Last update: January 20, 2020

For more information on the search process generally, please visit the Board of Governors website

This is an election to fill the elected positions on the Presidential Search Committee. An election is called for Faculty Members from both campuses of UBC, management and professional-level staff members, and unionized staff members from both campuses. Please note the definitions for each group provided after the link to the relevant nomination form. 

On this page:


Managment and Professional Staff Dr Andrea Han, Centre for Teaching, Learning & Technology
Okanagan Faculty Dr Paul Davies, Psychology
Vancouver Faculty Dr Darrin Lehman, Psychology, and Dr Jennifer Berdahl, Commerce & Business Administration
Okanagan Unionized Staff Ms Maureen Brophy, Business Operations
Vancouver Unionized Staff Ms Kelly Davies,  Student Housing and Community Services


Voting for these elections has now closed.  Voting was available from October 19 to October 23 2015 at 4:00 pm.


Okanagan Faculty Members

Name Rank Department 

Davies, Paul G

Associate Professor

Unt 4 (Psychology)

Children rarely grow up dreaming to be a university president. It’s not a glamorous career, and it’s not a career that’s normally celebrated by our culture. In fact, the general public, and most students, don’t know the names of our university presidents. I’ve been an academic for 12 years (I’m a social psychologist), and the only time I’ve ever heard anyone outside of academia discussing a university president is when something has gone wrong, which we all experienced with President Gupta’s premature departure. We need a stabilizing force among our UBC leadership. Our next president needs to have a calming influence on the entire UBC community. We need a president who can create a safe environment that encourages open debate and a true transparency of process. Our next president needs to be honest, compassionate, and someone who respects and values our entire UBC community. We need a president who does not have an inappropriate sense of self-importance, someone who realizes they are accountable to all of us here at UBC.

A president must put their university first, which necessitates major personal sacrifice and a true calling for the position. The job is getting more difficult with each passing year; budgets are shrinking while public scrutiny is growing exponentially via social media. To be successful, the next UBC president will have to be an extraordinary person; fortunately, UBC is an extraordinary university, so I’m confident that the right individual will be drawn to lead UBC. During my career, I have been lucky enough to be on over 30 search committees for both faculty members and administrators. I would be honoured if you choose me to be a member of the search committee for the 14th President of UBC.

Patterson, Laura

Senior Instructor

Applied Science

I am honoured and privileged to be nominated to serve the Okanagan campus as the faculty representative on the Presidential Search Committee. 

I bring a broad understanding of Okanagan faculty needs from my eight years on this campus, six of which I served on the Okanagan Senate.  My strong ethical perspective for University affairs has been developed through my time chairing the Senate’s Appeals of Standing and Discipline Committee and serving on UBC’s Conflict of Interest Committee.  I was also a member of the search committees for both our current DVC and our most recent President.  Having participated in interviews of candidates at the highest administrative levels, I understand and am prepared for the challenges of this highly sensitive, abbreviated, and rigorous search process.

If chosen, my priorities will be to work with the committee to choose a candidate who is an experienced leader with a demonstrated record of excellence in the areas of administration, teaching, research, and community service, ideally in a dual campus university system.  This person should have experience managing resources effectively and leading a university with an international reputation. In addition, I will prioritize a candidate who has proven they can facilitate the university’s role in the global and local community as well as facilitate UBC’s relationship with government.  Finally, I will prioritize a candidate who has a vision for UBC’s future that is cognisant of the needs of students, faculty, staff, and British Columbia.

This committee has a great challenge to find the highest-calibre leader to guide UBC who can meet UBC’s immediate and long-term needs. I would be honoured to be elected to the Presidential Search Committee, so I can continue to use my experience to serve our University community.

Van Donkelaar, Paul


Health & Exercise Sciences

I have been a faculty member for almost 20 years – first at the University of Oregon and, since 2011, at UBCO. I have served in a variety of academic leadership roles at both institutions. At Oregon, I was the University Senate President in 2008-09. In this role I was responsible for leading the entire faculty in communicating and interacting with the academic administration on curricular content, academic policies, athletics, and alumni and government relations.

Since coming to UBCO, I have served as the Director of the School of Health and Exercise Sciences. The School has undergone tremendous growth during my 4 years on campus and I am responsible for managing this growth while maintaining the quality and character of the program at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. At the same time I have been able to implement a well-funded program of human neuroscience research (over $1 million in external funding since 2011) and maintain a high level of teaching quality (named to the Teaching Honour Roll two times).

As a result of these experiences, I feel I am able to appreciate issues that influence university administration from a very broad perspective. I was excited by the emphasis that President Gupta placed on making research and teaching directly relevant to the challenges facing society today and I continue to encourage the growth of this philosophy in mentoring the faculty in our School. If I were to be elected as the UBCO faculty representative on the presidential search committee, I would bring this perspective and my previous and current experiences to bear on my contributions to the deliberations of the committee.

Further information regarding my academic background and current research can be found at:

Vancouver Faculty Members

Name Rank  Department 

Austin, Jehannine

Associate Professor

Psychiatry & Medical Genetics

I am a PhD life scientist with clinical training and certification as a genetic counselor, and I hold a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair. I lead an integrated research and clinical program at UBC, and am Graduate Advisor to the Genetic Counseling MSc program. Though my interdisciplinary research, interests (e.g. related to women in academia, and the value of diversity more broadly), and membership of the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, I have close connections with faculty members from across the university. In addition to my experience with other internal hiring committees, I would also bring my experience as President Elect of the National Society of Genetic Counselors (a US-based, 3000 member professional organization) to the task of participating in the 2015 presidential search committee.

As a fully engaged member of the UBC community who cares passionately about our institution and believes deeply in the value of the academic enterprise, I am delighted and honoured to have been nominated to participate in the presidential search committee. If elected to serve in this role, I would commit to actively participating in the process as a vocal advocate for the best interests of our institution.

In the current climate of funding for universities, students and research, realizing the best possible outcomes for our institution requires commitment to transparency and accountability in our governance structures. We also need the development and maintenance of effective and timely processes for two-way communication between institutional leadership and both internal constituents and external stakeholders. In our next president, UBC needs a committed leader who will inspire our community through demonstration of consistent integrity, and of valuing the academic enterprise and the vital role of faculty. ,If elected, these are the perspectives that will inform my approach to the work of the presidential search committee.

Berdahl, Jennifer


Commerce & Business Administration

I hold the Montalbano Chair of Leadership Studies: Gender and Diversity at the Sauder School of Business. My research addresses leadership, power, and status dynamics in groups and in organizations. These research specialties lead to my interest in contributing to the process of selecting the next president for UBC.

Interdisciplinary research and partnerships are crucial to a university’s academic and public mission. I have collaborated with legal scholars, sociologists, psychologists, economists, engineers, and management researchers and practitioners. Another key mission of a university is outreach, and therefore I communicate my own work through a variety of outlets – academic journals, newspaper op-‐eds, live media, public presentations, and my blog.

The next president will face a series of challenges and opportunities to promote UBC’s academic mission and principles. Budgetary sources and priorities must reflect the core values of our university. Private philanthropy has become increasingly important in supporting UBC. We need to make sure there are effective safeguards in place to protect UBC against growing corporatization and its effects on the university’s power structure, priorities, and practices.

To enhance UBC’s status as a leader in independent thought, research, inquiry, and education, I will be looking for candidates who are committed to research and teaching excellence, academic freedom, shared governance, transparency and accountability. In the fallout to my own reflections on the departure of the last president, I have been impressed by the commitment to these values expressed by faculty across UBC. I believe that with the right president we can work together to strengthen UBC and its academic excellence.

Brander, James


Commerce & Business Administration

I have been a UBC faculty member in the Sauder School of Business since 1983 and have been involved in many aspects of university life, including 10 years as a member of the UBC Senate (2002-2011 and 2013-14). While on Senate I chaired the Budget Committee for a 3-year term and was on the Admissions Committee for 7 years, and I have served on many other university-level committees. In the Sauder School I have been Associate Dean of Faculty and Research (1999-2003) and have held an extensive range of other major administrative appointments. I believe I have a broad knowledge of the University that would allow me to contribute effectively to the Search Committee.

I was fortunate enough to win UBC’s Jacob Biely Prize (described as “UBC’s premier award for research”) in 1998 and I hope the next President shares my vision of UBC as one of the world’s leading research institutions. As the author of two widely-used textbooks I also believe strongly in UBC’s leading role in education at both the provincial and international level and expect the next President to share this view. I also appreciate the importance of community and alumni engagement for the University and understand that the President must play a crucial leadership role in this area. Ultimately, however, I think that the primary role of university administration is to support the learning and research objectives of individual students and faculty. While the President must exhibit vision and leadership, it is also vitally important that the President be able to function effectively in the peer-governed university environment.

I am confident that the Search Committee will engage in a thorough, inclusive, and respectful deliberation about who is best suited to be the next UBC President. I would be honored to participate in the process.

Cheek, Timothy


Asian Research & History

I have been a professor at UBC-Vancouver since 2002. My teaching and research on the history and politics of modern China and service in an interdisciplinary Institute on Asian policy has given me the chance to work across departments and fields. In addition to my teaching and research, I have served as an Associate Principle in the College for Interdisciplinary Studies (CFIS) and since then on the Dean’s Advisor Committee (for tenure and promotion) in Arts. I have been acting director of the Institute of Asian Research, currently serve on the UBC China Council and just completed a three-year term as director of the Centre for Chinese Research. In each of these roles I have had to make sense of institutional goals beyond my individual research and career, balance competing interests, and interact with a number of our deans, provosts and presidents.

Together these experiences give me a sense of what we need from a university president to lead us in support of our core teaching, research, and public service roles. We all know presidents must raise money, but clearly we need a president for whom the academic mission is central and in which teaching and learning are as much the measure of our success as traditional research excellence. This includes an energetic sense of the variety of ways our scholarship can contribute to the Vancouver, BC, Canadian and world communities. Finally, administrative skill, diplomacy, and a track-record of managing major academic institutions are a prerequisite for achieving these goals.

Kirkpatrick, David


Computer Science

This academic year I will complete a half-century of affiliation with UBC, spanning ten presidencies from John B. Macdonald to Arvind Gupta. I was an undergraduate student (Honours Mathematics) from 1966-70 and was appointed as an Assistant Professor in 1978; I have been a Full Professor since 1986. I have had the good fortune to win recognition for service, teaching and research (including both the McDowell and Killam Research Awards). I was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2009.

My career at UBC has been enriched by opportunities to engage with fellow faculty from across the entire university, leaving me with a clear sense of the remarkable strength and diversity of our faculty, the commonality of our basic concerns, and the desirability of minimizing administrative structures that too often stifle collegiality.

Such opportunities include serving as an Associate Dean of Graduate Studies (charged with overseeing the many institutes and centres administered by FoGS in the late 1990s), as a Fellow of the Wall Institute and member of its initial Advisory Committee, as a Faculty Fellow of St. John’s College, and as a member of several other university wide committees, including nine years (five of which I served as Chair) on the President’s Advisory Committee on Senior Appointments (SAC).

My previous experience with search committees includes membership on advisory committees for the selection of the Head of Computer Science (1987-88) and the Dean of Science (2002-03 and 2005-06).

I expect that the disturbing events that have precipitated this search will make it unusually challenging. If elected I undertake to work energetically to select a President who places a top priority on maintaining and enhancing an environment that enables faculty to realize their full potential in fulfilling UBC’s core teaching and research missions, at the highest standard.

Lawrence, Gregory


Civil Engineering

If I am elected I will strive to ensure that the successful candidate has the qualifications, experience, personality and energy necessary to be a successful President of UBC.  I have been a faculty member in the Department of Civil Engineering since 1987.  I served on the Board of Governors from 2001 – 2008, and currently serve on the Senior Appointments Committee.

Lehman, Darrin



We seek a president who prioritizes the academic mission and will energize our entire community so that we engage more meaningfully and collegially with one another. We require a highly respected academic and public intellectual, with exceptional administrative skills based on experience in a complex, multifaceted environment. Someone dedicated to excellence, diversity, equity, transparency, accountability, and community-building. Someone with the expertise to assemble and manage senior administrative teams, delegate appropriately, and build consensus towards impactful decisions. Someone who will drive an aggressive re-imagining of administrative and financial practices to support academic excellence. Someone able to champion emerging trends in higher education. Someone who listens to and empowers faculty, inspires students and staff, and builds strong collaborative relationships with all university stakeholders, including alumni, community, donors, and government. Someone who will enhance UBC with sustainable funding for decades.

A university president must not only reward excellence but also facilitate it. We seek a president dedicated to supporting faculty through such initiatives as housing assistance, childcare, partner hiring, and ample, continuous support for research, graduate student funding, undergraduate education, interdisciplinary studies, and other defining qualities of a great university. UBC hired many superb faculty in the past 15 years. Retaining these colleagues with deliberate and considerable support is critical, as is the recruitment of additional first-rate faculty.

I have contributed to 150+ searches at UBC. My broad international network will enable me to put forward many outstanding prospects for the presidential search. For years I have asked UBC colleagues about their experiences and concerns, brainstormed for solutions, and worked hard for their implementation. If elected, I would eagerly seek input from colleagues and make their contributions integral to the search for our next president, one who extols the values that make us proud to belong to this extraordinary community of scholars.

MacLachlan, Mark



I am seeking your support to represent the Faculty on the 2015 Presidential Search Committee. I have a strong bond with UBC and want to help our university flourish. I will look out for the best interests of the faculty and the university.

I completed my BSc at UBC in 1995, PhD at the University of Toronto, and post-doc at M.I.T. I returned to UBC as assistant professor in 2001 and was promoted to Professor in 2011. My research interests are in materials chemistry, assembling new materials with unusual properties from nature’s building blocks. I lead a group of about 20 researchers, have graduated 12 PhD students, and have published more than 100 papers in international peer-reviewed journals. My group’s work has been featured in the Vancouver Sun and on CBC Radio’s “Quirks and Quarks.” I believe research is the foundation of a great university, and the basis of its reputation.

I am a passionate instructor and proud of my commitment to teaching, supervision and outreach. I have received the Killam Prizes for Teaching and for Excellence in Mentoring, and I have served on the Killam Teaching Prize selection committee for the Faculty of Science. Furthermore, I have created new courses, have taught at all levels of chemistry, and am currently in-charge of Chemistry 121, a course with an enrollment of nearly 2000. I also co-created INSPIRE, a program that sends graduate students to small communities in BC as a scientist-in-residence.

I want to help find a President with the drive, passion, and vision to make UBC a top international university. The President must prioritize research excellence, but will also support the teaching, outreach, and other mandates of the university.

Richardson, Alan



A university exists to provide instruction and to enable advanced research; all its other activities should support these primary ones.  The key responsibilities of the president, as the university’s chief executive officer, are to the faculty and students, whose activities constitute the mission of the university.  The search committee must, therefore, seek a president who understands that his or her central duty is to support teaching and research.

UBC faces several challenges in its ambition to provide world-class education and research.  Among the most pressing are inadequate infrastructure for teaching and research and insufficient funding for graduate education.  Another is the cost of housing in Vancouver and its impact on recruitment and retention of faculty.  The President will need to work with local, provincial, and national governments as well as private corporations, NGOs, and philanthropic organizations to find creative solutions to these and other problems.

A single over-arching task must be accomplished to fulfil UBC’s ambitions: truly great universities have an atmosphere of intellectual energy and a bold commitment to the advancement of knowledge; UBC needs a President who can help foster such an atmosphere here.  The chief route to success in that endeavour is to inspire students and faculty to meld their intellectual energies into an institutional ethos, to make UBC not a “name brand” but an intellectual community that anyone would want to join.

In my more than twenty years at UBC, I have served as Chair of the Hampton Fund Research Grant Committee and as Head of my Department, helped to found a new interdisciplinary graduate program, and sat on several transdisciplinary search committees.  I have won a Killam Teaching Prize and was a PWIAS Distinguished Scholar. I am eager to help UBC find a President who can help it meet its challenges and reach its goals. 

Saewyc, Elizabeth



I have been at UBC in Vancouver for 11 years, and most days I still feel like I’ve won the lottery! In addition to my appointment in the School of Nursing, which is located among the diverse disciplines within the Faculty of Applied Science—Engineering, Architecture and Landscape Architecture, and Community and Regional Planning—I am also affiliate faculty in the Division of Adolescent Health and Medicine, in Pediatrics in the Faculty of Medicine. I lead the multi-disciplinary Stigma and Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre. The Centre allows me to engage with graduate and undergraduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty and community colleagues from a number of different fields and disciplines. My clinical background in public health nursing helps me understand that where people live, work, learn, and play influences their health, as well as the key roles that law, policy, education, the sciences, and the humanities can play in health and quality of life. As a result, I’m keenly supportive of UBC’s tripartite role in Canadian and global society: to develop knowledge, through the support of world-class research and scholarship among our talented faculty; to share that knowledge with our students through excellent education, preparing the next generation of scientists and scholars and the future leaders in business and various professions; and to provide service to the wider community, in grappling with the grand challenges of our times and sharing our expertise in every field. My vision for a UBC President is as a connector—someone who connects the university community with each other, with alumni, donors, government, and the wider society, so our leading roles in education, research and service continue to be valued and enhanced.

Song, Weihong



I am a Professor of Psychiatry and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Alzheimer’s disease in the Faculty of Medicine. I joined UBC in 2001 and I am the Associate Director of Institute of Mental Health and Head of Basic Neuroscience Division at Department of Psychiatry. My lab has made major contributions to the understanding of Alzheimer pathogenesis and I was elected to the Fellowship in the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS) in 2012, one of the highest honors for members of the Canadian health sciences community. I have been serving on numerous international grant review panels and on a number of journal editorial boards. Since joining our university, I have been on many university, faculty and department committees involving faculty recruitment, department head search and graduate admission and training. I have played an instrumental role in establishing one of the best international cooperation programs "Canada-China Joint Health Research Initiative", a 10-year CIHR and NSFC joint funding program that funds 15-20 innovative research projects each year. I have been serving as the Special Advisor to the President on China at UBC for past 4 years, helping the University's academic exchange and research collaboration with Chinese institutions and making it one of top partners for Chinese universities in research and education. I believe that my strong belief in academic freedom for faculty members and recognizing the university as a training institution for global citizenship as a core value for one of the world’s leading universities, combined with my academic experience and service to our university, will provide the search committee with important input from a faculty member with international preservative.

von Bergmann, HsingChi

Associate Professor


I joined the UBC Faculty of Dentistry in September 2010 to: (1) conduct and mentor educational research activities in the Faculty; (2) design modules and professional development activities to enhance teaching capacity and educational experiences for students in the Faculty. In the past five years, I have gained a deeper understanding of the (i) process, (ii) challenges, and (iii) variables of the educational scholarship development of health sciences teaching professionals.

Prior to UBC, I was an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education at the University of Calgary, where I was in charge of designing a secondary science teacher preparation program, and where I also served as a consultant to enhance science teaching and learning in the Faculty of Sciences. During my previous international comparative study (TIMSS) research experience at the US National Research Center at Michigan State University College of Education, I had the opportunity to work with educational leaders in 21 States (ACHIEVE Project), representatives from the high-tech industries, and instructional leaders in various US school districts (First in the World Project).

My background in science and health education has shaped my views of the role higher education should play in contemporary society, and the importance of supporting a sustainable environment that does not compromise a technologically enriched quality of life. I would like to recruit a university president who will ensure high academic standards, high educational values and models, and who shows leadership in terms of justice and moral responsibility for both the UBC community and the communities UBC serves.  

Young, Margot



The upcoming presidential search comes at a crucial and complex moment in UBC’s history. The next president will need to be sensitive to both the process and the substance of university governance, with effective responsiveness to the wide range of concerns that characterize an institution as large and as diverse as UBC. As a Search Committee member, I would bring equity expertise, an emphasis on administration attentiveness to faculty concerns and collegial governance, and an appreciation of the broader community mission of UBC.  I would be a strong voice to advance faculty perspectives in this search process.

I joined UBC’s law school in 2002 after 10 years on faculty at UVic. I teach and research in the areas of constitutional law and social justice studies (poverty, inequality, housing, human rights.). I am currently Chair, Faculty Association Status of Women Committee (and member of the Faculty Association Executive Committee in that capacity), a member of UBC’s Senior Appointments Committee, and Chair, Law Equity Committee. I have served on a number of university-wide selection committees and on Senate at both UBC and UVic.  I am a Faculty Associate of the Peter Wall Institute, of the Institute on Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice, and of Green College.  I am on the editorial boards of a number of academic journals, as well as incoming co-editor of the Law & Society Review   I currently sit on both the David Suzuki Foundation Board of Directors and the Board of Justice For Girls.   My research has routinely involved community organizations, at times in conjunction with UBC’s Learning Exchange. For the last five years I have taught constitutional rights law to judges from across the country in conjunction with the National Judicial Institute.


Management & Professional Staff (Okanagan & Vancouver)

Name Title Department 

Carson, Joanna

Associate Director, Finance

Faculty of Medicine

Hi, My name is Joanna Carson and I’m seeking your support in serving the President’s Search Committee.

This is an exciting opportunity for us to shape our university.  We are choosing a leader with the right qualifications, values and experience to guide us into the next decade.  This will be a challenge, and I know the UBC community and its stakeholders have high expectations.  You can expect me to engage strongly in the Search process. 

In my day-to-day work, I lean on my team members and people I work with; it’s always a collaborative effort.  I want to hear and listen because our diverse views converge to become great ideas.  Together, we will bring our views and ideas about the role to the table, and ultimately, hire our 14th President.

About me: I joined UBC three years ago, after spending a dozen years in progressively more responsible roles at UofT.   Between these two research universities, I have served three faculties, two ancillary operations, and one vice president.  I’ve volunteered to serve on bursary committees and audit committees and countless hiring teams.  I think I have a good understanding of culture at Canadian Universities and have gained a deep understanding of our priorities.

Thank you for your engagement.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Joanna received her BA in Political Science from the University of Toronto, her MBA from Queen’s University, and is a Chartered Professional Accountant.  Until recently, Joanna served as Director of Finance for the Vice President, Communications and Community Partnership and in May, joined the Faculty of Medicine as Associate Director, Finance.  Joanna leads the finance team at Vancouver General Hospital.

Crawford, Bryn

Research Engineer

Faculty of Applied Science

I have been working as a Management and Professional staff member since September 2012. In that time, I have grown to become a member of the UBC community who upholds the core values of the institution, while striving for innovation, training and providing global impact, representing the three pillars of my priorities at UBC.

Much of my work involves interaction with industrial partners locally, nationally and globally. The systematic and sustainable translation of meaningful applied research into useful industrial engineering practice is a core value of my work and the direction that I would like to see UBC move in. This extends to the development of a culture for effective knowledge management, where work done at UBC is leveraged to its maximum value.

Research also ties heavily into another core principle of any university; the goals of effectively training students and providing opportunities for long term educational growth. I have been heavily involved in the direct training and supervision of students, both at the graduate and undergraduate level, for research activities. This research has always been applied and often results in the production of peer-reviewed published works, achieving the aforementioned goals. Promoting these cultures in UBC is a strong belief of mine.

Having received my own education at Adelaide University, one of the Group of Eight universities in Australia, I bring a different, international perspective to UBC. I have maintained this as a priority of mine, working with other university groups around the world, including Imperial College London, McGill University and Deakin University Australia. In the case of the latter, I have performed business development activities on my own time to create links between Deakin and UBC.

If elected to the Presidential Search Committee, I seek to provide these perspective and priorities in making recommendations to the Board of Governors.

Hambler, Patty

Associate Director, Strategic Initiatives & Special Projects

Student Engagement

I humbly offer my service as the Management and Professional staff representative for the 2015 Presidential Search Committee. My current role at UBC is Associate Director, Strategic Initiatives and Special Projects in Student Engagement. I have worked as a full-time professional staff member in student affairs at UBC since 1999. I am a proud alumna of UBC, having completed my Master of Education in 2012.  I have also had the privilege to live with my family on campus and on the traditional and unceded territory of the Musqueam people for sixteen years. Being a staff member, alumna and resident of UBC positions me to have unique insights into and perspectives on the leadership required at our institution to ensure we continue as a world-class institution.

My current work at UBC focuses on our student mental health and wellbeing strategy. While I value our institution’s commitment to student wellbeing, I am also committed to: excellence in student learning, a high quality staff and faculty workplace experience, and innovative research that contributes to a civil and sustainable society.

In my tenure at UBC, I have contributed to creating a better learning and working environment at UBC by serving as a Positive Space Resource Person (2003-present), Co-chair of the Suicide Awareness Committee (2010-2012), a QPR Suicide Prevention Trainer (2006-present), and a Sustainability Coordinator (2002-2004). I was also part of the team that initiated Thrive, which has grown to promote positive mental health on both the Vancouver and Kelowna campuses. I welcome the support of all M&P staff to continue my service to UBC as a representative on the hiring committee for the new UBC President.

Please view my LinkedIn profile for further information on my professional and educational background:

Han, Andrea

Associate Director, Curriculum & Course Services

Centre for Teaching, Learning & Technology

The selection of the next President of UBC will impact M&P staff for years to come. The next President will develop a vision that we, as M&P staff, we will be at the forefront of implementing. Thus, it is critical that the next President recognize and value our contributions to the university.

I believe the collective education, skills and experience of M&P staff are among the University’s greatest assets and it’s been my privilege to represent M&P staff as a member of the AAPS Board. I am currently the 1st Vice President, but have also served as the second Vice President and a Member-at-Large. In 2014, I was a member of the Bargaining Team that negotiated the Collective Agreement between AAPS and UBC. 

Serving on the AAPS board has provided me the opportunity to develop a strong understanding of the issues facing M&P staff and their concerns, as well as an understanding of how to effectively advocate on behalf of M&P staff across all UBC locations. It has also afforded me the opportunity to learn about of the diversity of roles M&P staff play on campus.  Whether we’re in information technology, development, research, or elsewhere, we’re dedicated to making UBC the best it can be.

I look forward to the opportunity to learn more about your thoughts regarding the next President and representing your interests in this important decision.

Hart, Laura J

Manager, Dean's Office

Faculty of Arts

It is a very exciting and important time to be involved in the search for UBC’s next President.

I come with 12 years of Business Administration experience (performance/change management, executive administration, hiring/recruitment, policy etc.), and am a recently-Certified Organizational Coach.  Currently I manage the Dean of Arts Office at UBC, provide HR support to three smaller units, and facilitate headship hires across the Faculty of Arts.

I have a keen interest in the character, ethics, and EQ (Emotional Intelligence Quotient) of Senior Leaders.  There is an absolute need for leader-initiated vision, intellect, and strategic execution, however, I believe the “how” is equally important to the “what”.  How will our next leader instill trust in students, staff, and faculty?  How will they communicate in a way that promotes honesty, openness, and dialogue?  “UBC has made specific commitments, each paired with goals and actions designed to see them through” (what), but how will our leader drive these goals forward in a character-filled, ethical, and emotionally intelligent way?  How will he/she inspire the entire community towards a common goal – each of us (students, staff, and faculty), feeling a valued member of the whole?

I would be honoured to serve the UBC community on this committee, as a Management and Professional Staff Member, with the desire to see UBC continue to flourish as a global centre for research and teaching. 

Klaassen, Damara

Senior Director

International Student Initiative

I have been a member of the UBC and the AAPS community since September of 2000.  Since that time, I have served in a number of roles within the International Student Initiative.  Currently I am the Senior Director for the team and in that role I provide operational and strategic oversight for my colleagues who are distributed across our two campuses.  My team cannot accomplish its mandate unless we work very closely with other units, and over the years I have come to rely on my colleagues in AAPS as well as members of other UBC communities for professional support.  I have greatly enjoyed cross-unit collaboration and know that we at UBC are a strong team of teams.

As a member of the presidential search committee, my focus would be on finding a leader for the university who elegantly balances priority-setting with championing the unique needs of all members of the university and in particular those of my colleagues within the AAPS community.  During my time at UBC I have had the opportunity to observe many different kinds of leadership styles and have also had the chance to develop my own personal style. I have witnessed wonderful leadership and professional expertise amongst this group of professionals and I believe our university cannot move forward if Management and Professional Staff are under-valued.

I have had opportunity during my time at UBC to be involved in many hiring decisions.  It has been my great fortune to work as part of a close-knit and high-performing team.  Every time we hire a new team-mate we look for someone who will represent us well.  My hope for this presidential search is that we insist on finding a President that all of us can proudly call our leader and who represents all of us well.

Kline, Cathy

Research Coordinator

Patient & Community Partnership for Education, Office of the Vice-Provost, Health

 I will work collaboratively with members of the search committee to select a president with a strong vision to advance UBC as a world-leading university with excellence in teaching, research and community engagement. I would seek a president who sees the people who carry out that vision – UBC’s staff, faculty and students – as the university’s greatest assets. The president must support an inclusive, collegial, and equitable environment where people, ideas and knowledge exchange thrive. A president ought to lead with an open mind, embrace diversity and be able to bring people together. UBC needs a president who not only builds relationships with industry and government but in particular will strengthen engagement with the diverse communities UBC serves. This engagement with community is UBC’s greatest responsibility.

I bring to the committee 20 years of experience in academia, the last 12 years as a UBC staff member. I manage multiple research and development initiatives that span UBC’s 15 health and human service programs and have cultivated partnerships with over 75 community organizations. I have worked on a range of committees comprised of faculty, student, and community representatives in the areas of research, program development and governance. I have participated in searches for new faculty and administrative leaders as a graduate student and staff member. I understand the importance of selecting people who value scholarly work to enhance social, cultural, and economic well-being. I will draw on these experiences as well as seek input from the university community to inform my contributions to the search committee.

La Pierre, Darla

Manager, Business Operations

Electrical & Computer Engineering

About Darla LaPierre :

As Manager of Electrical and Computer Engineering, she currently oversees a large and complex Department with 1000 undergrads, 400 grad students, 50 regular full time faculty, and 30 staff. Darla has provided strong staff leadership in doubling the size of the Department and has championed professional growth for over 40 staff members to manage this significant change in a short time frame. Being a community participant, student, alumna, and a staff member, her experience and perspective at UBC is broad and comprehensive.

Vision Statement:

Staff members are enablers to the core mission of the University and we have a critical role in supporting and strengthening UBC. As a selection committee member, I would support a presidential candidate with a vision towards promoting staff development to meet the increasing pressures needed to encourage efficiency, and who has high standards of excellence while ensuring a positive and inclusive work environment.  I will advocate for a strong leader for UBC who will inspire staff engagement and invest in professional development to advance the university mission on teaching and learning, research, and community involvement.  Through increased staff recognition, development, and engagement, UBC will strengthen its position and increase employee satisfaction.

As part of the selection committee, I will represent Staff members in finding a candidate that upholds the values of the university core mission and will work to ensure that Staff members are fully integrated in the ecosystem to support UBC’s drive toward excellence.  Having participated in several University-wide initiatives on process improvement, I am very enthusiastic at the prospect of being a part of the President search.

Meyers, Clint

Manager, Administration

Audiology and Speech Sciences

As a UBC graduate and long-time University Employee I believe my experience makes me an appropriate candidate to contribute to ensuring the continuing success of UBC by serving on the President Search Committee. As a UBC graduate, I take pride in being an alumnus from one of the highest ranked universities in Canada. As a proud UBC employee in various administration units I have experienced how strong leadership can nurture growth, establish vision, and encourage the engagement of staff, student and faculty. I have served on numerous university committees including UBC Senate which provided me with an outstanding opportunity to take part in the development and promotion of university polices relating to student health and wellbeing, accountability and the establishment of sound academic policies.

My goal if selected, is to bring a voice of common sense and practicality to the Committee. A University’s preliminary goals are to educate and conduct research. However, these goals are often hindered by not having a leader who is fully engaged and questioning historical policies and past practices or securing appropriate background information about new ventures and undertakings before implementing them. Understandably, this can be difficult for a President to do when many initiatives are undertaken by the university on a daily basis without the endorsement of the President. However, I believe that the engagement of the president and senior university leadership in consultation with the entire university community is required to advance the university’s principal goals and objectives. What are the characteristics of a strong leader? Experience, proven credentials, integrity, communication and listening skills are some traits that leap to mind. However, I also value a leader who is open-minded, interested in feedback, displays quiet confidence and is respectful of everyone, regardless of their stature and position.

Thank-you for your consideration of my application!

Murray, Stuart

Workforce Strategist

Human Resources

I would like to be nominated, because I know that I would bring balance to the conversation.  I have a comfort with conflict, a curiosity about other peoples’ opinions, and a passion for doing the right thing.  I bring a work style that is positive and collaborative.

I have significant knowledge of what M&P staff do on a daily basis, having reviewed thousands of job descriptions, supported or managed a variety or organizational changes, and having supported academic units advancing their own goals.

I have contributed to several major projects and processes, including collective bargaining, budget reconciliation, employment equity, IT career framework, the CUPE 2950 job evaluation plan, career progression for faculty, the M&P market review, the Workplace Experiences Survey, and headcount analysis on the relative size of our academic and non-academic functions.  I would round out the selection committee.

Prior to joining UBC in 2007, I worked at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Mercer, and as a freelance researcher.  I am from Vancouver, I have a BA in Economics from UBC, and I have a Master of Industrial Relations from Queen’s.

Ovenell, Julie

Director, Communications

Communications & Marketing, VP Academic & VP Research & International Offices

My young nephew, an enthusiastic oarsman, has taught me a healthy respect for the unsung hero of any rowing victory: the (typically) tiny coxswain who artfully drives and inspires teammates to cross a finish line they cannot even see. So it is with a great university president.  With a combination of head, heart and hard work, s/he coordinates the power and rhythm of a diverse community—students, staff, faculty, donors, alumni—to create a winning future for all.

As an alumna (BA, Honours English, 1981), donor, and staff member, I have an abiding interest in the leadership and governance of UBC. As a lifelong communications professional—first as a journalist, and then as a university communicator at SFU and now UBC—I have seen from both sides how a dynamic, engaged and passionate university president can help to shape the post-secondary landscape, advance the research agenda, and strengthen institutional endowments. 

My unique position straddles three portfolios at UBC: Communications and Marketing; VP Research & International; and VP Academic/Provost. I have a strong understanding of UBC’s core academic and research missions, and a deep commitment to advancing UBC’s brand awareness in the global arena. I serve on the UBC 100 working group, and care deeply about my alma mater’s role and reputation in the next century. I believe I am ideally suited to serve as a staff representative on the Presidential Search Committee.

Thank you for your consideration.

Shakespeare, Michael

Executive Director, Finance & Operations

Faculty of Medicine

The role of President of a University is an extremely complicated and difficult position. Being attentive and responsive to the many, and often competing demands, of students, faculty and staff, government, donors, alumni and other stakeholders while fostering a future vision that all parts of the university can rally around an immense challenge. While the task will never be simple, I do know the role of the President is made smoother and easier with support from a strong Management and Professional team.

It is with this context in mind that I put my name forward for consideration as the M&P representative on the Presidential Search Committee. In my six years at UBC, I have had the pleasure of experiencing its operations from three very different lenses:

1) the faculty view (as Executive Director, Finance & Operations, Faculty of Medicine);

2) the Okanagan view (as Associate Vice-President, Finance & Operations); and

3) the UBC central view (as Managing Assistant Treasurer).

As such, I have a unique perspective of the University and its culture (and cultures!) and I would be honoured to bring these views forward during the search process.

Trowell, Mark

Senior Manager, Faculty Relations

Human Resources

I appreciate the opportunity to be considered for the management and professional staff representative on the Presidential Search Committee.  I am a Human Resources professional with over 25 years of broad HR experience – recruitment, compensation, development, employee and labour relations - in a range of industries.  I have developed competencies and skills working at UBC and other complex organizations that enable me to make a significant contribution to this Committee.

In my role at UBC (the past 6 years), I provide employee and labour relations advice and support to UBC's academic leaders and faculty members throughout their academic career.  I have developed a deep understanding of, and provide coaching, support and workshops in the areas of faculty recruitment and tenure and promotion.   I support the President’s office during the tenure and promotion decision making process and on disciplinary matters involving faculty members.  With this experience, I can assist the Committee in making assessments of the candidates’ academic administrative experiences related to these responsibilities of the President under the University Act.

My professional career and ongoing development have been complemented by a strong commitment to service both at work and in within my community.  I have had the opportunity to work with the Boards of UBC’s CampOUT, the Fillmore Family Foundation, Junior Achievement, the McLaren Housing Society, and the Vancouver Curling Club.

If appointed to the Presidential Search Committee, my priorities will be to:

  • Select the best candidate to lead UBC into our next 100 years;
  • Provide support and insight to the committee regarding best practices in recruitment and equity/diversity;
  • Support the committee to focus on hiring based on the criteria identified by the University community as being critical.

Thank you for considering and supporting my nomination.

Okanagan Unionized Staff

As only one person has been nominated, she is acclaimed as elected to the Search Committee and no vote is to occur. 

Name Title Department 

Brophy, Maureen

Assistant to the Director

Business Operations

Vancouver Unionized Staff


Name Title Department 

Alnaar, Abdulrahman

Client Services Assistant

International Student Initiative

My experience at UBC has spanned 6 years, starting in 2009 when I arrived at UBC’s Okanagan campus as an International student. I currently work as an advisor to prospective international students who seek to join our incredible university. Throughout my time at UBC, I have served others in an elected capacity with the UBC Students’ Union Okanagan, and have gained valuable experiences with information gathering and constituent representation on different committees. One example was when I acted as the Local 3 representative on the executive committee of the Canadian Federation of Students-BC. I also serve as the Speaker of Council for both the AMS and GSS student societies at UBC, so formal committee work is not something I shy away from.

Representing the interests of UBC-V unionized staff members on the Presidential Search committee is an enormous responsibility and privilege that I hope you will entrust me with. My priority if elected, is to be a strong voice for labour in selecting the next President. I promise to do this by first acknowledging that I am simply a voice for the many of us who make this university work. I will also promise to be openly available and transparent in working with and listening to (CUPE) locals 116, 2278, and 2950, (IUOE) Local 882, and BCGEU leadership during my time on this committee.

The next UBC president should be one that understands the differing and competing interests that the university seeks to meet, and should be someone who respects the work unionized members do on behalf of the university. Remember, UBC works because we do!

In solidarity.

Davies, Kelly Front of House Attendant Student Housing & Hospitality Services

Please accept my candidacy for the elected unionized staff position on the Presidential Search Committee 2015.  I have been fortunate to be a part of the UBC community for 6 years now.  I came to Vancouver in 2009 from Ottawa to start my bachelor’s degree at UBC. During my first year I started working for UBC in the Food Services department for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Hosting some of the Olympics at UBC was a very exciting time for everyone and this is when I first got a sense of the great community at UBC. Since 2010 I have worked in several different departments within Student Housing and Community Services: Sage, Residence Dining Halls, Wescadia Catering, and Student Housing Front Desk Services.  I have also taken part in CUPE National’s Young Workers Conference in 2013 and CUPE BC’s Young Workers Conference in 2015.  Both conferences focused on young workers’ current and future concerns, which sparked my desire to make a positive difference in my workplace. I actively search for new ways to strengthen community relations and encourage fellow community members to do so as well. It has been a great experience to be both a student and unionized staff member at UBC.  I have met and worked with so many UBC staff, faculty, students, and donors so I am very aware of what the majority of UBC community stakeholders need and want from this great institution.   I recently graduated from the Bachelor of Arts program with a major in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Economics and Sociology. Currently I am planning on starting the Master’s program in Food and Resource Economics in August 2016. Until then I will continue working at UBC and would value the opportunity to be a part of the 2015 Presidential Search Committee.  

Kukely, Elizabeth

Communications & Learning Administrator

Financial Services

I have celebrated my 10th year in August 2015 as a CUPE 2950 staff member at UBC. To me working here is not only a privilege but also a challenge as UBC is a complex entity that needs to meet many demands of the 21st century: innovation in research, excellence in teaching and efficiency in administration.

As a member of the union and the administrative support community I feel that it is important to find a leader for this University who understands that administration is an integral and important part to a well-functioning research and teaching community. One does not exist without the other.

Members of the administrative support community play an equally important role in shaping the success of UBC. To me it is important to find an exceptional leader for the University who understands the different groups and their roles that makes this place a success.

Swedberg, Elizabeth  Student Information Support Arts Academic Advising

I have been a unionized employee in CUPE 2950, at The University of British Columbia (UBC), from March 15, 2000 to the present.  

In my current position at UBC, (Student Information Support), as well as in previous positions of employment, (a unionized Langley RCMP position and a unionized administrative assistant position at the Richmond School District No. 38), I do/have worked in strict confidential environments.

As a UBC alumni, I am proud to have earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree (BA) in November 2006 with a Major in Psychology and a Minor in Family Studies.

I am living in Richmond, BC and have four adult children.  One of my daughters has graduated from UBC with a BA, Major English Literature and another daughter is in her 3rd year in a BA Program, Major Psychology.

I also worked at the Woodward Biomedical Library as a Library Assistant in the 1970s for 4 ½ years, so I have many years of experience working at UBC and am very proud to be a part of the UBC community.

Wickramasinghe, Sachi

Information Clerk

Public Affairs

I am putting forth my name to be part of the Presidential Search Committee because I have a strong and personal commitment to the university and its future, and believe that I will bring a unique point of view to the search committee as a alum and staff member.

I moved to Canada from Sri Lanka eight years ago to pursue an undergraduate degree in sociology at UBC, and the university and community have since become my home. As an undergraduate, I was involved in a number of community service learning projects that took teaching in the classroom into the wider community, and was recognized by the university for my efforts as a student leader.

I also completed a master’s degree in journalism at UBC, after which I won a prestigious Joan Donaldson CBC News Scholarship and the Stephen J. Ward Prize in Ethics. I have worked in radio and television for the CBC in Vancouver and Toronto. Earlier this year I returned to UBC as a staff member, joining the Public Affairs team.

If elected to the Presidential Search Committee, my priorities will be aligned with my background as a journalist committed to ethics and transparency, and also my experiences as an immigrant to Vancouver. My top priorities would be a commitment to diversity, greater transparency and better communication, both within the university and with the wider community and better mental health services for staff and students.


Voter Eligibility

Vancouver Faculty:

To vote in this election, you must be a member of the Faculty Association bargaining unit with an appointment to a Vancouver faculty as a professor, associate professor, assistant professor, professor of teaching, senior instructor, intructor II, instructor I, or 12-month lecturer. Please note that clinical, adjunct, emeritus, affiliate, and honorary professors are not eligible, and some senior academic administrators (including deans and associate deans) are not eligible despite their academic appointments due to not being in the bargaining unit. 

Okanagan Faculty:

To vote in this election, you must be a member of the Faculty Association bargaining unit with an appointment to an Okanagan faculty as a professor, associate professor, assistant professor, professor of teaching, senior instructor, intructor II, instructor I, or 12-month lecturer. Please note that adjunct, emeritus, and honorary professors are not eligible, and some senior academic administrators (including deans and associate deans) are not eligible despite their academic appointments due to not being in the bargaining unit. 

Managment and Professional Staff:

To vote in this election, you must be employed at either campus of UBC has a management and professional or excluded managmeent and professional staff member. Please note that Vice-President, Associate Vice-President, and Service Unit Directors are not eligible. 

Vancouver Unionized Staff:

To vote in this election, you must be employed in a position under CUPE locals 116, 2278, 2950, BCGEU (Point Grey campus), or IUOE local 882. 

Election Regulations


Read the regulations governing these elections.