UBC Today Archive
An archive of updates, news and stories from across the university
UBCV25 May, 2021 | Leadership one-on-one | Faculty & Staff
As UBC’s Comptroller, Karamjeet Heer is responsible for ensuring the university’s fiscal sustainability by providing financial intelligence and strategy. A key leader within UBC’s VP Finance & Operations (VPFO) portfolio, Karamjeet oversees UBC’s budgeting and planning activities, which coordinate over $3.1B in total annual spending. She is also responsible for the delivery of financial reporting and analysis (including UBC’s annual audited financial statements) for the campus community, UBC’s Board of Governors, government, and external stakeholders. She and her team engage with Faculties and administrative units across the university to deliver financial support and guidance, and ensure alignment in UBC’s financial approach. Building on 20 years as a senior financial leader, Karamjeet brings a service-centric philosophy and strong commitment to relationship-building. By engaging in close partnerships, she supports the development and delivery of operational excellence and financial accountability for UBC.
UBCV12 April, 2021 | Leadership one-on-one | Faculty & Staff
Dr. Matthew Evenden is Associate Vice-President, Research and Innovation at UBC Vancouver. He is a professor in UBC’s Department of Geography and is a renowned scholar in the area of environmental and water history in Canada. In his 20 years at UBC, Matthew has contributed to various university-wide committees and initiatives. In 2010/11, he was a recipient of the UBC Killam Prize, for his scholarship and teaching. Since 2015, he served as the Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Arts, before moving into his current role in 2019. In his role as Associate Vice-President, Research and Innovation, Matthew shares the leadership of the diverse range of portfolio units and initiatives that support UBC’s research and innovation activities. This includes units supporting grant development, book publishing, human research ethics and knowledge exchange, as well as providing support and resources for Indigenous communities and university researchers collaborating on projects.
UBCO1 March, 2021 | Leadership one-on-one | Faculty & Staff
Dr. Sarah Brears is the Regional Associate Dean, Interior, for the Faculty of Medicine’s Southern Medical Program (SMP). She provides strategic leadership for the Faculty’s undergraduate and postgraduate medical education programs within the Interior. Having gained experience working as a physician in rural, remote and urban regions in Canada, Dr. Brears first joined the SMP back in 2012 as the Family Practice Site Director. She went on to serve provincially as Clinical Experiences Integration Co-Lead and then the MEDD 422 Course Co-Director. Dr. Brears role includes working with partners, such as Interior Health, helping to shape a high-quality educational experience for all of UBC’s learners in the region, as well as facilitating the Faculty of Medicine’s health research strategy for the Interior. In addition to being a family physician, medical educator and mom, Dr. Brears is passionate about working with patients, to help them achieve and maintain wellness. She also enjoys working closely and collaboratively with physicians in the region, helping them meet the needs of their community.
UBCO11 January, 2021 | Leadership one-on-one | Faculty & Staff
Professor Lesley Cormack is Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal of UBC’s Okanagan campus. She joined UBC in July 2020 from the University of Alberta where she served as Dean of the Faculty of Arts from 2010 to 2020. Her achievements as Dean included increasing Indigenous student enrolment by 100% and hiring 14 new Indigenous faculty members; enhancing support for research, particularly interdisciplinary research; and supporting experiential learning. A historian of early modern science, Professor Cormack specializes in geography and mathematics of 16th century England. She has a passion for theatre and served as a director for the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton for nine years. Her volunteer service also includes chairing the University of Alberta's United Way campaign, serving as president of the Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Science, and working with the International Union for the History and Philosophy of Science.
UBCV & UBCO16 November, 2020 | Leadership one-on-one | Faculty & Staff
The Honourable Steven Point (xwĕ lī qwĕl tĕl) became UBC’s 19th Chancellor on July 1, 2020. As Chancellor, he acts as the honorary head of the university and presides over all major ceremonies and convocations. He also represents the university in a wide range of events and activities and serves as a voting member of both UBC Senates and the Board of Governors. Since graduating from UBC with a Bachelors of Law in 1985, Chancellor Point has maintained close ties with the university. Prior to serving as Director of the First Nations Legal Studies program at the Peter A. Allard School of Law, he spent many years practicing criminal law and Indigenous law. His distinguished career also includes working as an immigration adjudicator for Citizenship and Immigration Canada, serving as a provincial court judge in 1999, and being appointed the 28th Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia in 2007. In 2013, Chancellor Point was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at UBC for his exceptional commitment in the field of law, legal and Aboriginal education and his leadership in the Indigenous community. As a member of the Skowkale First Nation, he has advocated for Indigenous people throughout his career, pressing for greater recognition of their contributions and their fuller involvement in all aspects of life in British Columbia.
UBCV & UBCO26 October, 2020 | Leadership one-on-one | Faculty & Staff
Marcia Buchholz was appointed UBC’s Vice-President, Human Resources in April 2020. Prior to that she was Managing Director, Human Resources Advisory Partnerships, Central Operational Services, and HR Professional Standards. Prior to joining UBC, Marcia held various senior administrative roles including Associate Vice-President, Human Resources at the University of Calgary; Senior Managing Consultant — HR Strategy and Transformation at IBM Canada; Vice-President, Human Resources at Jayman; Human Resources Outsourcing — CIBC Global Client Delivery Executive at EDS (Hewlett Packard); Executive Director, Lifeworks EFAP & Wellness Programs and concurrently National Director, Human Resources at Ceridian. In these roles, she provided strategic leadership for large companies and institutions, and led strategic planning processes, focused on increasing wellbeing initiatives, facilitating business transformation and process improvements.
UBCV5 October, 2020 | Leadership one-on-one | Faculty & Staff
Rick Hart is the Associate Vice-President, Communications at UBC. In this role, he is responsible for leading an overarching long-term communications strategy, ensuring alignment with the university’s vision, purpose and values. As a key part of the External Relations leadership team, Rick oversees the Communications portfolio, which is comprised of Brand and Marketing, Internal Communications and Media Relations. A Sauder School of Business graduate, Rick has held senior positions at global communications agencies in Canada and the UK, before joining UBC in 2013. Since then, Rick has been involved in a number of key initiatives, such as the recent “The Potential is Yours” brand marketing campaign, the launch of UBC Connects, the modernization of UBC’s brand identity and the launch of the UBC Strategic Plan: Shaping UBC’s Next Century.
UBCV & UBCO14 September, 2020 | Leadership one-on-one | Faculty & Staff
Professor Santa J. Ono was recently appointed to a second term as UBC’s 15th President and Vice-Chancellor. Prior to joining UBC, Professor Ono served as the President of the University of Cincinnati (UC). Earlier in his career, Professor Ono served in a variety of teaching, research and administrative positions at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and the Schepens Eye Research Institute, University College London and Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. He was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2012, inducted as a member of the National Academy of Inventors in 2014, and inducted into the Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars in 2015. His principal research interests focus on the immune system and eye disease. During his time at UBC, Professor Ono has led the process to create the university’s strategic plan, Shaping UBC’s Next Century. He also spearheaded initiatives to advance UBC’s strategic priorities, including supporting world-changing research, attracting top faculty members in a wide range of disciplines, and promoting interdisciplinary work across the university. He was instrumental in launching and leading the Blue & Gold Campaign for Students, the largest fundraising campaign for students in UBC history. He has also focussed on strengthening UBC’s commitment to reconciliation, worked to increase diversity and helped further build on UBC’s reputation as a sustainability leader in addressing the climate crisis. Updated 2020. An earlier version of this article was originally published in 2016.
UBCV & UBCO17 August, 2020 | Leadership one-on-one | Faculty & Staff
Andrew Parr was appointed Associate Vice-President, Student Housing & Community Services in December 2019. His portfolio includes Student Housing, Food Services, UBC Bookstore, Conferences and Accommodation, Parking and Access, Child Care Services and Campus Mail. Prior to becoming AVP, he was the Managing Director of Student Housing and Hospitality Services (SHHS). In his role, Andrew is focused on enhancing the academic and social experience for students and supporting the creation of a strong and fulsome campus community at both Vancouver and Okanagan campuses. This effort also encompasses a desire to drive sustainability, wellbeing, equity and inclusion within his portfolio. Outside of work, Andrew is a west coast explorer and motorcycle enthusiast with a penchant for open-road adventure.
UBCO24 April, 2020 | Leadership one-on-one | Faculty & Staff
Bryce Traister has been at the helm of UBC Okanagan’s Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies since the summer of 2017. Although he was born and raised in California, Bryce has spent most of his academic career in Canada, and his roots at UBC run deep. Not only is his spouse a graduate of the UBC Vancouver English department, his father-in-law was also a history professor at UBC Vancouver for more than 30 years. Bryce came to UBC from the University of Western Ontario, where he served as chair of the Department of English and Writing Studies. He is the former director of the Centre for American Studies in the Faculty of Social Science at the University of Western Ontario, and has served as president of the Canadian Association for American Studies and as chair of the International Committee of the American Studies Association. His research interests span a wide range of topics in cultural studies — from transnationalism and globalization to early American religious culture.
UBCV & UBCO5 February, 2020 | Leadership one-on-one | Faculty & Staff
Adriaan de Jager is UBC’s Associate Vice-President, Government Relations and Community Engagement. In this role, he works with municipal, regional, provincial, and federal levels of government to promote strategic relations, advance key priorities and communicate UBC’s vision. He also works to support the building of respectful relationships with community partners through scholarship, research, and public engagement opportunities. Born in the Netherlands, Adriaan has traveled widely and has worked and studied in the U.K., the Balkans and Central America. Prior to joining UBC, he worked and studied abroad supporting international humanitarian relief efforts, reconciliation and reconstruction. He is also a former board member of the United Nations Association and past Chair of the national Government Relations Officer Network.
UBCV4 January, 2020 | Leadership one-on-one | Faculty & Staff
Dr. Meigan Aronson joined UBC as Dean of Science in 2018. She is a physicist by trade, but in her role as Dean, brings a strong commitment to academic leadership, research excellence, and teaching and learning. She is passionate about science and has a deep commitment to the advancement of both her field and the students and faculty within it. Prior to joining the university, Dr. Aronson held the title of Professor of Physics and Dean of the College of Science at Texas A&M University, where she had appointments in both the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. In addition to her extensive publication record, and her list of honours and fellowships, Dr. Aronson has a zest for life, adventure, and travel.