Join the Conversation

Place and Promise: The UBC Plan is a living document, and you are invited to Join the Conversation. Read and respond to the comments below, or post one of your own using the form at the bottom of this page.

Thank you for your contribution.

What is this “aboriginal engagement and schorlarship” hiring about? How does it work?

Katie Nelson – Alumni

Hi Katie,

Your question about “Aboriginal Engagement” hiring was forwarded to me. I think your inquiry is probably about a search for tenure-track faculty in the Arts Faculty. We have been quite successful in the last few years at attracting scholars with expertise on Aboriginal issues, some of whom are Aboriginal, some not, to UBC, in Arts, and also in Law, Education, and Science. This is one of the current initiatives.

Linc Kesler, Ph.D.
Director, First Nations Studies Program
Director, First Nations House of Learning
Senior Advisor to the President on Aboriginal Affairs

Currently on maternity leave after my second child I will be testing the People Plan upon my return to UBC in 2010. It is my hope that daycare will be readily available to us and that employment flex-time or other can be considered for my position – I am hopeful.

Kelly Ross – Staff

I was reading your webpage on “actions” to make ubc a beter working environment and I noticed the action to “Establish a faculty/staff relocation office.”

What exactly is the purpose of a “relocation office” and is it currently in place?


Robert Bos – Staff

The ‘relocation office’ is part of the new Work-Life and Relocation Services Centre, housed at the steps of the General Services Administration Building. This will be a friendly gathering place to access a central repository of information and support to faculty and staff who have been recruited from outside the lower mainland, helping to facilitate the smooth transition into the UBC community and Vancouver neighborhoods from the job offer until the end of the first year at UBC. Jayne Booth, Manager of the new Centre, describes the new service as a holistic, looking after all members of the family and delivering a ‘concierge-style’ service to newcomers as well as a developing central resource for work-life best practices at UBC. The office and website for the new Centre are currently under construction but Jayne is available now for consultations on 604 8274098 or email,

On “sustainability”:
I keep seeing new buildings go up. I mean new ground turned. The Law Building is to be the latest? But I haven’t heard Toope announce “There will from this day forward be no new buildings on UBC campus that are not LEED Gold and up!!” Let’s have something inspiring, please! The Piper-legacy developments were the opposite in the extreme.”

Christopher Barrington-Leigh – Staff, Alumni

Dear Mr. Barrington-Leigh,

Thank you for taking the time to write, and for holding the University accountable for its commitment to sustainability. All new buildings under development at UBC, including the Law building, will be LEED Gold certified as the minimum standard. This is in line with the Provincial policy directive on green government buildings (part of the Climate Action Plan), which states that “all new provincially owned or leased buildings must be built to a minimum of LEED Gold or equivalent criteria.” Prior to this policy directive, UBC was already constructing new facilities to the highest sustainability standards. The Life Sciences Centre and Aquatic Ecosystems Research Laboratory (AERL), for example, are both LEED Gold certified. Should you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch again.

It’s inspirining to read positive messages by UBC students and staff. I feel privileged to be a graduage student at UBC and I am hoping to make a difference in our global community with the knowledge I gained through my studies at UBC.

Sedi Minachi – Student

I truly enjoy living inside the UBC community. As an undergraduate student, I highly look forward to our promises to future generations. I encourage all the community to contribute to this conversation/conservation; and here, let’s promise to show the world its capabilities.

Masoud Rafiei-Ravandi – Student, Staff

When I looked at UBC as an employer, I was really wooed by Focus on People. It is inspiring to work for a place that truly holds their people as a priority, and I am grateful to be able to work towards maintaining our people as our priority. It is great to see this value continuing in Place and Promise, and as such, I continue to feel valued by my UBC community.

Suzanne Jolly – Staff

Tonight I attended UBC’s annual President’s Blue and Gold Revue. Stephen Toope opened the evening with one of his ever passionate and perfectly articulated speeches. On this occasion it was about UBC’s plan for the next few years. “A Place of Mind” is the tagline, and as a marketer I find it to be an especially riveting campaign. The print spots capture the magnificence of British Columbia, and pair it with a sense of optimism and intrigue. I like it.

Later in the evening we met an array of exceptional UBC students both undergraduate and graduate, as well as young faculty members.

What I really want to highlight however is “the plan”. Apparently released this evening, Place and Promise: The UBC Plan offers more than a glossy exterior. The main tenets are as follows: Student Learning / Research Excellence / Community and Aboriginal Engagement / Alumni Engagement / Intercultural Understanding / International Engagement / Outstanding Work Environment / Sustainability. What I really like is that this plan seems to go beyond the ordinary. Of course you have your Student Learning and Research Excellence, by its very nature, UBC as a post-secondary institution must be committed to these things. It is the latter pillars that I find to be exceptional, for example Intercultural Understanding and Sustainability. (UBC’s plan is here)

The prevailing theme is one of global citizenship, and an acceptance and embrace of our changing world. Global citizenship is something that I have become acutely aware of in the past year. The lines between ethnicity, culture and nationality are blurring, not only in Canada where this has been the case for a long time, but more importantly, in other parts of the world. Our identities are not only shifting, but they are becoming enriched by our interactions with other human beings, both here, and possibly abroad. Without diverting too much, it seems that UBC gets it. What is also relevant to the topic, is the mention of sustainability, and how this seemingly ambiguous concept is tied to our interconnectedness as a university, province, country and globally.

I am quite proud of this new plan, I think it will steer the ambassadors that embark from Point Grey classrooms along well intentioned paths.

As I am about to publish this post I look down and notice another summarizing tagline included in the plan’s print guide…towards global citizenship and a civil and sustainable society…I promise that I did not see this before writing, and my post speaks to the strength of the “Place and Promise”. The message shines through.

Callum Ng – Alumni

“One of the key factors in my decision to remain was Place and Promise.”

“A year ago, I didn’t know where I would be today. Literally. I had two choices: move to Ontario to do a Ph.D. or stay in my current role at UBC and do an Ed.D. I had grown disillusioned with UBC and was ready to leave. One of the key factors in my final decision to remain in Vancouver and at UBC was Place and Promise.

“Why I am so optimistic about the new plan is that it has sharpened the focus on what I believe matters most: people and social responsibility. I, among many, hold the same values as reflected in the document. This isn’t surprising as we have all been encouraged to be a part of the process from its inception, and it is evident in the final draft. UBC’s vision statement doesn’t exist for only a select portion of our population; it has to reflect the values of all its stakeholders, and I feel Place and Promise has succeeded.”

Lynn J. Newman, M.Ed., Assistant Dean, Students, Faculty of Land and Food Systems; Ed.D. student, Educational Leadership and Policy Design; and 2009 United Way Campaign Chair

Lynn J. Newman, M.Ed., Assistant Dean, Students, Faculty of Land and Food Systems; Ed.D. student, Educational Leadership and Policy Design; and 2009 United Way Campaign Chair

I am glad to see the “Place and Promise” contain words such as: “responsibility”, “communication”, “culture of involvement” and “honoring commitments”. They all imply some level of trust among the members of UBC – students, faculty, staff, visiting members of other communities.

Without trust, the “Place and Promise” will be an empty document/website, an illusory form of progress in 2010 and beyond.”

Mihaela Albu – student

UBC now stands at 22nd in its ranking among other universities and that is in itself speaks volumes, as internationalism and intercultural understanding is embraced and has made history, many times during and since the Olympics.

Since Place of Mind and Place and Promise, a new evolution has occurred stirring the very foundations of how we approach higher education, global citizenship, social issues, and creating new leaders amongst leaders.

Nevertheless, continuing to see from a new perspective, at a crucial time socio-politically, and globally UBC can be the place to open new consciousness, envision and implement approaches to reach out as an employer, as a premier educational institution and create important leaders and educators, that will change the world with a realistic assessment of current realities that our world is now facing.

The problems before us and how they will be resolved in the future, is a matter of how we create educational, community and other UBC leaders… that are created here amongst our educators, and students and administration at UBC on every level. Each of us is a leader that can lead at UBC. What we can do with this tremendous power and knowledge is up to each of us to open new worlds.

Mona Shoker – student

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Place and Promise: The UBC Plan

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