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April 17
UBC names Andrew Simpson as new Vice President, Finance

The University of British Columbia’s Board of Governors has approved the appointment of Andrew Simpson as the new vice president, finance. He will begin the role June 22.

Simpson has 25 years of experience as a senior executive leading the finance and operations portfolios at major post-secondary institutions in New Zealand and Canada. He joins UBC from Victoria University of Wellington where he has worked since 2009 as chief operating officer, implementing significant change in financial management practices and leading business planning for large-scale infrastructure projects, among other notable achievements.

“Andrew Simpson’s focused strategic experience and long history of success managing financial and operational decisions in the higher education sector is extremely rare,” said Arvind Gupta, president and vice-chancellor of the University of British Columbia. “His depth of knowledge and proven ability to innovate and stimulate growth will make him a strong member of our senior management team.”

At UBC, Simpson will oversee the areas of finance, treasury and risk management services across both UBC Vancouver and Okanagan campuses. The university has an operating budget of $2 billion, research income approaching $600 million, 161 spin-off companies and a $12.7 billion economic impact.

Simpson will also lead the university’s relationship with UBC Investment Management Trust, which manages UBC’s endowment, staff pension plan, working capital and other investment portfolios, and UBC Properties Trust, which acquires, develops and manages real estate assets for the benefit of the university.

“It is a great pleasure for me to return to Canada and play a role contributing to the growth and strength of UBC and its global reputation,” Simpson said. “I look forward to working with the entire UBC community to continue to build the institution and find new ways to support and enhance student learning and research productivity.”

Previous to his leadership position at Victoria University of Wellington, Simpson was vice-principal, operations and finance, at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, from 2003 to 2008. In this role, he led the largest capital development in the university’s history and an expansive portfolio of responsibilities, including the management of the university’s investment services and pension plan.

Prior to Queen’s, he was chief operating officer (1997-2003) at the University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand; financial controller and director planning and information (1995-1997) at the Central Institute of Technology, Wellington, New Zealand; and financial accountant/financial analyst (1990-1995) at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. Before his long career in post-secondary institutions, he worked for Ernst and Young from 1985 to 1990, including two years as an audit supervisor in Toronto.

Born in New Zealand, the 51-year-old Simpson holds dual citizenship with Canada. He is married and has two children. A chartered accountant, he graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Otago, New Zealand, in 1986.

April 15
MDUP Accreditation Update - April 2015

From February 8 to February 12, 2016 the survey team from the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS) will conduct the eight-year formal accreditation review of the MD Undergraduate Program (MDUP). The survey team, comprised of medical practitioners, basic science and clinical educators, educational researchers and administrators, will arrive in VFMP and will then fan out to the IMP, NMP and SMP to meet with faculty, staff and students in the MDUP.

Designated faculty and staff have written the content for the Data Collection Instrument (DCI) which is the narrative and evidence about the MDUP that will be provided to the survey team.  Compiling the DCI is an iterative process and we continue to hone and edit so that it is as informative and accurate as possible.

Twelve Medical School Self-Study (MSS) subcommittees, chaired by the Department Heads and comprised of faculty, staff and students, have been steadily working since the beginning of the year to provide an arm’s length review of the DCI and the story it tells about the MDUP.  Their final reports and recommendations are due at the end of June.  These reports will then be synthesized by the MSS Steering Committee into an MSS Summary Report which will also be provided to the survey team.

The third component the survey team will look at is the Independent Student Analysis (ISA).  In March 2015, the students conducted a comprehensive survey of all years across all program sites that included questions on student-faculty-administration relationships, learning environment, resources, student services and the medical education program.  The final report, written by the students, will include the data collected, plus an analysis of their perceptions of the MDUP’s strengths, achievements and areas for improvement.  Of note is that the response rate to the student survey exceeded all expectations - a testament to the enthusiasm and engagement of our students and a credit to their leadership.

The visiting survey team will review all of this documentation and the 2015 AFMC Graduation Questionnaire before they arrive.  The purpose of the visit is to verify and update information in the DCI, clarify any issues that are unclear, view the environment and facilities for learning first-hand, and meet with administrators, faculty members, and students.  The survey team will then make its report to CACMS on the MDUP’s compliance with each of the accreditation standards.  CACMS then makes the determination on the MDUP’s accreditation status.

April 14
Attend the UBC Bookstore Event - Authors For Indies

On Saturday, May 2, the UBC Bookstore will be hosting 'Authors For Indies'. Across the country, authors will visit bookstore's for readings, activities and discussions with readers. The UBC Bookstore is lucky to have some great authors participating on campus. The event will run from 11am-3pm, and will include the following authors: 

  • children’s authors: Paola Opal, Sheri Radford and Shar Levine, the Science LadyThere will be children's readings and Shar Levine will even do a science experiment for children 
  • local author Eve Lazarus
  • local biographer Margaret Anne Hume, author of Just Mary: The Life of Mary Evelyn Grannan, creator of the Maggie Muggins character for CBC Radio & TV.

There will also be some mystery writers and others coming as well.

April 14
Upcoming Health and Wellbeing Offerings

​UBC BodyWorks spring 2015 Fitness Class Programs

Registration for all of BodyWorks 2015 Spring Fitness programming is now open.  

Eldercare 101 - What You Need to Know to Care for Your Aging Parents - April 28

Whether you care for aging parents in your own home, or manage elder care plans from a distance, most of us don't know where to go for reliable answers. Join Home-to Home a seniors advisory and assistance business based in Vancouver, British Columbia. For more information, or to register, visit here 

Welcome Shepell - Order your offices new EFAP promotional material now

As of April 1 2015 UBC has retained the services of Shepell as the new provider of our organization’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP). For a range of promotional materials available  click on the attachments above. These are available to you in all quantities immediately, simply email colin.hearne@ubc.ca and include ‘EFAP Materials for Order’ in the subject bar and your order and delivery address in the body of the email. 

BrainTalks @UBC - Free Mindfulness Seminar

UBC BrainTalks is a series of talks inviting you to contemplate emerging research about the brain. Researchers studying the brain, from various disciplines including psychiatry, neuroscience, neuroimaging, and neurology, gather to discuss current leading edge topics on the mind. Upcoming free Seminars:

April 08
Phase 2 Public Consultation - University Boulevard Precinct Planning

UBC is launching phase 2 of the University Boulevard Precinct public consultation. 

You can submit your feedback online until April 19

UBC is updating plans for the University Boulevard Precinct. In January and February 2015, campus stakeholder and public consultations were conducted on how to complete the precinct vision. This included workshops with academic leadership and faculty, presentation and discussions with various committees and councils, along with on-campus and online public consultation. The purpose of this first phase of consultation was to hear the needs, interests and ideas for how to complete the precinct vision. The combined outcomes from these events along with further design analysis were used to develop draft planning and design concepts for the precinct.

During phase 2: we are presenting proposed planning and design concepts for feedback. Public consultation will run from April 7 - 19.

If you have any questions about the project, please contact Aviva Savelson, Acting Senior Manager, Consultation, Campus + Community Planning at 604-822-9984 or aviva.savelson@ubc.ca.​​

April 08
Staff Professional Development Funding – Updates for New 2015-2016 Funding Year

​Visit the HR website for updates about:

  • New: Screen in Faculty & Staff Self-Service Allows Staff to See Professional Development (PD) Fund Balances

  • Update: No Change to Individual PD Funding Limits for New 2015-2016 Fund Year

  • Reminder: New PD Funding Year Starts April 1, 2015

Note: The updates apply to the professional development funds administered by UBC Human Resources and are applicable to staff in the following employee groups: Management & Professional, Non-Union Technicians & Research Assistants, CUPE 2950 and Executive Administrative​.

April 07
Call for Nominations: FoM Research Council, Research Associate Representation

Research Associates are invited to submit nominations to fill a new vacancy on the Research Council in the Faculty of Medicine.

For details, including the nomination materials, click here​.

The nomination deadline is Friday, April 24, 2015.​​​

April 07
Call for Nominations: FoM Standing Committees Representation

​Voting members are invited to submit nominations to fill upcoming vacancies on a number of the Faculty’s major standing committees.

For details, including a list of the standing committees that will have vacancies and the nomination materials, click here​.

The nomination deadline is Friday, April 24, 2015.​

April 06
Register Now: Upcoming Digital Communications Training Opportunities

MedNet: April 14

Learn how to manage and edit team sites and published content areas on MedNet.

The training session will be held on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM in the Multipurpose Lab on the first floor of the Life Sciences Centre.

To register for the MedNet training session, click here.​ 

WordPress: April 23

Join the upcoming training sessions to learn how to use UBC’s hosted WordPress service – an easy to use website content management system which is free for UBC units.  

The next training session will be held on Thursday, April 23, 2015 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM in the Multipurpose Lab on the first floor of the Life Sciences Centre.

To register for the WordPress training session, click here.​​

E-Newsletters: April 29

Join our next Digital Communications Community of Practice.

Topic: E-Newsletters

Date: Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Time: 9:30 – 11:00 AM

Location: Gordon & Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre (DHCC) 5213​

Click her to register here​.

April 01
Save the Date: Full Faculty Meeting is May 11

​The next Full Faculty Meeting​ will be held on Monday, May 11, 2015.​ Stay tuned for the agenda and meeting materials.

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