

Academic freedom is one of UBC’s five core values. The university has an Academic Freedom Policy in place to ensure community members are granted certain rights and privileges essential to the fulfilment of teaching and the pursuit of knowledge.

The Academic Freedom Policy has not been updated since its inception in 1977. In response to feedback from the community, proposed amendments have been made to the policy.

Your feedback will help ensure that UBC continues to uphold the academic freedom of its scholarly community.

For more information about the policy, and to share your feedback, visit:https://senate.ubc.ca/consultation-policy-on-academic-freedom/.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Gage Averill
Provost and Vice-President, Academic, pro tem, UBC Vancouver

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


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National day of mourning in honour of Queen Elizabeth II on September 19

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Earlier today, the federal government declared September 19 as a day of mourning in honour of Queen Elizabeth II to coincide with her funeral in London, U.K. The Province of BC followed suit recognizing this day as a public holiday.

In recognition of the Prime Minister’s announcement and based on direction from the Province, UBC will be observing this day as a national day of mourning on both campuses and our distributed learning sites. Classes will be cancelled and university employees will receive this day off subject to operational requirements.

Queen Elizabeth’s death marks the end of an era. The Queen had an unrelenting commitment to service and leaves behind an extraordinary legacy. To read UBC’s statement on the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, visit: https://president.ubc.ca/statement/2022/09/08/queen_elizabeth/

To learn more about this provincial holiday, visit:https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2022PREM0063-001379

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor


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Welcome to the new academic year

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Welcome back to campus and the start of the 2022/23 academic year! I hope you all had a good summer.

I’ve always loved September because it is filled with promise, with excitement, and with joy.

This week, UBC welcomes thousands of new and returning students, and later this month we can look forward to Homecoming.

You’ll find out more about how we’re welcoming back our students, our plans for Homecoming, and for keeping our campuses healthy and safe (as well as an exciting video overview of UBC), in my latest blog post at https://president.ubc.ca/homepage-feature/2022/09/06/welcome-back/.

To everyone — students, faculty and staff — best wishes for an amazing year.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor


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Ensuring a safe start to the 2022/23 academic year

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As you know, we are about to begin the 2022/23 academic year. Whether you are a student, faculty or staff, we hope you enjoy the energy that comes with the start of winter session.

We are aware that members of our community may have questions related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As we announced in June of this year, UBC no longer requires students, faculty and staff to wear non-medical masks, but we continue to recommend that masks be worn in indoor public spaces.

As a reminder, students, faculty and staff who take part in academic activities in health settings on campus or outside of university campuses may still be required to wear a mask if mandated by a Public Health Order.

This approach reflects advice from our internal experts and public health guidance, as well as discussions with student leaders, Deans, Senate Planning Committee and unions, and is in alignment with other BC public post-secondary institutions.

We also want to take this opportunity to remind you of the safety measures we can all take:

  • Know the symptoms of COVID-19 and complete a daily health assessment. If you are sick, stay at home. Learn about the self-assessment tool at https://bc.thrive.health.
  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Follow the measures outlined in the COVID-19 Campus Rules. You can learn more at https://srs.ubc.ca/covid-19/ubc-campus-rules-guidance-documents.
  • We strongly recommend that all UBC community members get vaccinated and if eligible, receive their booster dose. You can learn more at https://immunizebc.ca.
  • Don’t forget, in BC, free vaccines are available to students arriving from international destinations and other provinces.

UBC will continue to monitor the situation regarding COVID-19, and is well placed to adjust its approach should circumstances change. Wishing you a safe and successful start to the academic year.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor

Lesley Cormack
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal, UBC Okanagan


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Announcing the search for a new President and Vice-Chancellor

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Last month, UBC announced that President Santa Ono is leaving the university in mid-October to become the President of the University of Michigan. In light of this announcement, UBC is now embarking on a search for a new President and Vice-Chancellor.

The President and Vice-Chancellor provides oversight and direction for the operation of the university, in accordance with the strategic framework and directions of our governing bodies, the Board of Governors and the Senates. In this role, the President shares the university’s vision, promotes its values, embraces its mission and ensures that it meets its goals.

The Board of Governors, with the approval of the Senates, has established guiding principles and procedures that outline the membership of the Presidential Search Committee, which includes a number of elected members. The university is now inviting nominations from faculty and staff to serve on the search committee, as follows:

  • Two faculty members from UBC Vancouver
  • One faculty member from UBC Okanagan
  • One full-time staff member from UBC Vancouver or UBC Okanagan

Additional members of the search committee are selected by the Board of Governors, the Okanagan and Vancouver Senates, the Okanagan and Vancouver Deans, alumni UBC, and the Alma Mater Society, the Graduate Student Society, and UBC Students’ Union Okanagan.

Nominations will close at 4pm on September 16, 2022. For nomination forms and eligibility information, please visit: https://facultystaff.students.ubc.ca/2022-presidential-search-committee.

Once the committee is established, there will be further updates regarding the process, including ways in which you can provide input. For more information, visit: https://bog.ubc.ca/board-committees/presidential-search-committee/.

During the search process for a new President and Vice-Chancellor, the Board of Governors will be appointing an Acting President for UBC. This is a key priority for the Board, and further updates regarding the appointment of an Acting President will be shared in the coming weeks.

Nancy McKenzie
Chair, UBC Board of Governors

Kate Ross
Associate Vice-President, Enrolment Services and Registrar


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Consideration of the reappointment of UBC Chancellor

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Please note: This message is sent on behalf of the UBC Alumni Association (alumni UBC).

In July 2020, the Honourable Steven Lewis Point, the former Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, became UBC’s 19th Chancellor and the first Indigenous person to hold the position. As he approaches the end of his first three-year term, he is now being considered for reappointment.

The Chancellor is the senior statesperson of the university and serves as the titular head. This role advocates for the vision of the university, and plays an essential ambassadorial role in strengthening UBC’s relationship with key stakeholders, alumni and the community the university serves. The Chancellor is chair of the convocation, confers degrees granted by UBC and is a member, ex officio, of the Board of Governors, Vancouver Senate, Okanagan Senate, Council of Senates and the alumni UBC Board of Directors. The position is voluntary.

As part of the reappointment process, the university is inviting nominations from students, faculty and staff to serve on an advisory committee as follows:

  • Two faculty members from UBC Vancouver
  • One faculty member from UBC Okanagan
  • One undergraduate student from UBC Vancouver
  • One undergraduate student from UBC Okanagan
  • One graduate student from either UBC Vancouver or UBC Okanagan
  • One staff member from UBC Vancouver
  • One staff member from UBC Okanagan

Once the committee is established there will be further updates regarding the process, including ways in which you can provide input. The terms of reference can be found at www.alumni.ubc.ca/about/chancellor-reappointment.

Nominations will close at 4:00pm on Friday, August 19, 2022. For nomination forms and eligibility information, please visit: www.facultystaff.students.ubc.ca/2022-chancellor-reappointment-committee-elections.

Debra Doucette
Chair, alumni UBC Board of Directors

Kate Ross
Associate Vice-President, Enrolment Services and Registrar


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President Santa Ono leaving UBC to take up new role

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It is with mixed emotions that I am writing to announce that President Santa Ono will be leaving UBC in mid-October to become President of the University of Michigan. On behalf of the UBC Board of Governors, I would like to express our deep gratitude to President Ono for his six years of leadership at UBC, and congratulate him on this appointment.

Through his dedication and commitment, President Ono has led the development and implementation of many significant initiatives at the university. These include UBC’s Strategic Plan: Shaping UBC’s Next Century; initiating an academic renewal program through the President’s Academic Excellence Initiative; raising more than $217 million in scholarships for students through the Blue and Gold Campaign; launching the Indigenous Strategic Plan and UBC’s commitment to lead in Truth and Reconciliation and implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and, establishing the Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence task force to address systemic racism. Together with our students, faculty and staff, the university declared a climate emergency, and created an ambitious climate action plan. In addition, President Ono has led the university as it navigates the global pandemic, keeping the community safe and maintaining financial stability, while ensuring UBC continues to deliver excellence in its academic mission.

President Ono has published his own letter to the UBC community, which you can read at https://president.ubc.ca/homepage-feature/2022/07/13/statement-to-the-ubc-community/. He has also expressed his personal commitment to working with the UBC Board of Governors as we transition to appoint an Acting President. The Board intends to move quickly to begin the search process for a new President and Vice-Chancellor of UBC, and will communicate plans in the coming weeks.

On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank the UBC Executive and the Deans for their ongoing leadership which will ensure the university transitions smoothly and key strategic initiatives continue as planned.

Finally, on a personal note, I would like to offer my own thanks to President Ono for his contributions to UBC. His strong leadership and collaborative working style will be missed. Please join me in congratulating him on his new appointment at the University of Michigan.

Nancy McKenzie
Chair, UBC Board of Governors


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Announcing the search for a new Vice-President, Finance and Operations

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In April, I announced that Peter Smailes, Vice-President, Finance and Operations, was leaving UBC to take up a new opportunity. I have now launched a search for a new Vice-President, Finance and Operations, and am seeking your views on the qualities you’d like to see in this appointment.

The Vice-President, Finance and Operations, reports to the President and provides strategic leadership to the Finance and Operations portfolio — to accomplish the vision, commitments, goals, and actions of the university’s Strategic Plan: Shaping UBC’s Next Century.

Responsibilities include oversight of the university budget, treasury and operations, including Workday Finance, on both Vancouver and Okanagan campuses, as well as overseeing the relationship with organizations such as the UBC Investment Management Trust and UBC Properties Trust.

In accordance with UBC Board Policy AP14, I have established a committee to support this search process and recommend a suitable candidate for the position. The committee consists of:

  • Santa Ono, President and Vice-Chancellor (Chair)
  • Azim Lalani, Governor
  • Jessie Dusangh, Governor
  • Gage Averill, Provost and Vice-President, Academic pro tem, UBC Vancouver
  • Meigan Aronson, Dean, Faculty of Science, UBC Vancouver
  • Kin Lo, Senior Associate Dean, Students, Sauder School of Business, and Senator
  • Gino DiLabio, Dean, Irving K. Barber Faculty of Science, UBC Okanagan, and Senator
  • Eshana Bhangu, President, Alma Mater Society (AMS)
  • Vrushank Kekre, Vice-President Finance and Administration, Students’ Union UBC Okanagan (SUO)
  • Clara Ng, Assistant Dean, Operations and Strategic Initiatives, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Jennifer Sanguinetti, Managing Director, Infrastructure Development, UBC Facilities
  • Rob Einarson, Associate Vice-President, Finance and Operations, UBC Okanagan
  • Rae Ann Aldridge, Executive Director, Safety & Risk Services
  • Julie Wagemakers, Executive Director, Office of the President (Secretary)

To assist the search committee in their efforts, we would appreciate input from interested faculty, staff and students on the following questions:

  1. What do you see as some of the key opportunities and challenges ahead of the Vice-President, Finance and Operations, in the coming years?
  2. What experience and personal qualities would you want an ideal candidate to bring to the role?
  3. Any other comments that might be useful to the committee?
  4. Any suggestions of potential candidates for this role?

To share your views, please email any comments by July 15, 2022 to president.staff@ubc.ca. All responses will be kept strictly confidential.

Thank you in advance for your feedback.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor


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