John B. Macdonald, UBC’s fourth president – photo by Martin Dee
UBC Reports | Vol. 53 | No. 10 | Oct. 4, 2007
John B. Macdonald, UBC’s fourth president, visited campus recently. During his 1962-1967 tenure, Macdonald influenced the development of UBC and higher education throughout the province with his seminal 1962 report, Higher Education in British Columbia and a Plan for the Future.
UBC Reports asked Macdonald about the impact of his report, which helped make UBC a centre for research and graduate education in B.C. and laid the foundation for the development of Simon Fraser University and the University of Victoria.
“UBC was facing a virtually impossible proposition,” said Macdonald, who presided over UBC as baby boomers began flooding Canadian universities. “They were going to have to meet the huge demand for post-secondary university education. They didn’t have the faculty and the faculty were not available in Canada.”
“What we needed to be doing was building a strong graduate school to help the country develop the academics that were going to be needed at UBC and right across the country.”
“Almost as big an objective was to ensure that we opened up post-secondary education for a large number of students for whom the idea of going to university was a non-starter.”