Announcing the resignation of Dr. Louise Cowin

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To: Faculty, staff and students in Vancouver and the Okanagan


I am writing to let you know that Dr. Louise Cowin, our Vice-President, Students, has informed me of her intention to resign from her position.

It has been a great pleasure to work with Louise, and I want to express my gratitude, and the gratitude of the entire university, for her exceptional leadership in enhancing the student experience and her strong commitment to creating an inclusive and connected UBC community. Louise will continue in her role until later in the summer.

Louise joined UBC in October 2011 as the Vice-President, Students, and during her tenure the student community has grown and students’ expectations have diversified. Learning takes place across the entire student experience, both within and outside the classroom, and a degree from UBC is rich with disciplinary, personal and professional outcomes.

At each turn, Louise has been strategic in her thinking, strongly principled in her actions and genuine in her partnerships. Very often, Louise has been called on to provide effective and steady leadership in the most challenging of situations.

Working from a place of deep partnership with students, staff, faculty and alumni, Louise and the VPS team have accomplished much during her tenure. This includes increased support for student health and wellbeing, the opening of 3,225 new beds in student housing, the development of a comprehensive university wellbeing promotion strategy and the launch of a 20-year strategy to enhance athletics and recreation facilities.

Furthermore, Louise and her team have increased Thunderbird and community pride through major athletics events, enhanced sport science supports to drive further Thunderbird success, as well as making advancements in student diversity initiatives such as increasing supports for the WUSC Scholars Program, and the development of the Student Diversity Initiative.

Louise has been a strong contributor and voice at the Executive table and at the Board of Governors for students, and student life, here at UBC. Louise served in ways that brought out the best in everyone she worked with. We will all miss her open, respectful and accountable leadership.

An Interim Vice-President, Students, will be announced shortly, as will the process for a search to find our next leader. I am grateful that Louise has agreed to assist with transition in the portfolio over the next few months to ensure that a number of key strategic priorities are well stewarded.

On behalf of the University of British Columbia, I want to thank Louise for her exceptional leadership, and wish her well in all her future endeavours.

Professor Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor