Letters from Santa

Exam anxiety? UBC can help

April 13, 2017
April in Vancouver can be amazing. The cherry blossoms are in bloom, the days are longer, and the temperature is (most days anyway!) getting warmer. April this year also brings the convergence of three holidays of deep significance to people of different faiths throughout the world: Passover, Vaisakhi and Easter. Whatever you celebrate, I wish […]

We cannot change the past, but we can honestly recognize it

April 3, 2017
This past weekend, I was honoured and humbled to participate in the raising of Reconciliation Pole at UBC’s Vancouver campus. It was gratifying to see so many people turn out for this important occasion and to hear from residential school survivors such as Elder Barney Williams and Pauline Jones (below left), who spoke with courage and candour of the […]

UBC’s Next Century: Have your say

March 15, 2017
Friends, I am delighted to report that we are launching the next phase of the UBC’s Next Century strategic planning process with a series of public open houses starting next week (see below for details). As you know, the plan is designed to provide an effective framework to guide and implement UBC’s key priorities, goals and […]

The Learning Exchange: Engaging UBC with the Downtown Eastside

March 6, 2017
According to its website (, UBC’s Learning Exchange is “a place where everyone has something to teach and something to learn – a place where learning is exchanged”. I’m not sure I taught the staff, students and patrons of the Learning Exchange anything, but I certainly learned a lot on my visit earlier this week. […]

Using data for social good: Announcing the Cascade Urban Analytics Cooperative

February 23, 2017
Thanks to a $1-million donation from Microsoft Corporation, UBC and the University of Washington have an unprecedented opportunity to transform the Cascadia region into a technological hub comparable to Silicon Valley and Boston. The donation allows UBC and UW to establish a Cascadia Urban Analytics Cooperative (CUAC), an applied, interdisciplinary, regional centre that brings together […]