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UBC Reports | Vol. 46 | No. 17 | November 2, 2000

AGM celebrates UBC innovators

President singles out creative contributions of staff, faculty and students

UBC is making great strides in its trek to become Canada's premier university, according to information reported to more than 400 students, staff and faculty at the third campus annual general meeting. The meeting was held last week at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts.

UBC President Martha Piper credited staff, faculty and student innovators for their creative contributions in helping to achieve the university's goals as stated in Trek 2000, UBC's vision document.

"Innovators create a kind of magic," says Piper. "They change institutions by affecting others around them -- engendering pride and permitting others to celebrate and revel in their success. The result is a sense of confidence that we can be the best we can be."

Piper and Terry Sumner, vice-president, Administration and Finance, reported on the university's financial position and progress made in implementing the university's vision.

Highlights of the 1999/2000 fiscal year include an increase in the provincial government grant to UBC that has helped eliminate budget cuts on campus for the first time in 12 years, record federal research funding of $68 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation--the largest amount awarded to any Canadian institution -- and the establishment of 160 new research chairs valued at $120 million over five years.

In addition Piper cited the academic plan, the Learning Exchange in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside and a new alumni office in Hong Kong as examples of the year's innovations, along with programs such as the Faculty of Arts Foundations program, the new Master of Software Systems, and the combined Applied Science and Arts degree.

UBC's revenues for the year were close to $836 million with an operating surplus of $2 million. The provincial operating grant accounted for 33.5 per cent or $280 million of the total.

Domestic student tuition fees were frozen in 1999/2000 for the fourth year in a row at 1996/97 levels. The provincial government recently announced the tuition fee freeze will be extended to 2001/2002.

The university provided $26 million in scholarships, fellowships and bursaries, up five per cent from the previous year.

The funding gap for student instruction continues to be an issue, says Piper, with the gap between the cost of education and resources available for the four established B.C. universities totalling more than $35 million.

Presentations celebrated the innovations of the late Michael Smith, Nobel laureate, award-winning Music Prof. Rena Sharon, facilities manager George McLaughlin, a recipient of the President's Service Award for Excellence, and the Youth Millennium Project which encourages youth around the world to discuss and act upon global issues.

Alma Mater Society President Maryann Adamec highlighted the contributions of student innovators including students involved in the Natural Food Co-op and Arts students who put forth a design proposal that resulted in increased social space.

The 13 student athletes, staff and faculty who participated in the recent 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney were also recognized.

UBC's senior administration attended the meeting along with Linda Thorstad, the vice-chair, External on the Board of Governors and Prof. Doug Kilburn, former director of UBC's Biotechnology Laboratory.

Audience questions included queries and comments about campus morale, compensation packages for new faculty and tuition fees for international students.

Members of the business community received an update on UBC innovators from Piper and UBC Computer Science Prof. Gregor Kiczales at a meeting of Vancouver's Board of Trade, held Oct. 31.

Copies of UBC's annual report are available through the Public Affairs Office at (604) UBC-INFO or on the Web at www.ubc.ca/annualreport.

Anyone who sends in feedback on UBC's Annual Report through the on-line evaluation form has a chance to win a Palm V donated by the UBC Bookstore. The winner will be chosen Nov. 30.


Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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