Two new Faculties for UBC Okanagan

December 11, 2019

A message from Ananya Mukherjee Reed, Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Okanagan:

The UBC Board of Governors has approved a plan to create two new Faculties at UBC Okanagan. On July 1, 2020, the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences (IKBSAS) will be growing and transitioning into two autonomous Faculties, one for the sciences and the other for the arts and social sciences.

In 2004, in support of UBC’s vision, Dr. Irving K. Barber donated $10 million to establish the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences at the Okanagan campus. In partnership, we set a goal to create an outstanding learning environment that prepares students to become better citizens of the world; citizens that foster a civil and sustainable society. 

UBC Okanagan has grown considerably since its creation in 2004, with student enrolment nearly tripling from 3,500 in its first year of operation to over 10,000 today. In that time, IKBSAS too has grown to become the Okanagan campus’ largest Faculty, but its commitment to the shared vision has remained true.

With that growth and success comes an opportunity for innovation and excellence in the sciences, arts and social sciences. The creation of two new Faculties will not only bolster UBC Okanagan’s commitment to learning and research. They will also expand upon Dr. Barber’s contribution to our community with each new Faculty continuing to bear his name and continuing to subscribe to the original founding principles.

Planning has begun to ensure that the transition from one Faculty to two will be smooth and strategic. The IKBSAS executive team continues to work on the transition, which involves all aspects of the Faculties' activities and oversight -- from student awards to organizational structure and budgets. The Irving K. Barber Endowment, for its part, will retain the same exceptional stewardship and it will continue to support excellence in teaching and research for both new Faculties.

While the next year will bring about considerable change, both Faculties will continue their focus on excellence in teaching, research and service; and students will receive the same high standard of instruction and support from Faculty and staff that they’ve come to expect.

My team and I are working toward the launch of searches for two deans with the goal of having them in place by the time the new Faculties launch.

This is an exciting time in the evolution of the Okanagan campus and I have no doubt that you’ll join me in supporting our colleagues in IKBSAS as they make this transition.

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