Dear members of the UBC community.
I hope your summer is going well.
It’s hard to believe, but the summer is almost over, and soon the Fall term will start. Of course, it will be a very different back to school than we’re used to. I’ll be providing more information on that in the next few weeks.
Today, I’d like to look a little further ahead than that; namely to the next five years at UBC. As you may know, earlier this month the university’s board of governors ratified my reappointment as president and vice-chancellor of UBC for a second five-year term.
I would like to thank the Board for their confidence in me, and I look forward to working with them, along with all of you, to help achieve our mission to inspire people, ideas and actions for a better world.
In my installation address in 2016, I noted that in a large, decentralized organization such as a modern research university, no one person holds the keys to the organization. The truth is that we, students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends, all hold the keys – in trust – to preserve, strengthen and ultimately to leave the institution to the next generation a better place than it was left to us.
The secret ingredient is our collective effort, an alignment within the organization; everyone rowing in the same direction.
I’d like to thank all the members of the UBC community who have made this university one of the world’s foremost institutions of higher learning. The Board of Governors, the Senates, the members of my executive team, the Deans, the AMS, SUO and GSS and other student groups, faculty, emeriti faculty, students, staff, alumni and friends of the university – all of us have played our part.
We have achieved much, and we can achieve more. In my second term as president, my key priorities include a commitment to academic renewal and to reinforcing the disciplinary strengths that exists within each faculty. I am also committed to reaffirming and reinforcing our unwavering protection of academic freedom.
Climate change and the transition to a low-carbon future will also continue to be one of my key priorities. At this pivotal moment in our planet’s future, I am committed to helping bring about significant and lasting systemic changes to curb greenhouse gas emissions and promote sustainability.
I am also resolved to continuing to improve the university’s relationships with Indigenous communities and to reaffirming our commitment to reconciliation. I will continue to make anti-racism and anti-discrimination a priority in my second term.
It’s my hope that we can work to model a different kind of community—one where we embrace difference and work to build each other up while enacting values of dignity, mutual respect, and justice.
We must work together to eliminate the oppression that remains prevalent and entrenched in our everyday systems, and find a way to support and elevate those who have been traditionally, systemically, and historically marginalized.
Nous sommes confrontés à de nombreux défis, mais ensemble, nous pouvons relever ces défis et faire de l’UBC – et du monde – un meilleur endroit.
Ce fut un privilège de servir cette institution extraordinaire au cours des cinq dernières années en tant que président et vice-chancelier, et j’attends avec impatience les cinq prochaines années.
We face many challenges, but together, we can meet those challenges, and make UBC – and the world – a better place.
It’s been a privilege to serve this amazing institution over the past five years as president and vice-chancellor, and I look forward to the next five years.
And as usual, I’d like to end with a #songsofcomfort piece. This week, it’s from UBC graduate Jaelem Bhate who conducts his rendition of Bizet’s Fate of Taragon for Jazz Orchestra.
Thank you and stay safe. Merci et prenez soin de vous.
Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor