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UBC Reports | Vol. 51 | No. 2 | Feb. 3, 2005

The Barber Legacy

Combining arts and science will encourage global citizenship

The Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences at UBC Okanagan will give students in the UBC system the opportunity to choose where they learn -- and how.

Set in north Kelowna, the school will combine the faculties of arts and science to create a truly interdisciplinary learning experience that promotes the value of a civil and sustainable society, says Bernard Bauer, dean of OUC’s Faculty of Science, who will head up the school this fall.

“Post-secondary students these days tend to specialize in one particular field, to the detriment of broad-based education and responsible citizenship,” says Bauer.

“With the Barber School we have a fresh slate to create something at UBC O that’s unique and innovative, but speaks to the vision of the whole UBC system.”

Bauer says a model of traditional liberal arts colleges such as Princeton and the University of Chicago, where outstanding pedagogy is married to research excellence, is central to his vision for the school.

“The Barber School will be a very nice compliment to UBC Vancouver -- classes will be considerably smaller with a much more personal focus, and the delivery of the courses will be different,” says Bauer.

“Students in the UBC system will have more choices in terms of how they complete their education.”

In October, a $15-million endowment was set up thanks to forestry giant Irving K. Barber to create the Barber School of Arts and Sciences at UBC Okanagan. “In providing the endowment, Ike Barber challenged us to provide a value-added learning experience in innovative ways, to do things no one else can to enhance the education experience,” says Bauer.

The Irving K. Barber Interface Program, for example, will allow a constant exchange of ideas and experience between the School of Arts and Sciences and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, now under construction at UBC Vancouver.

As for the establishment of UBC Okanagan, Bauer says it’s an exciting time to be part of the UBC family. “We know there’s a tradition of excellence that we are expected to uphold,” says Bauer. “UBC Okanagan will play a very strong role in the region in terms of providing intellectual and research leadership -- and a place where people can turn to for unbiased opinion and information.”

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Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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