Search for a new Vice-President, Human Resources

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I wish to announce that I am launching a global search for a suitable candidate for the position of Vice-President, Human Resources.

As you may know, Barbara Meens Thistle, our current Vice-President, Human Resources, is leaving UBC at the end of July. She has achieved a great deal during her time at the university including: leading the implementation of Policy 131: Sexual Assault and Other Sexual Misconduct; leading on the core area People and Places in the UBC strategic plan, through a new Focus on People Framework; advocating for UBC’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion program; sponsoring the Integrated Renewal Program and advancing UBC’s Wellbeing Strategic Framework.

The Vice-President, Human Resources, is an integral member of the UBC Executive. The role reports to me and provides vision and leadership in carrying out the university’s Human Resources plan including its people practices, the Integrated Renewal Program and workplace culture.

The Vice-President, Human Resources, also oversees the Human Resources portfolio which provides support and advice to Faculties and departments through a range of services including: recruitment and employment, organizational development and workplace learning, wellbeing programming, faculty and staff relations, compensation, pension and benefits administration, and the development of human resource policies and practices.

In accordance with UBC Policy 34, I have established an advisory committee to support this search process. The committee consists of:

Santa Ono, President and Vice-Chancellor (chair)
Chaslynn Gillanders, Board of Governors
Alison Brewin, Board of Governors
Robin Ciceri, Vice-President, External Relations
James Olson, Dean, Faculty of Applied Science
Vanessa Auld, Vancouver Senate
Gino DiLabio, Okanagan Senate
Jennifer Berdahl, faculty representative, UBC Vancouver
Chris Hakim, student representative, UBC Vancouver
Romil Jain, student representative, UBC Okanagan
Gillian Henderson, Human Resources, UBC Okanagan
Alexandra Bayne, Human Resources, UBC Vancouver
Michelle Berner, Human Resources, UBC Vancouver
Sara-Jane Finlay, Associate Vice-President, Equity & Inclusion

A member of the President’s Office staff will act as non-voting secretary to the committee. To assist the search committee in their efforts, we would appreciate input from interested faculty, staff, students and alumni on the following questions:

  • What do you see as some of the key opportunities and challenges ahead of the Human Resources portfolio 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?

Please email any comments by June 7, 2019, to the search firm Caldwell at or All responses will be kept confidential.

Professor Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor