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UBC-O: Tom Huisman appointed as Director, Athletics and Recreation

Tom Huisman has been appointed as UBC Okanagan’s new Director, Athletics and Recreation. He joins UBC Okanagan with more than 25 years of senior sport and university leadership experience that followed his own athletic career as a provincial soccer player and varsity distance and cross-country runner.

Originally from Winnipeg and an MBA graduate of the University of Manitoba, Tom held the positions of Executive Director of the Coaches Association and Provincial Coaching Coordinator for Sport Manitoba before moving to the Ottawa region as the Director of Operations for Canadian Interuniversity Sport (now U Sports) for more than 15 years. Most recently, Tom was the Manager of Interuniversity Sport Programs at Carleton University, helping guide Carleton sport teams to multiple National and Provincial Championships.

Learn more.


Liz King appointed Director of Ceremonies and Events

A message from Philip Steenkamp, Vice-President, External Relations

I am very pleased to announce that Liz King will be the new Director of Ceremonies and Events, effective May 3. 

Liz is currently the Director of Donor and Alumni Events at UBC in the development and alumni engagement portfolio (DAE), and leads the team responsible for donor recognition, stewardship and alumni engagement events. Liz has worked in customer service, project and service coordination, and event management roles for more than 15 years at the university, across several portfolios.

In her ten years with DAE, Liz has collaborated with volunteers and staff, constituents and dignitaries. Highlights during her time with DAE include delivering events for the start an evolution campaign, UBC’s centennial celebrations and launching the recent Blue & Gold Campaign for Students. Liz has had the opportunity to work on UBC teams responsible for hosting HRH The Duke of York, and TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and events featuring great Canadians like Rick Mercer and William Shatner, annual Homecoming activities, and events for members of UBC’s giving circles.

Liz completed her BA at UBC and has also completed programs in Event Marketing and Public Relations at BCIT. Liz is currently enrolled and doing her MBA at Royal Roads University. 

James Olson appointed Dean, Faculty of Applied Science

It is our pleasure to announce that the Board of Governors has accepted the president’s recommendation to appoint Dr. James Olson as the new Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science for a five-year term, commencing March 1, 2018. Read the full details of the appointment.

Dr. Olson, professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, has been serving as Interim Dean since July 1, 2017. Prior to this appointment, he has served in several roles within the Faculty, including Associate Dean of Research and Industry Partnerships and the director of two UBC research centres.

Dr. Olson received his BASc in Engineering Physics and his PhD in Chemical Engineering, both from UBC. He has received a number of awards and distinctions including the FPInnovations Professorship, two NSERC Synergy awards, and the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Innovation, among others. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering.

We are grateful to the members of the President’s Advisory Committee for their commitment of extensive time and energy throughout the search. We would like to thank all those who provided valuable feedback, including faculty members, staff, students and external stakeholders.

We hope you will join us in congratulating Dr. Olson on his new appointment. We are certain that the Faculty of Applied Science will continue to build on its strengths under his leadership.

UBC-O: Dwayne Tannant named Dean pro tem for College of Graduate Studies

Dwayne Tannant, Professor in the School of Engineering, will assume the role of Dean pro tem in the College of Graduate Studies (CoGS) from September 1, 2018 to the end of June, 2019.

Dr. Tannant has been with UBC Okanagan since 2008, joining UBC from the University of Alberta, where he was Professor in the Faculty of Engineering. He holds degrees in geotechnical engineering (U of Alberta, PhD) and in geological engineering (UBC, BASc). Special professional qualifications include that of Professional Engineer (P.Eng.).

While at UBC Okanagan, Dr. Tannant has served as Acting Associate Dean and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the School of Engineering.  As a geotechnical specialist, he has also served previously in a number of significant external consulting and specialist roles in industry, bringing academic and applied expertise to the role of Dean pro tem. The list of graduate students whom he has supervised over the course of his career is extensive, including both domestic and international students. His research portfolio has been supported by impressive and continuous peer-reviewed funding from a variety of agencies, especially the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and recently, the BC Oil and Gas Research Innovation Society and Mitacs Canada. As a visiting lecturer, his activities include a host of international venues.

Learn more.

Neil Guppy reappointed as Senior Advisor to the Provosts on Academic Freedom

A message from Andrew Szeri, Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Vancouver; and Cynthia Mathieson, Provost and Vice-Principal Academic, UBC Okanagan.

Following consultation with UBC stakeholders, we are pleased to announce that Dr. Neil Guppy has accepted a reappointment to the position of Senior Advisor to the Provosts on Academic Freedom. His second term will begin on July 1, 2018.

This position supports institutional efforts to ensure that academic freedom is understood, safeguarded and promoted at UBC. While all members of the community have a responsibility to protect and support this central freedom, the Senior Advisor undertakes various educational and consultative initiatives (such as scholarly integrity and academic freedom), including providing advice to the President and other senior administrators in both Vancouver and the Okanagan.

Dr. Guppy’s commitment to ensure the university is fulfilling its various mandates, with respect to academic freedom, has been very effective. Some of the initiatives during his first term have included:

  • Initiating the Scholars at Risk program;
  • Conducting orientation sessions with new board members and others in senior leadership positions;
  • Meeting and discussing academic freedom with colleagues in a range of forums including faculty meetings, executive leadership teams, and the Faculty Association;
  • and serving as a spokesperson on matters related to academic freedom.

Dr. Guppy’s focus will continue to involve supporting faculty, staff, and students, while also developing interactive scenarios and online tools for incoming Board of Governors, Senate and other administrative members, to assist them in matters of academic freedom.