Welcome Back: A Message from Andrew Szeri, UBC's new Provost and VP Academic

August 31, 2017

Welcome to the 2017/2018 academic year at UBC.

As UBC’s new Provost and VP Academic, I feel delighted and privileged to be here. I hope to make a lasting contribution to this amazing and dynamic institution.

One of my top priorities in the coming months is to support Professor Santa Ono as he works to develop UBC’s Next Century, our new strategic plan. The strategy will be critical in guiding the vision and direction of the University over the next ten years.

I will also be spending a considerable amount of time learning about the individual Faculties at UBC - their aspirations and challenges, their issues and achievements. One of my primary goals is to support the work of the Faculties so they can achieve excellence in education, research, and service.

As we begin the academic year, I’d like to point out a few more initiatives our team in the Office of the Provost and VP Academic has been engaged in:

Minimum Funding Policy for PhD Students
Earlier this year, the UBC Vancouver Senate approved the establishment of a university-wide minimum funding level for all PhD students. A funding guarantee recognizes the important contributions that PhD students make to the university and will help students to cope with living in the most expensive city in Canada. The Provost’s office is continuing to work with Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies to understand and mitigate local impacts. To learn more, please visit UBC Graduate Studies.

UBC International
I am happy to welcome our new Vice-Provost, International, Murali Chandrashekaran to the VPAO this September. Dr. Chandrashekaran will provide leadership in shepherding the University’s diverse and complex international activities on both campuses, and in advancing UBC’s international strategic priorities.

Student Experience
I recently had an informative first meeting with our student government leaders. We had a good exchange of ideas about ways to improve student education, research, and on-campus experience, and discussing issues such as student housing.

This academic year we will fully migrate to Canvas, UBC’s new learning management system for delivering online course content and supporting student learning. I encourage you to visit the UBC Learning Technology Hub to read more about this exciting new platform. 

UBC Health
As well as the launch of the new UBC Health website, with streamlined content and improved information layout, great strides have been made in strengthening the University’s impact and capacity for excellence in integrated health education, cross cutting research and collaborative practice partnerships.

Career and Personal Education (CPE)
There has been a big transition recently regarding Extended Learning (ExL) and CPE at UBC. Our aim is to more closely align CPE with the goals and offerings of the Faculties. We are currently developing a new website for CPE that will provide overarching information and direct people to CPE’s many resources and opportunities.

And there is much more to come. It will be a busy start to the 2017/2018 year, but I am grateful to have the support and expertise of all of my knowledgeable colleagues on campus as I navigate my first year as Provost and VP Academic. Stay tuned! 


Read more about Professor Szeri in his recent One-on-One interview.

  • From the Provost

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