Appointment of the new Dean of the Faculty of Forestry

April 20, 2021

Dr. Robert Kozak

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

It is my pleasure to announce that the Board of Governors has accepted the President's recommendation to appoint Dr. Robert Kozak as the new Dean of the Faculty of Forestry for a five-year term, commencing September 1, 2021.

Dr. Kozak is a professor in the Department of Wood Science at the UBC Faculty of Forestry, where he has been serving as Associate Dean, Academic since July 2016. Prior to this appointment, he served as Head of the Department of Wood Science for five years.

Dr. Kozak received a BSc in Forestry and a PhD in Forest Products Utilization, both from UBC, and will be conferred a Doctor of Agriculture and Forestry honoris causa from the University of Helsinki this year. He has received several awards and distinctions, including the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) Scientific Achievement Award, and the UBC Killam Teaching Prize on two occasions. 

Dr. Kozak brings a strong commitment to research and education. He is recognized internationally for his scholarship in sustainable business management theory and practice, and for addressing complex problems related to sustainable development, forestry, wood products and the emerging conservation economy. He is committed to fostering interdisciplinary research as a means to confronting the many grand challenges found in the field of forestry. In his role as Associate Dean, Academic, Dr. Kozak has administered all aspects of the six undergraduate degree programs in the Faculty, and has extensive experience in curriculum development and ensuring an excellent educational experience for students. For the past year, he has dedicated most of his efforts to the transition to online teaching and learning in response to the pandemic, guiding the collective effort to continue to provide high-quality education.

Dr. Kozak also holds a strong commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion and reconciliation. He was part of the First Nations-led team that developed the proposed Indigenous Land Stewardship program in the Faculty, and he is committed to fostering reconciliation with Indigenous communities, promoting diversity initiatives, and including equity, diversity and inclusion considerations in all major decisions in the Faculty.

I am grateful to the members of the President’s Advisory Committee for their commitment of extensive time and energy throughout the search. I would also like to thank students, faculty and staff for participating in the search process and providing valuable feedback to the committee.

Finally, I wish to express my gratitude to Dean John Innes for his outstanding service to the university and excellent leadership of the Faculty over the past 11 years. Under his stewardship, the Faculty has enjoyed unprecedented growth and received recognition as one the top forestry faculties in the world.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Kozak on his new appointment. I am certain the Faculty of Forestry will continue to build on its strengths under Dr. Kozak's leadership.