UBC Okanagan’s Deputy Vice Chancellor Dr. Doug Owram chats with a student - photo by Tim Swanky
UBC Reports | Vol. 52 | No. 7 |
Jul. 6, 2006
Take Five With Doug Owram, Deputy Vice Chancellor, UBC Okanagan
What attracted you to UBC Okanagan?
The vision set out for UBC Okanagan is too important to resist. It combines community and excellence and I very much wanted to do what I could to assist in building the institution during a crucial phase. I was also drawn to UBC Okanagan in part by the fact that, although it builds on strong foundations, it is in many ways a brand new venture with incredible potential. On a personal level, I know the Okanagan from having vacationed here for many years and I have found it to be a dynamic, inviting community with a tremendous future.
How would you describe the relationship between the two campuses of UBC and what does UBC Okanagan offer the institution as a whole?
The relationship is and should remain synergistic. Each campus can add to the system as a whole and we can definitely learn from one another. For instance, because of our smaller campus, we are a great place to test new innovations and approaches that can then be implemented system-wide. I believe that both sides are watching this new experiment with curiosity. Everybody wonders how UBC as a whole will change with two campuses and what the impact will be on their own areas. So long as both sides recognize the strengths of the other, I have no doubt at all both campuses can be partners in furthering UBC’s reputation as an international leader among universities.
What are the key challenges facing UBC Okanagan?
We are in a period of tremendous growth and transition. Expanding the student base, hiring excellent faculty, building the necessary facilities, and getting the UBC Okanagan story out will keep us all busy.
What will be your first priorities as you take the helm?
I very much want to learn from those that are here, both within the UBC Okanagan community and throughout the Okanagan Valley. The strategic focus will be to meet the challenges that come with building a new institution while focusing on our key values of excellence and community. We must also stay true to the vision outlined in our Academic Plan.
As you look to the future, say 5 to 10 years out, what will UBC Okanagan be known for?
I believe that UBC Okanagan will be one of the finest undergraduate institutions in Canada and a central part of advanced education for both the Okanagan and the province. I look forward to working with the UBC Okanagan team, our cohorts at UBC Vancouver, and the external community, to ensure this vision is achieved.