Announcing the Provost and Vice-President, Academic pro tem, UBC Vancouver, and update on search for permanent role

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I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dean Gage Averill as Provost and Vice-President, Academic pro tem, for UBC Vancouver.

Professor Averill is currently the Dean of the Faculty of Arts at UBC Vancouver and will be wrapping up his second term to take on the pro tem role commencing April 4, 2022. This will allow time for transition, working through the university calendar.

The recommendation of Professor Averill came through an ad-hoc committee last fall, and I would like to thank those committee members for identifying such a strong candidate. Professor Averill brings over a decade of experience leading the Faculty of Arts and engaging in campus-wide initiatives such as the Information Technology Advisory Council, Public Humanities Hub, UBC Health, UBC Sustainability, Flexible Learning, Remote Work, the Joint Consultation Committee with the Faculty Association and others. During his time as Dean, the Faculty of Arts has also built new schools, institutes, research centres, and interdisciplinary programs.

As Professor Averill takes up this pro tem role, I am also launching a full search for a new Provost and Vice-President, Academic, for UBC Vancouver. The role is broad and complex, with responsibilities which include:

  • Providing academic leadership to the Faculties on the UBC Vancouver campus.
  • Recruiting and retaining diverse world-class faculty members and the very best diverse undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Maintaining the highest standards of excellence in delivering undergraduate, graduate and professional education.
  • Leading institutional planning and ensuring the alignment of operating, capital, strategic and other operational resources to academic priorities.
  • Ensuring equity, diversity and inclusive excellence in the implementation of UBC’s strategic plans including: Shaping UBC’s Next Century; the Indigenous Strategic Plan; Inclusion Action Plan; and Climate and Sustainability.
  • Providing the systems, physical and organizational infrastructure necessary to support excellence in research and student learning.

In accordance with UBC Policy AP12, I have established a committee to support this formal search process. The committee consists of:

  • Santa Ono, President and Vice-Chancellor (Chair)
  • Anna Kindler, UBC Board of Governors
  • Mark Mac Lean, UBC Board of Governors
  • Kavie Toor, UBC Board of Governors
  • Alison Brewin, UBC Board of Governors
  • Susan Porter, Dean and Vice-Provost, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
  • Hsingchi Von Bergmann, Vancouver Senate
  • George Tsiakos, Vancouver Senate
  • Eshana Bhangu, Vancouver Senate
  • Sheryl Lightfoot, Senior Advisor to the President on Indigenous Affairs, and Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts
  • Minelle Mahtani, Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts
  • Julia Burnham, Graduate Student
  • Moloud Mazaheri, Undergraduate Student

In the context of the key responsibilities outlined above, I would like to hear from you about the characteristics and qualities you think are important in identifying the Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Vancouver. If you wish to share your thoughts, please email

I would also like to thank Professor Andrew Szeri for his very important contributions during his term as Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Vancouver. Professor Szeri has worked to advance UBC in a number of areas including development of the President’s Academic Excellence Initiative; restructuring of the Academic Excellence Funds; drafting our Strategic Plan, Shaping UBC’s Next Century and increasing student financial aid and recruitment. His leadership through the pandemic was also very appreciated.

Please join me in welcoming Professor Averill to the pro tem role and in thanking Professor Szeri for his leadership. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor

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