Letters from Santa

Building a more inclusive campus community

March 12, 2018
Tomorrow is shaped by what we hear today. I love the sound of my cello. I can lose myself for hours, practicing just one small refrain. But playing alone – the sound of just one cello – doesn’t compare to the experience of playing in a trio or quartet. If we continue adding more players […]

Budget 2018: A clear recognition of the value of Canada’s science and research community

March 1, 2018
Earlier this week, the Government of Canada tabled a historic budget for research, responding to the views expressed by researchers across Canada and the recommendations made in the Fundamental Science Review. Budget 2018 highlights several key themes that align very well with UBC’s priorities – increasing opportunities for women in the economy, investing in the […]

Digital Technology Supercluster means exciting opportunities for UBC, now and in the future

February 16, 2018
Yesterday, the Government of Canada announced its support for Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster, a BC-led consortium of private industry, high-tech start-ups and post-secondary institutions. I am proud that UBC is a founding member of the supercluster, along with TELUS, Microsoft, Teck, Change Healthcare, Providence Health Care and other members of the Research Universities’ Council of […]

Inspire: “This is our moment”

January 23, 2018
Last week, I had the privilege of presenting a draft of  Inspire: the strategic plan of the University of British Columbia (UBC) to the UBC Vancouver Senate. Later this week, I will present it to the UBC Okanagan Senate. It will go back to the Senates next month and, following that, to the Board of […]

Getting closer to where you want to be

January 3, 2018
Welcome to 2018! I hope everybody had a wonderful holiday break and is refreshed and ready for the new year. A new year means different things to different people. To me, a new year means a chance to reflect on the year that’s gone by and to think about what I hope to achieve in […]

Looking back on 2017, looking forward to 2018

December 11, 2017
Dear friends: December is traditionally a time to reflect back on the year that was and to look forward to the year to come. Looking over my blog posts over the past year, I’m struck by UBC’s many accomplishments in 2017: We began work in earnest on the new strategic plan. The planning process – […]

The Blue & Gold campaign: Change their world so they can change ours

November 27, 2017
Earlier this year, I wrote in this space  that we need to support the UBC students who are determined to make a better world. As I wrote at the time, “Thank goodness for the dreamers among our world’s youth. It is because of them that I remain hopeful about the future of Planet Earth.” But […]

Going global: Our future depends on it

November 14, 2017
Is Canada prepared for the challenges that lie ahead? That was the question that I – and the other members of the Study Group on Global Education – asked ourselves this year as we looked at Canada’s approach to global education. Our conclusion: Canada is not ready. Our young people are not ready. And we […]

Building a better Canada

October 30, 2017
As Canada’s 150th anniversary year draws to a close, this is a good time to reflect on this country, its history and its future. Canada has much to be proud of – our contributions to both global peacekeeping and defence against tyranny, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, our welcoming of Syrian refugees, our scientific […]

Overcoming the stigma of mental illness

October 10, 2017
Recently I spoke at a TEDx  event about the need to support young people struggling with mental health issues. To mark World Mental Health Day, I have decided to adapt my talk into a blog post. Please also see the joint Globe and Mail op-ed piece that University of Toronto Chancellor Michael Wilson and I wrote about […]

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