I would like to clarify misinformation that is being circulated regarding the future of UBC’s sports teams. The misinformation relates to a review of the Department of Athletics and Recreation that began in 2012, after UBC made a decision not to pursue competition in the NCAA in 2011.
The NCAA decision was a difficult one, and based on comments received, I called for a review of the UBC Athletics department. Some changes have already been made. In 2013, UBC began the final phase of that review: evaluating each varsity team under a new competitive sport model. The Vice-President, Students and Managing Director of Athletics have set up an advisory committee consisting of alumni, faculty, staff and external experts to guide this process and gather feedback from the community.
The objectives for the current review and a new competitive sport model are to:
- Sharpen the focus on elite high performance sport development opportunities through partnerships with other key sport organizations and tapping into UBC research expertise.
- Protect the long-term sustainability of UBC’s strong Athletic and Recreation program.
- Focus investment to achieve greater success at the varsity and high performance levels, while ensuring broader student participation in UBC competitive sport.
I want to be very clear on two matters. First, this review is not a cost-cutting exercise. Second, no decisions have yet been made concerning any of our teams. We are at step one of a four-step process that will lead to a final decision next spring. There will be opportunities for input throughout the process.
I encourage all members of the University community, including students and alumni, to get engaged in this process. For further information please see the op-ed from Louise Cowin, VP Students. Visit the Thunderbirds site for further updates and to provide feedback.
Stephen J. Toope
President and Vice-Chancellor