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

UBC Okanagan: Combining Excellence with Innovation

A 300-bed residence, new faculty members and innovative programs are among the hallmarks of UBC Okanagan, set to open its doors in September.

Since the March 2004 announcement of the creation of UBC Okanagan, the transition team, which includes executives from both UBC and Okanagan University College (OUC), has been working non-stop to put in place programs and infrastructure for the school’s first class of 3,800 students.

Expansion to the existing arts and science buildings has begun and construction of a new 300-bed residence will begin early summer on what is currently OUC’s north Kelowna campus. Resumes are pouring in for new faculty positions expected to be filled before the summer. New programs and research themes, based on extensive community consultation, are being fine-tuned to address regional demand.

Barry McBride, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of UBC Okanagan, says the new campus will uphold UBC’s tradition of excellence in ways that are distinct from -- yet complementary with -- UBC Vancouver.

Students will be encouraged to shape their own learning experience by incorporating interdisciplinary, theme-based inquiry, community service learning and co-op and practicum opportunities that involve regional industry partners such as the Summerland Pacific Agriculture Research Centre (PARC) and the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory in Penticton.

“You’ll see a university that is closely connected with the community throughout the Okanagan,” says McBride. “You’ll see a university whose research activities are broadly based and address issues of regional importance. You’ll see a university that is committed to the idea of global citizenship and internationalization.”

UBC Okanagan also presents a rare opportunity where the academic plan provides specific guidance for the physical development of the campus, says Moura Quayle, who is working on academic planning at UBC Okanagan, when she’s not wearing her UBC Vancouver hat as Dean of Agricultural Sciences.

“As a result, students can count on an intimate learning environment, an integrated approach to teaching and research, leading edge technology to enhance the learning experience, and creative scheduling that encourages reflection and dialogue,” says Quayle.

This September, UBC Okanagan will open its doors with the Faculty of Health Sciences, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Creative and Performing Arts, Faculty of Management and the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences.

The four major research themes -- indigenous studies, sustainability, health and wellness and creativity, culture and community -- are designed to compliment teaching and learning, says Quayle.

“We aim to hire not just stellar researchers but excellent teachers,” says Quayle. “It’s a goal we’re keeping front and centre because we want our faculty to be creative in how their research informs their teaching and how the undergraduate students conduct research.”

UBC Okanagan Timeline


March 17
Provincial government announces the establishment of UBC Okanagan and a college in the Okanagan region

July 16
UBC Board of Governors approves $18.4 million construction plan to accommodate 900 new student spaces

September 8
UBC Okanagan Community Advisory Council holds inaugural meeting in Kelowna

September 16
Program and research directions announced

September 30
UBC Board of Governors holds meeting in Kelowna, the first time in two decades it meets outside the Lower Mainland

October 22
Forestry giant Irving K. Barber announces a $12.25 million endowment to establish the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences

September - December
Academic Plan Working Group meetings and consultations held with students, staff, and faculty and communitieson an every-two week basis

November 29
Job offers made to staff and faculty


January - March
Idea Book Draft Academic Plan consultation with faculty for academic plan, students, staff and external community

April - May
Discussion of Academic Plan at UBC Okanagan Interim Senate

Approval of Academic Plan at UBC Okanagan Senate

Have Your Say

The UBC Okanagan Academic Plan team welcomes input on the draft UBC Okanagan Academic Plan, available at http://www.okanagan.ubc.ca/academicplan.

Please e-mail your comments to academicplan.okanagan@ubc.ca.

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Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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