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
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.”