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Letters from Santa

Exercise Run Down: Keeping the UBC community safe

June 26, 2017
On the morning of Wednesday, June 28, UBC Risk Management will stage a large-scale emergency preparedness exercise in the area  of Agronomy Road and Main Mall on the UBC Vancouver campus. Exercise Run Down (as it’s being called), will simulate a mock vehicle attack at a running event during which the driver is shot by […]

Thank you, faculty and staff: you make UBC special

June 13, 2017
I give many speeches in my role as president and vice-chancellor of UBC. This past week alone, I’ve spoken at graduation ceremonies at UBC Okanagan, at a luncheon for the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, at a dinner for the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference and on other occasions. Later this week I’ll be […]

In a time of global uncertainty, innovation is more important than ever

May 30, 2017
On Friday, June 2, I will have the honour of hosting His Excellency, The Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Open Text founder and chair Tom Jenkins, co-authors of a book on Canadian innovation called Ingenious: How Canadian Innovators Made the World Smarter, Smaller, Kinder, Safer, Healthier, Wealthier, and Happier. (The book, published by […]

Tokyo trip lays building blocks for future engagement with Japan

May 10, 2017
As you may know, I recently returned from a week-long visit to Tokyo. It was the first time a UBC president has travelled to Japan since Stephen Toope went there in 2010. While there, I visited the University of Tokyo, as well as two Japanese firms that regularly hire UBC coop students. I also engaged […]

Graduation: The next stage in a remarkable journey

May 1, 2017
Now that exams are over, students, faculty and staff at UBC are getting ready for the next big event in the academic calendar – graduation. It’s a joyful time on our campuses, when graduating students, their families and friends gather to celebrate a significant milestone. From personal experience, I can tell you that one of […]

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 (http://learningexchange.ubc.ca), 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 […]

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