Announcing the extension of appointment for Dr. Susan Porter, Dean and Vice-Provost, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

October 01, 2018

On the recommendation of Professor Santa Ono, the Board of Governors has approved an extension of appointment for Dr. Susan Porter, Dean and Vice-Provost, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (G+PS), for a term of five years from December 1, 2018 to November 30, 2023.

Underthe leadership of Dr. Porter, G+PS provides outstanding support, guidance, and advocacy for the graduate and postdoctoral community at UBC. In a recent review of the Faculty, the service of the dean’s office to graduate programs, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows was considered to be essential, responsive, and effective; and its leadership progressive in advancing the quality and relevance of graduate and postdoctoral education for the 21st century.

During Dr. Porter’s first term, central graduate funding has increased by over 35%, a guaranteed funding policy for doctoral students has been implemented, graduate student recruitment efforts have been enhanced, PhD graduate career outcomes have been systematically tracked and published, and there is expanded professional development and administrative support for students, postdocs, faculty, and staff. Notably, the G+PS team also initiated and led a cross-campus and national conversation on ‘reimagining the PhD’; at UBC, this resulted in the highly innovative, award-winning Public Scholars Initiative among other forms of outreach and resources to encourage and support broadened conceptions of doctoral education and research. Through collaboration with many partners on campus, G+PS has also worked, and is continuing to work to implement wellbeing initiatives for students, develop resources and guidelines to enhance graduate supervision, better support Indigenous students, enhance intercultural understanding, and successfully advocate for the recognition and support of postdocs and graduate students more broadly.

Dr. Porter is the President of the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies(CAGS), which represents 58 graduate schools in Canada. She has been actively advocating for increased federal graduate student and postdoctoral funding, and with her task force co-leader, has recently completed a nation-wide consultation and report on the future of the dissertation.

UBC would like to thank the President’s Advisory Committee and all who participated in the consultation during the process for consideration of the extension of Dr. Porter’s appointment. We are confident that she will continue to provide solid leadership for G+PS as it moves forward in achieving its goals and aspirations over the coming years, to ensure UBC is at the forefront of graduate education and postdoctoral training. 

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