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Canada's Global University
The University of British Columbia
2004 / 05 Annual Report
towards 2010
Think Global: Raising the Bar at UBCThe Year in ReviewDefining - and Modeling - Global CitizenshipRecruiting Allies in a More Civil SocietyA Sustainable UBC - A Sustainable University TownInvesting in a New Generation - a New UBCDonors & EndowmentFinancial HighlightsSocial HighlightsEnvironmental HighlightsLeadershipContact / FeedbackPDF Version

Think Global: Raising the Bar at UBC

For more than three-quarters of a century, the idea of UBC has been indivisible from its principal place -- from the campus on Vancouver's exquisite Point Grey. Of course, the reality of UBC transcended that physical location. British Columbia's oldest and biggest university has long been a happy collaboration of academic schools, colleges and faculties, of academic hospital partners and campuses ranging from exclusive spaces such as UBC Robson Square to shared operations like the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre or the nascent Great Northern Way campus.

Martha Piper
President and Vice-Chancellor Martha Piper in dialogue with new students on the Kelowna campus.

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But nothing in our history has been quite like the opening of UBC Okanagan. For the first time since 1922, when students and faculty trekked from inadequate facilities in downtown Vancouver to the Point Grey site, UBC is marking the inauguration of a brand new, freestanding and largely autonomous campus.

The Kelowna incarnation, which officially began operations in September, is a distinct entity, governed by its own Senate, but it is also critically linked to take advantage of the experience and resources of the UBC system. That could include everything from UBC's expertise in conceiving, funding and executing Nobel-quality research to UBC's ability to connect to the wider world through resources such as the new Asia Pacific Regional Office. With one stroke, we have introduced UBC's world-class standards to the Southern Interior, expanding opportunities for students in the Okanagan and Kootenay valleys and building the educational and economic capacity of neighbouring communities.

The number one goal, at UBC Okanagan as at UBC Vancouver, will be to spread the UBC Vision, a vision of citizenship, scholarship and sustainability. In updating UBC's Trek Strategic Plan in November 2004, the UBC Board of Governors -- guided by a consultative process in the UBC community -- realigned our most important priorities. Our new Vision correctly identifies teaching and research excellence as the foundation stones on which we can build toward a higher ideal. It is not enough only to train experts and professionals; UBC must create leaders, educating citizens who are fully engaged in their communities -- in the fragile but endlessly promising global community.

Looking at the leaders in our community -- at prominent citizens, alumni and UBC donors like Ike and Jean Barber, Bill and Marjorie Sauder, Stewart and Marilyn Blusson, and Ross and Trisha Beaty -- it's clear that this is a function that UBC has been performing for many decades. It is our intent to build on that proud history, to focus our efforts to ensure that every UBC student graduates with that heightened sense of social responsibility -- as well as a heightened capacity to make a difference, in their own lives and in the wider world.

On every front, we have enjoyed a stellar 12 months, inaugurating new buildings like the Life Sciences Centre and the Michael Smith Laboratories and cementing UBC's position as one of the top 50 research universities in the world.

Our course is set. It will give us greater confidence and great potential in this new year.

- Martha C. Piper, President and Vice Chancellor

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