By Leah Keshet
Dear Dr. Piper,
A recent email from you, which is still in my inbox, closes with the UBC motto “Tuum est”. My understanding is that this means “It is yours,” as in UBC belongs to us (the faculty, the students, the staff, and yes, even the administration).
At the moment, I feel this motto is misplaced. Just as misplaced as the offhand remark “we won’t miss a beat,” by the BoG Chair in describing the “Leadership transition”—ouster—of President [Arvind] Gupta, who was a mere 13 months into his term when this “resignation” took place.
I do not feel UBC is mine, or belongs to me after the recent unexplained and trivialized events. Like other faculty members, I am demoralized and in shock. I am not ready for the cheerful upbeat sugary words of celebration, nor am I “looking forward” to meeting and working with any president other than President Gupta.
You were a fine and respected UBC president in your time. Why spoil such a solid legacy by stepping into the hornet’s nest, which has obviously stalled Dr. Gupta’s reforms, eventually driving him out of his post? While you have likely good intentions to help UBC in its time of need, this is not the time to “get on with the celebrations” before a proper housecleaning, a return to the principles of shared governance, a pledge for transparency and accountability, and the full reinstatement of Arvind Gupta as our UBC president.