Academic Director, UBC Vantage College

Open Date October 01, 2019
Close Date December 23, 2019

UBC Vantage College is a Senate-approved unit currently offering an enriched first-year experience for international students admitted to UBC Arts, Engineering, and Science programs. Those enrolled in Vantage One experience an innovative first-year curriculum that includes embedded academic English instruction. Over 11 months, students complete a full set of first-year credit courses for their respective degree programs. After successful completion, they transition into the second year of their chosen degree program at either the UBC Okanagan or UBC Vancouver campus.

Vantage One offers a unique option for undergraduates; its key achievement is the demonstrated academic success of students who have benefited from the program since its inception in 2014. Unique aspects of the program include a) a cohort-based structure where students feel closely integrated with the UBC community and well-connected with each other and with faculty and staff, b) dual campus experiences in Vancouver and the Okanagan, and c) experiential learning opportunities that include participation in first-year research/design projects. 

UBC Vantage College and the Vantage One programs have been highly successful in attracting and retaining academically successful international students to both the UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan campuses. Over the past five years, UBC Vantage College has enrolled over 1,700 international students. These Vantage students have graduated with UBC degrees from 13 different programs at the UBC Okanagan campus, and 198 different programs across eight different Faculties at the UBC Vancouver campus. Furthering UBC’s strategic goals around transformative teaching, UBC Vantage College’s mandate is to bring innovation to undergraduate teaching and learning. The College has its home in Orchard Commons: a vibrant, mixed-use academic/residential hub on the UBC Vancouver campus that includes both the faculty/administrative offices of UBC Vantage College as well as a range of state-of-the-art classrooms and learning spaces designed to enable the innovation goal.

The Academic Director provides academic leadership, planning, and implementation oversight for the College’s Vantage One program. They are responsible for oversight of all curriculum development and renewal of existing program streams with a view to continuous improvements. The Academic Director works with UBC’s academic units to identify and appoint faculty members to teach in the College; represents the College on campus-wide and Senate committees related to curriculum, academic requirements, and academic policy; interacts and consults regularly with the Director of the Academic English Program, Program chairs, and staff. They have the capacity to teach in the Vantage One program.

UBC Vantage College now invites applications for an Academic Director who will, ideally, have a combination of the following experiences:

  • Academic Excellence in Teaching and Learning: Has a strong commitment to, appreciation of, and genuine interest in teaching and learning across a broad range of undergraduate disciplines. Is excited by UBC Vantage College’s transformative teaching mandate and capacity for pedagogical innovation. An exceptional track record as a faculty member.
  • Administrative Experience: Will bring a track record of success in academic leadership with exposure to curriculum development; faculty recruitment, mentoring, promotion, and retention; academic policies and/or student services. The relevant experience could have been developed in any discipline.
  • Intercultural Fluency: Highly comfortable and with demonstrated success in supporting learning environments conducive to the development of the awareness, knowledge, and skills needed for fostering meaningful relationships and substantive dialogue across cultural differences, with a commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.

The successful applicant will have the following characteristics:

  • Creative and Innovative: Open minded, flexible, and willing to think in new ways.
  • Critical and Evidence-Informed Thinking Skills: An ability to conceptualize with strong analytical skills.
  • Leadership Skills: An effective and resourceful leader and motivator of people who acts with integrity; team-oriented and collaborative with the ability to build consensus.
  • Excellent Communication Skills: Both oral and written. Able to communicate effectively with a wide range of stakeholders internally and externally. Has the ability to impart the mission, vision and strategy of the College to others. Is an active listener.
  • Relationship Building and Advocacy:  Possesses strong interpersonal skills. Open and straightforward. Responsive and willing to share information with others. Is empathetic. Able to advocate for students, staff, and faculty and work across institutional boundaries and campuses.  

The administrative appointment as Academic Director within UBC Vantage College is a full-time position with a reporting line to the Principal of the College. The initial appointment is for three years and is renewable (if needed, some flexibility with the % appointment exists). The incumbent will continue their appointment in their home department/school (i.e., they will be seconded to the College for the term of the appointment). The posting is open to all tenured faculty members with a UBC appointment and relevant experience and expertise. Faculty members in the Educational Leadership stream are encouraged to apply.

Interested candidates are invited to submit a statement of interest that addresses the above points, a curriculum vitae, and the names of three referees by December 23, 2019 to:

Dr. Joanne Fox, Principal
c/o Susanne Schmiesing, UBC Vantage College

Interested parties are encouraged to contact us with any enquiries. The position has an anticipated start date of July 1st, 2020. This start date is flexible.

Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.

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