UBC president Arvind Gupta stepping down one year into a five-year term

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      Arvind Gupta is stepping down from his position as president of the University of British Columbia.

      In an August 7 press release, the schools’ board of governors announced Martha Piper will serve as interim president beginning on September 1, 2015. Piper previously served as president of UBC from 1997 to 2006.

      According to the release, Gupta is resigning after deciding “he can best contribute to the university and lead Canada’s innovation agenda by resuming his academic career and leadership roles in the business and research community”.

      Gupta only took the position of president in July 2014. He is resigning just one year into what was supposed to be a five year term.

      UBC Board of Governors’ Chair John Montalbano is quoted in the UBC release thanking Gupta for the time he served as president.

      “Dr. Gupta worked tirelessly during his tenure to advance UBC’s core academic mission,” it reads. “He also developed an emerging strategy to support diversity and under-represented groups in the university, enhanced the student experience through better services, such as improved access to mental health services, UBC successfully raised over $200 million in one of the largest fundraising exercises in its history, and he facilitated a $66-million research grant that is the single largest in the history of UBC,” Montalbano further said.”

      In March 2014, the Georgia Straight put Gupta on the newspaper’s cover alongside a lengthy cover story by editor Charlie Smith.

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      He should judged on one measure alone

      Aug 7, 2015 at 2:15pm

      What concrete measures did he implement to end systematic the rape culture at UBC?


      Aug 7, 2015 at 2:26pm

      I could have received all this information from the press release. It would be nice if you, as journalists, could add something - anything - to the story! Like WHY????, for example. Even some speculation would be interesting. Come on, do some digging! This is just lazy reporting.

      Martin Dunphy

      Aug 7, 2015 at 2:56pm

      Chill. It was/is breaking news.

      ursa minor

      Aug 7, 2015 at 3:09pm

      Disappointing news - Gupta was probably one of the least "ivory tower" UBC Presidents in that he understood the value of undergraduate teaching and academic strength across disciplines, including the liberal arts.

      As far as the previous comment is concerned, Gupta helped establish a culture of humility and respect at UBC that was missing during the Piper era, which saw little effort in curtailing negative behavior, as well as acrimonious relations with Support Staff, Teaching Assistants, and Faculty.

      Cathy C.

      Aug 7, 2015 at 3:10pm

      I suspect they are covering the truth. Several vice-presidents of UBC left their positions during Gupta's tenure, and now he steps down after one year (4 years before originally intended). Corruption? Power influence? Politics?? We'll find out.

      @He should judged on one measure alone

      Aug 7, 2015 at 3:41pm

      "What concrete measures did he implement to end systematic the rape culture at UBC?"

      That's why he's resigning.


      Aug 7, 2015 at 4:32pm

      Perhaps UBC might a local British Columbian this time be President?

      UBC is sucking government money into it's coffers while catering to rich Academically deficient in English Communist Students from the Peoples Republic of China in it's newly opened Vantage College.

      Other local institutions can not than get nearly as much funding as needed for LOCAL students.

      This keeps the seats available artificially low for LOCAL Citizens / students.

      We ought not to be educating our competitors in the Global market place on OUR DIME!

      100% of the Budget funded by Canadian Governments ought to go for seats for LOCAL students.

      UBC ought to be making education more affordable for LOCALS Citizens instead it is making it far more expensive than can be reasonably afforded for LOCALS in BC!

      Why are we providing facilities at the expense of seats for local students to rich foreigners whether they be from China (No. #1 Source Country, India #2 Source Country or elsewhere?).

      It's not like UBC giving back it's earnings from Foreign students back to reduce costs and provide more seats for local students.

      UBC has moved away from the purpose of a Public Institution to serve the local public's education needs and instead is focused on the almighty dollar at the expense of locals.

      It is not simply morally wrong it actually hurts our global competitive advantage and future generations earning and educational standards here at home.

      Straight Talker Walker

      Aug 7, 2015 at 5:21pm

      I heard they asked him to pay for his own parking.

      Foreign Students at UBC

      Aug 7, 2015 at 5:21pm

      According to UBC's own Facts and Figures (source link below)...

      International Students at UBC Pt. grey Campus = 21.7%, an Increase of 17% year over year!

      International Students at UBC Okanagan Campus = 11.7% an increase of 17% year over year!

      11,007 International Students at Pt. Grey, 958 at the Okanagan Campus.

      So we Canadians are subsidizing Foreign Students (even at the high prices they pay) taking spots away from local students.

      Our competitors in Asia, the US, Eastern Europe and South America get us to subsidize their education than go back and develop their Economies out competing Canada in the Global markets.

      The rate of increase at 17% year over year is alarming this means we will soon reach one third of the student population as foreign international students than 50% then more than 50%!

      If UBC wants the extra dollars that International students bring than give up the Canadian government subsidies in the Billions to the or eliminate most Foreign students from the seats in all Faculties.

      UBC wants it both ways they know that they can't truly charge Foreign Students the actual cost of the seats they take from locals because in a Global market that price is capped and competitive.

      In the US top Universities are capping foreign students we ought to do the same.

      And no I'm not being 'Racist' simple competitiveness and the well being of our local society is the factor.

      If you want to see 'Racist' go travel to the mono ethnic Countries like Communist China & Japan than look at the 'Racist' actions of Communist China and the Human Rights violations in Tibet and their Immigration policies.

      Lets be smart not stupid and give away all our competitive advantage to foreign states.

      At the very least 95% of seats ought to be for Canadians and locals.

      A 17% increase and a student body made of 21%+ International students is obscene and stupid especially as it's funded by us.

      Binder Dundatt

      Aug 7, 2015 at 5:35pm

      UBC, like Justin Trudeau is" just not ready" to have someone who is not an old boy be President of the institute.
      Some would call it the bamboo ceiling.