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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

The Year in Review

September 04

Michael Smith Laboratories Open

The legacy of Nobel prize-winning biochemist Michael Smith takes a physical form with the opening of the $30-million, 7,500-square-metre Michael Smith Laboratories.

Brett Finlay, the UBC Peter Wall Distinguished Professor whom Smith recruited personally in 1989, is one of 15 principal investigators and 225 people who will work in the three-storey building.

"This is a remarkable group of academic investigators whose research discoveries have crossed scientifi c disciplines in extraordinary ways and who represent international leadership in biotechnology," says Phil Hieter, MSL director. "It would be no surprise if UBC's next Nobel Prize came from this lab."

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October 04

UBC Learning Exchange Director Dr. Margo Fryer Receives Great Trekker Award

Although modesty is not a prerequisite for recipients of the Great Trekker Award, UBC Learning Exchange Director Dr. Margo Fryer could certainly have qualified on that merit.

"It's really the Learning Exchange -- not just me -- that's being recognized," she said when receiving the award. "And it's especially fitting that the Great Trekker Award is coming to an initiative that is so tied to community (outreach) and to the Trek vision (UBC's strategic plan)."

The award is presented by the student-run Alma Mater Society to an alumni member who has achieved recognition in their chosen field, made a special contribution to the community and maintained a continued interest in UBC.

New Brock Hall Totem Pole Erected

A new Victory Through Honour totem pole stands tall again at Brock Hall more than 50 years after the original carving was fi rst gifted to the university.

As a symbol of welcome to Aboriginal students, the original totem was carved by renowned Kwickwasutaineuk artist Ellen Neel, one of the first female carvers in the world. It was presented to the Alma Mater Society by the Neel family and the late Kwickwasutaineuk Chief William Scow in 1948.

The years having ravaged the first pole, the Neel and Scow families participated in commissioning a replica, carved by Calvin Hunt.

"With just over 500 Aboriginal students at UBC today, the pole will serve as a visual reminder of UBC's commitment to increasing Aboriginal student enrolment and to building strong relationships with our First Nations neighbours," says UBC Community Affairs executive director Sid Katz.

Jeff Francis Joins UBC's Chancellor's Circle

Jeff Francis, the first member of a Canadian university baseball team to be drafted and play in Major League Baseball, joins the Chancellor's Circle, having given more than $30,000 to the UBC baseball program. Francis is now a starting pitcher for the Colorado Rockies.

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November 04

Life Sciences Centre
New Life Sciences Centre enables doubling of medical graduates (photo by Howard Waisman)

Life Sciences Centre Opens

Medical training and research in British Columbia leaps ahead in the new Life Sciences Centre, a $134 million interdisciplinary teaching and research facility.

The Centre includes three major elements: a state-of-the-art teaching facility that will enable UBC to help almost double the number of doctors trained in British Columbia every year; the Life Sciences Institute, a 25,000-squaremetre international hub for interdisciplinary, basic biological research; and the Centre for Blood Research, a national centre established to help ensure the safety, security and quality of Canada's blood supply, as well as to lead the world on new blood-related research.

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December 04

UBC Community Rallies to Support Tsunami Relief

In the midst of one of the most lavish celebrations in the Western tradition, Vancouverites join the world in horror, watching as a devastating earthquake and tsunami crash the coasts of the Indian Ocean.

At a memorial service on January 5, 2005, UBC President Martha Piper called for donations, directly to the tsunami victims and also to a Global Service Learning Fund in which UBC would match any donations given. Dr. Piper said: "Today let us affi rm the responsibility of a global university -- one that values all human life; that uses knowledge and technology to tackle problems that affect people around the world; that promotes and supports humanitarian efforts to reduce the amount of human suffering, death and dislocation associated with disasters and inequities around the globe."

So far, UBC students and staff have responded with donations of more than $250,000.

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February 05

Swim Teams Capture 8th Consecutive Canadian Championship

UBC Swimming teams, both men's and women's, capture their 8th consecutive Canadian University Championship this year -- a Canadian record. Two of their swimmers qualify for the World Aquatic Championships in Montreal and nine qualify for the World University Games in Izmir, Turkey. Three coaches, Deb Huband, Kevin Hanson and Derrick Schoof, also represent UBC at the World University Games.

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March 05

UBC Documentary Chronicles Student Life

College Days, College Nights, a six-hour, three-part film with UBC students in front of and behind the cameras, premieres of the Documentary Channel.

The documentary followed 16 UBC undergraduates through the 2003-04 academic year, charting everything from student achievements and romances to the emotional discord between student and immigrant parents; the stress of exams; and the struggles of those far from home.

The project was the brainchild of John Zaritsky, a well-known journalist and fi lm producer who became an adjunct professor in the UBC Department of Theatre, Film and Creative Writing for this project.

The crew members were fourth-year fi lm production students and they interned with Zaritsky's company, Point Grey Pictures, for six UBC credits.

A Research Powerhouse

Total sponsored research expenditures (CAD) UBC, 1996 - 2005 [graph]
Total sponsored research expenditures (CAD) UBC, 1996 - 2005

For the third straight year, UBC ranked in the top 40 of the world's best universities. In a 2005 study of life sciences technology transfer and commercialization, UBC ranked ninth in North America, ahead of such prestigious universities as Columbia and Johns Hopkins and all other Canadian universities.

Spin-off companies formed cumulative from 95/96 [graph]
Spin-off companies formed cumulative from 95/96

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April 05

Six New Canada Research Chairs Announced

UBC and the federal government announce the identity of six new Canada Research Chairs, bringing UBC's current total to 119 (out of an ultimate 158) top international researchers recruited under the program.

Roger François, Canada Research Chair in Marine Biogeochemistry and Climate Change Studies, comes from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Jeffrey Kleim, Canada Research Chair in Cortical Plasticity and Recovery from Stroke.

Robert Shadwick, Canada Research Chair in Integrative Animal Physiology, comes from the University of California at San Diego.

Richard Kenyon, a mathematician who studies problems in the physics of interfaces and surfaces, comes from France.

Loren Rieseberg, an evolutionary biologist whose investigation of how species arise will contribute to crop improvement and weed control, comes from Indiana University.

Mark Vellend, a conservation biologist who studies how biodiversity will respond to natural and human-induced environmental change, comes from the U.S. National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesisis.

Direct federal funding supporting these chairs amounts amounts to $6.6 million and the Canada Foundation for Innovation contributed an additional $686,000.

University Boulevard Competition Winner Revealed

After six months of heated competition and 12 hours of debate by an internationally renowned jury of architects, UBC chooses a top international team -- Santa Monica's Moore Ruble Yudell Architects and Planners (MRY) and Vancouver's Hughes Condon Marler: Architects (HCMA) -- to redesign University Boulevard and create a signature gateway and new social heart for UBC.

The University Boulevard competition sets a cornerstone in UBC's plan, over the next 15 years, to build out the remaining 1,145 acres still available in UBC's original endowment to sustain and support the University's future growth. The goal is a complete and sustainable campus community and a magnet for new investment of many forms -- academic, applied research, cultural and residential.

- Dennis Pavlich, Vice President, UBC External and Legal Affairs

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May 05

Asia Pacific Regional Office Opens

UBC puts permanent roots in Asia with the opening in Hong Kong of the Asia Pacific Regional Office.

Although UBC has had an Alumni office in Hong Kong for four years, the Regional Office -- the fi rst such facility for any Canadian university -- is intended to cement the already good relationships that UBC has in Asia.

"As Canada's leading university in Asia Pacific issues, UBC has had partnerships in the region for decades," says Dr. Ken McGillivray, Director of the Office of UBC International and Acting Associate Vice President, International. "By establishing a permanent presence, we can strengthen these existing partnerships and foster new, dynamic academic, government, and private sector relationships."

Bachelor of Midwifery First Graduating Class
UBC's first Midwifery degree graduates celebrate at Spring Congregation

Bachelor of Midwifery First Graduating Class

Seven UBC students become the first ever to receive Bachelor of Midwifery degrees at the Spring Congregation.

"It's very exciting to birth our first graduating class," says Elaine Carty, director of the program, which is part of the Faculty of Medicine's Dept. of Family Practice.

B.C. now joins Ontario and Quebec in offering such a program. Midwives attend about 2,300 births in B.C. every year.

UBC receives about 100 applications annually for the class. About 80 per cent of applicants have previous degrees, in both arts and sciences. The graduating class ranges in age from mid-20s to mid-40s and includes single and married women, mothers and a grandmother.

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June 05

UBC Claims $6.5 Million in SSHRC Funding

UBC investigators claim $6.5 million in federal research support for 73 social, economic and cultural research projects, earning them second place among Canadian universities in the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) annual grants competition.

"The innovation of these UBC scholars continues to place us among the world's top research universities," says Prof. David Dolphin, acting vice-president, Research.

Launch of BLAST Telescope

June is a BLAST for UBC astronomer Mark Halpern, part of a team involved in building and launching the Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimetre Telescope (BLAST).

The telescope set off from Sweden, dangling from a 33-storey balloon that carried it to the edge of space. There it drifted free of the obscurity of earth's atmosphere, observing the cosmos for four days before being released by remote control and floating back to earth on a parachute.

Scientists hope the telescope will have gathered information that will help unravel the history of the universe.

This is the second June running that UBC has turned heads in the international astronomy community. In 2003, a Russian rocket launched the UBC-built Microvariability & Oscillations of Stars (MOST) telescope, a suitcase-sized instrument dubbed the "Humble" satellite for its diminutive proportions and its relatively small ($10 million) budget.

UBC Ranked Ninth in North American University Patents

UBC confirms its position among North American patent powerhouses, ranking ninth among universities that secured US patents in 2004.

The University Patent Powerhouses survey, conducted by the New Jersey intellectual property consulting firm 1790 Analytics and published in The Scientist magazine, measured both the quantity and quality of life sciences patents issued to North American universities.

UBC, which registered 27 such patents in 2004 placed 9th, outperforming big US institutions such as Columbia University (10th) and Johns Hopkins University (14th). UBC was the only Canadian university listed among the top 15.

Three UBC students Named 2005 Trudeau Scholars

Three UBC students are named 2005 Trudeau Scholars for their research and leadership in environmental law, global sustainability and law reform to protect children in non-traditional families.

David Boyd is a PhD candidate in UBC's Resource Management and Environmental Studies program and author of Unnatural Law: Rethinking Canadian Environmental Law and Policy.

Aliette Frank is a geography PhD candidate who has researched endangered mountain gorillas in Uganda and conducted other diverse field studies in Alaska, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Jamaica and India.

Fiona Kelly is a PhD candidate in law, who will look at advancing legal reforms to protect parents and children in lesbian and gay families.

Established by the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation in 2003, the scholarships are given to students who are expected to become national and international leaders and whose studies advance four areas: human rights and social justice, responsible citizenship, Canada and the world and humans and their natural environment.

UBC Designated an IBM Life Sciences Institute of Innovation

UBC joins the ranks of Johns Hopkins University, the University of California San Diego and Indiana University, becoming the first Canadian post-secondary institution designated an IBM Life Sciences Institute of Innovation.

With the designation comes a cash and in-kind donation valued at $550,000 over three years to support bioinformatics research in areas such as human genetic disorders, heart disease, adverse drug reactions in children and prostate cancer.

IBM was already an established support of the UBC Bioinformatics Centre (UBIC), having recently supplied the centre with two IBM servers to support the high-performance computing requirements of their research. The new designation boosts IBM's support to UBIC to $1.5 million.

Ahead of the Curve

UBC Fall enrolment headcount, 1996 - 2005 [graph]
UBC Fall enrolment headcount, 1996 - 2005

Demand for access to quality post-secondary education has prompted the British Columbia government to allocate 25,000 new seats. UBC is doing its part, with 3,700 new students now enrolled at UBC Okanagan. Recognizing the high value of graduate education, UBC is planning to increase enrolment of master's, doctoral and post-doctoral students to meet Canada's needs in the global knowledge economy.

Full-time Faculty November 1st, 1996 - 2005 [graph]
Full-time Faculty at November 1st, 1996 - 2005

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July 05

John Hepburn
Physics and Astronomy Professor John Hepburn became a member of the Royal Society of Canada and, in October, UBC’s Vice-President, Research

UBC Faculty Elected to Royal Society of Canada

Five University of British Columbia faculty members are elected to the Royal Society of Canada for their outstanding achievement. The five include:

Physicist Douglas Bonn, whose pioneering work in quasi particle dynamics has shed new light on superconductors;

Sauder School of Business Professor Izak Benbasat, who specializes in the design of human-computer interfaces, especially for web-based business;

Dean of Science John Hepburn, an expert on the interaction of laser light with atoms and molecules;

Geneticist Philip Hieter, whose studies of cell division on the molecular level will lead to more effective cancer therapies; and

Psychiatry professor John Livesley, Canada's pre-eminent expert on personality disorders.

Established in 1882, the Royal Society of Canada is Canada's most prominent academy of scholars and scientists -- including 160 faculty members from UBC.

ICICS and Computer Science Open $40 Million Building Addition

The Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems (ICICS) and the UBC Computer Science Department team up to celebrate a $40 million building addition that will revolutionize research in animation, artifi cial intelligence and autonomous robotics technology, even as it doubles UBC's capacity to train students in computer science, electrical, and computer engineering.

Even before the Computer Science component was added, the ICICS expansion was on the planning table, thanks to the biggest Canada Foundation for Innovation grant ever awarded in this category. When the B.C. government stepped up with new funding to Double the Opportunity in Electrical and Computer Engineering, both parties saw the potential for this huge and mutually beneficial collaboration.

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September 05

Faculty of Agricultural Sciences Renamed Faculty of Land and Food Systems

The old Faculty of Agricultural Sciences officially arises as the new Faculty of Land and Food Systems, a change that "exemplifies the diversity of our faculty in a world more concerned about the interconnectedness of our land, food, water, health and environment," says Murray Isman, the faculty's Dean pro tem.

The change in title, approved by Senate in February is also part of a larger international trend to tackle misperceptions associated with the word agriculture as being primarily farming-related.

UBC is the third agricultural faculty in Canada to achieve a similar change in image, and follows the lead of numerous schools in Australia and the United States. Pedagogical changes now include an increasing focus on student-centred learning and practical work experience, and the faculty is also transforming its role at the new UBC Okanagan campus with plans to expand its agroecology program to the school in the near future.

Better Ways to Move

Reported most-often used modes of travel by UBC Students (Source: TransLink) [graph]
Reported most-often used modes of travel by UBC Students (Source: TransLink)

Students at UBC's Vancouver campus have led the way on sustainability by once again saying yes in a referendum to a universal transit pass (U-Pass). With some 1,800 new student residence spaces being built, and a goal for 50 per cent of new University Town residences to be occupied by people who work or study at UBC, the university is creating a more vibrant, and sustainable, community.

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