Share your thoughts on the search for a new President and Vice-Chancellor

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As you know, UBC is in the midst of a search for a new President and Vice-Chancellor. We recently invited you to share comments via an online survey. We now want to invite you to join a virtual forum and share your views related to the skills and qualities you want to see in the next President of UBC.

Below are details of the virtual forums:

UBC Okanagan
Open to students, faculty and staff at UBC Okanagan
11am to 12pm
February 1, 2023
Register at: https://boyden.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcpc-ChrD8iEtwQWHZ_Ko8z0DN1LP1wyQEI

UBC Vancouver
Open to students, faculty and staff at UBC Vancouver
12pm to 1pm
February 2, 2023
Register at: https://boyden.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEqcuGurTMvGdDPyHtsM_extAuFWsYrY4J8

UBC Students
Open to all students from both campuses and other learning sites
2pm to 3pm
February 2, 2023
Register at: https://boyden.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUkdO2srzMoGNc4CImXLlhm3B8qO3ijxcsK

UBC Community
Open to all students, faculty and staff from both campuses and other learning sites
2pm to 3pm
February 24, 2023
Register at: https://boyden.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0sdO6prDkqHNy3ZEucKt7Ujt-6dXJVnF8J

During the sessions, you will hear a brief update on the process, followed by an invitation to directly share your comments or questions related to:

  • What are the key opportunities and/or challenges facing UBC and its next President and Vice-Chancellor?
  • What is the ideal experience and/or qualities of the next UBC President and Vice-Chancellor?

All sessions will be recorded and later reviewed by the Presidential Search Committee.

As a reminder, if you are unable to attend a virtual forum, you can share your views via an online survey at https://chkmkt.com/ubcpresident. The survey closes on February 23, 2023.

Additional information on the search process can be found at: https://bog.ubc.ca/board-committees/presidential-search-committee/.

Finding our next President and Vice-Chancellor is crucial to the ongoing success of UBC. I encourage you to add your voice to the discussion, either by attending a forum or completing the survey.

Thank you for being part of this important process.

The Honourable Steven Point
Chancellor and Chair of the Presidential Search Committee


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Attend a virtual forum on UBC’s anti-racism commitments

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In April 2022, UBC launched the Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence (ARIE) task force report. The ARIE report contained 54 recommendations aimed at addressing racism at the university and focused on students, faculty and staff as well as Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour.

Since the publication of the report – and building on seven related initiatives already underway – UBC has taken steps to advance and resource this work. This includes new initiatives as well as the appointment of a new Associate Vice-President, Equity and Inclusion – Dr. Arig al Shaibah – to lead the implementation of equity and anti-racism priorities across the university.

You are invited to attend a virtual forum on January 25, 2023, to learn more about the work that has been done, as well as UBC’s progress and plans to implement its anti-racism commitments. You will also hear from task force members and meet the new leadership charged with putting recommendations into institutional action. For more information about the program, event speakers, and to RSVP, visit: https://ubc.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Ozs6SCFETIKIWY6QFf6E3w

You will also learn about plans for implementation through the emerging Strategic Equity and Anti-Racism (StEAR) Framework and Roadmap for Change – a unifying compilation of high-level objectives and strategic actions that will guide equity and anti-racism work across the university.

The virtual event details are as follows:

Date: January 25, 2023
Time: 2:00 – 3:15pm
Roadmap for Change: Implementing anti-racism commitments at UBC
RSVP at: https://ubc.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Ozs6SCFETIKIWY6QFf6E3w

Read UBC’s Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence (ARIE) Task Force report at https://antiracism.ubc.ca.

Your participation in this forum is invaluable to raising awareness of equity and anti-racism commitments at UBC. We all have a role to play in building an equitable and anti-racist community.

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

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

Ainsley Carry
Vice-President, Students

Arig al Shaibah
Associate Vice-President, Equity and Inclusion


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Share your thoughts on the draft 30-Year Vision for the Vancouver campus

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As part of Campus Vision 2050, UBC has been engaging members of the community to understand how the campus land can be used to support the diverse needs and aspirations of the university and its community, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) and the region over the next 30 years. Thank you to everyone who participated in this process and for sharing your thoughts, which have informed the development of a draft 30-Year Vision.

We now invite you to share your thoughts on the draft vision, which outlines how the physical campus will grow and change over the next 30 years to better support teaching and research, affordability, community, ecology, connectivity, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and deepening engagement between UBC and Musqueam. Complete a survey by February 7, 2023, and share your feedback here: https://campusvision2050.ubc.ca/get-involved or attend one of several workshops by signing up here: https://campusvision2050.ubc.ca/get-involved/widgets/142270/key_dates.

The survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete. Your ideas, feedback and thoughts are critical to the process of shaping the campus of the future.

An updated vision will be presented to the UBC Board of Governors for their consideration in March 2023. This will be followed by a public hearing on the amendments to UBC’s Land Use Plan — a provincially-approved regulatory document — which is needed to implement the 30-Year Vision.
Learn more about the draft 30-Year Vision at https://campusvision2050.ubc.ca/.
I encourage you to get involved and play your part in shaping the future vision for the Vancouver campus.

Deborah Buszard
Interim President and Vice-Chancellor


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Update on search for a new President and Vice-Chancellor

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Last year, UBC launched its search for a new President and Vice-Chancellor. In November, we published details of the search committee. You can read the announcement at https://broadcastemail.ubc.ca/2022/11/10/presidential-search-committee-announced.

In order for this search to be successful, the Presidential Search Committee needs the input of our students, faculty and staff. There will be a range of ways to share feedback, including open forums, which will be held on each campus in February, both in-person and virtually. Further details about the forums, and how to attend, will be shared in the coming weeks.

We are also inviting comments via an online survey, regarding the following areas:

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

The survey will take around 15 minutes to complete and can be accessed at https://chkmkt.com/ubcpresident. Responses will be anonymous unless you choose to provide your name. The deadline for feedback is February 23, 2023.

Additional information on the search to date, including guiding principles and procedures, can be found at: https://bog.ubc.ca/board-committees/presidential-search-committee.

I strongly encourage you to participate in this important process.

The Honourable Steven Point
Chancellor and Chair of the Presidential Search Committee


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UBC Chancellor stepping down next year

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The Honourable Steven Lewis Point was appointed UBC Chancellor in July 2020. As he approaches the end of his first three-year term, he has indicated his decision not to seek reappointment for a second term, meaning he will step down from the role next year.

The former Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, Mr. Point is a member of the Skowkale First Nation and is the first Indigenous person to hold the position of Chancellor at UBC. A double alumnus of UBC, Mr. Point retained close ties with the university and served as director of the First Nations Legal Studies program at the Peter A. Allard School of Law from 1991–1994. He was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 2013 for his exceptional commitment in the field of law, legal and Aboriginal education and his leadership in the Indigenous community.

We are grateful to Mr. Point for his tremendous contributions to the university, both before and during his time as Chancellor. We look forward to continuing to work closely with him until his term ends, in particular his leadership of the Presidential Search Committee.

Some of you may be aware that UBC recently began the formal reappointment process for the role of Chancellor. This included seeking nominations for a Reappointment Advisory Committee, made up of representatives from our student, faculty, staff and alumni community. Given Mr. Point’s decision, the Reappointment Advisory Committee will now be stood down, to be replaced by a search committee. Thank you to all those who agreed to sit on the Reappointment Advisory Committee. The UBC Alumni Association (alumni UBC) will invite nominations for the search committee in early 2023, and further details will be provided at that time.

In the meantime, I would like to say what an honour and privilege it has been to work with Steven, and to extend my personal thanks for his commitment to UBC. I hope he will continue to play a role in our community.

Nancy McKenzie
Chair, UBC Board of Governors


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Gage Averill appointed Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Vancouver

I am pleased to announce Professor Gage Averill as the new Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Vancouver.

Professor Averill has served as Provost and Vice-President, Academic pro tem, UBC Vancouver, since early April 2022. Prior to this, he was Dean in the Faculty of Arts, where he engaged in campus-wide initiatives such as the Information Technology Advisory Council, Public Humanities Hub, UBC Health, UBC Sustainability, Flexible Learning, Remote Work and the Joint Consultation Committee with the Faculty Association. During his time as Dean, the Faculty of Arts built new schools, institutes, research centres, and interdisciplinary programs.

Dr. Averill is an ethnomusicologist and is the former President of the Society for Ethnomusicology. He has been awarded multiple best book prizes from scholarly associations and a Grammy nomination as well. Prior to coming to UBC, he served as Chair of Music at NYU, Dean of Music at the University of Toronto, and Vice-Principal Academic of the University of Toronto at Mississauga.

The Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Vancouver, plays a vital role, with a range of responsibilities which include providing vision and leadership to the Faculties, overseeing the budget, leading institutional planning, and ensuring UBC maintains excellence in its delivery of undergraduate, graduate and professional education.

As we welcome Professor Averill to this role, I would like to thank those who took part in the search process, especially those who served on the search committee. Professor Averill has already contributed so much to UBC during his time at the university, and I am confident that his expertise and commitment will continue to be seen in his role as Provost.

Please join me in congratulating him.

Deborah Buszard
Interim President and Vice-Chancellor


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Voting open for Board of Governors and second call for nominations for Vancouver Senate

Further to the UBC Broadcast last month, the first round of elections for the 2023 – 2026 triennium is currently underway with opportunities for you to participate.

We previously invited nominations for representatives for the UBC Board of Governors, as well as the Vancouver and Okanagan Senates. Thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination. We are now opening voting for the Board of Governors positions, as well as putting an additional call out for nominations for the Vancouver Senate.

UBC Board of Governors

Elections are now open for staff and faculty positions on the UBC Board of Governors. For candidate information and voting instructions, visithttps://facultystaff.students.ubc.ca/board-governors-2022-2023-triennial-elections. The deadline for voting is December 8 at 4pm.

UBC Vancouver Senate

Nominations are still open for four representatives of the Joint Faculties (faculty members-at-large) for the Vancouver Senate. For nomination forms and information about eligibility, visit https://facultystaff.students.ubc.ca/joint-faculties-representatives-okanagan-and-vancouver-senates-2022-2023-triennial-elections. You are invited to submit your nominations before December 8 at 4pm.

Subsequent elections will be held for faculty-specific and other positions on the UBC Senates. Please contact elections.information@ubc.ca if you have any questions.

Rella Ng
Associate Vice-President, Enrolment Services and Registrar


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Staying safe during the winter flu season

As you may have seen in the media, many provinces are being challenged right now with increased cases of flu and respiratory viruses. Canada, and other countries around the globe, are also still managing the ongoing situation regarding COVID-19 and its variants.

In light of these factors, we would like to remind you of the important ways to help prevent illness and help keep yourself, and others, safe:

  • Keep your vaccinations up-to-date, whether it’s your COVID-19 booster dose or seasonal flu shot. You can learn more and register at https://immunizebc.ca. As a reminder, free vaccines are available in BC to students from international destinations and other provinces.
  • Know the symptoms of COVID-19 and complete a daily health assessment. You can access the self-assessment tool at https://covidcheck.gov.bc.ca/.
  • If you are sick, stay at home. Whatever your symptoms – whether COVID-19, flu or cold related – we all need to make sure we stay home and avoid bringing sickness to campus.
  • Follow the measures outlined in the COVID-19 Campus Rules at https://srs.ubc.ca/covid-19/ubc-campus-rules-guidance-documents

In addition to these safety measures, you are encouraged to wear a mask when gathering in indoor public spaces. You can learn more at http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/prevention-risks/masks. Students, faculty and staff who take part in academic activities in health settings may also be required to wear a mask if mandated by a Public Health Order.

As we progress through the winter season, we hope our community will continue to adopt these measures in order to minimize sickness on our campuses. By supporting each other, we can help make sure everyone has an enjoyable, and safe holiday season.

Deborah Buszard
Interim President and Vice-Chancellor

Lesley Cormack
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal, UBC Okanagan


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Frank Laezza appointed Vice-President, Finance and Operations

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I am pleased to announce the appointment of Frank Laezza as UBC’s new Vice-President, Finance and Operations.

Mr. Laezza will join us from Murdoch University, Australia, where he is Chief Financial Officer with responsibility for leading the university’s business and finance functions, as well as for the management of its financial and capital resources. Prior to this, he worked at Technical and Further Education State Vocational College (New South Wales Australia), University of Technology, Sydney; and University of New South Wales, among other institutions. In addition to his strategic financial and operational leadership, Mr. Laezza has experience with IT transformation, including Workday; and major capital works project oversight.

Mr. Laezza will be starting in his new role on or before March 13, 2023. We look forward to welcoming him to the university where he will bring his expertise to supporting the vision and goals set out in UBC’s Strategic Plan: Shaping UBC’s Next Century.

I would like to thank the members of the search committee who were instrumental in helping to find such an outstanding candidate to fill this role. I would also like to thank John Metras, Karamjeet Heer and Yale Loh for providing interim leadership to the Vice-President, Finance and Operations portfolio.

I look forward to Mr. Laezza joining UBC’s Executive team and ask that you join me in welcoming him to the university.

Professor Deborah Buszard
Interim President and Vice-Chancellor


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Presidential Search Committee announced

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In August 2022, UBC launched its search for a new President and Vice-Chancellor. The UBC Board of Governors is responsible for appointing the next President, one of the most important decisions the Board will make in the coming year.

To assist with this process, a Presidential Search Committee has been established in accordance with the requirements of the Presidential Search Committee Guiding Principles and Procedures. It is my privilege, as Chancellor, to chair the committee and work with members of the UBC community to help find our next President and Vice-Chancellor.

The Presidential Search Committee membership is as follows:

  • The Honourable Steven Point, Chancellor (Chair)
  • Nancy McKenzie, Chair, Board of Governors (Board appointee)
  • Kavie Toor, member, Board of Governors (Board appointee)
  • Robert Kozak, Dean, Faculty of Forestry, UBC Vancouver (Senator)
  • Marianne Legault, Associate Professor, Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, UBC Okanagan (Senator)
  • Sunaina Assanand, Professor of Teaching, Department of Psychology, UBC Vancouver (Elected faculty member)
  • Tamara Ebl, Lecturer, Faculty of Management, UBC Okanagan (Elected faculty member)
  • Philippe Tortell, Professor and Head, Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, UBC Vancouver (Elected faculty member)
  • James Olson, Dean, Faculty of Applied Science, UBC Vancouver (Representative of the Deans)
  • Silvia Tomášková, Dean, Irving K. Barber Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UBC Okanagan (Representative of the Deans)
  • Fred Withers, Chair, alumni UBC Board of Directors
  • Eshana Bhangu, Alma Mater Society President (AMS appointee)
  • Violeta Fabiani, VP External Relations, Graduate Student Society (GSS appointee)
  • Jakson Pashelka, UBC Okanagan Students’ Union President (SUO appointee)
  • Gerald Vanderwoude, Assistant Dean, Faculty Operations, Faculty of Arts (Elected staff representative)

Further details about the presidential search process, and updates, can be found on the Board of Governors website https://bog.ubc.ca.

The committee will begin its work in the coming weeks and will be seeking input from the university community regarding the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead, and the qualities that are needed in the university’s next leader. More details will be shared as this process unfolds and I hope you will take the time to share your views.

Tuum est!

The Honourable Steven Point
Chancellor and Chair of the Presidential Search Committee


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