Leadership transition in the Faculty of Arts

March 17, 2022

A message from Andrew Szeri, Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Vancouver

The search for a new Dean of the Faculty of Arts is progressing as expected. There will be a period of time between when the current dean, Professor Gage Averill, concludes his deanship when UBC will require interim leadership in the Faculty. That interim leadership period will begin on April 4 with Professor Stefania Burk serving as Dean pro tem, followed by a transition to Professor Janice Stewart as Dean pro tem starting July 1.

Professor Burk (she/her) has been serving as the Associate Dean, Academic in the Faculty of Arts since 2015 and is an Associate Professor of Teaching in the Asian Studies Department. She has a PhD in Japanese Literature and Culture (U. C. Berkeley, 2001) with research interests in the intersections of gender, genre, and patronage in pre-modern Japan. Professor Burk received the Killam Teaching Prize in 2013 and her Educational Leadership has focused on educative approaches to Academic Integrity, program renewal and interdisciplinarity. In her role as Associate Dean, Professor Burk’s work focuses on undergraduate curriculum and program development, the first-year experience, interdisciplinary education, and Bachelor of Arts policies and requirements.

Professor Stewart (they/their) is currently the Associate Dean, Faculty, in the Faculty of Arts, and a professor at the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice. Their interests include critical theory, gender theory, anti-racist work, and Modernist writers such as Virginia Woolf and Emily Carr. In addition to having taught across several undergraduate programs, Professor Stewart designed and authored a MOOC titled: “Gender and Sexuality: Applications in Society” and they played a lead role in the Institute’s curriculum mapping and curriculum renewal initiatives. Professor Stewart received the Killam Teaching Prize in 2009/10. Professor Stewart has chaired the Critical Studies in Sexuality program since 2007, and chaired the GRSJ undergrad program from 2012-2020.

We are grateful to Professor Burk and Professor Stewart for their willingness to lead the Faculty during the interim period.

I would like to take this opportunity to offer my personal thanks to Dean Averill for his ten years of dynamic leadership in the Faculty, and many deep contributions to the university. I look forward to the announcement of a new Dean in due course.

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