Today UBC released a number of documents related to my resignation as President and Vice Chancellor of the University of British Columbia. As a result, I am compelled to comment on the documents, their content, tone and the accuracy of what they portray.
What was published is a one-sided representation of what transpired in the months prior to my resignation.
I have spent my entire working life trying to make this country and province better. The chance to be UBC’s President was an exciting opportunity to build a 21st century university, one that is better connected to the community, and the bigger world beyond the campus. This modern version of our largest university is essential to making BC into an even better society.
As President, I made a commitment to the people of British Columbia, the Board, the students and the faculty that we would move UBC to become one of the top universities in the world.
That goal meant substantial change including a rethinking of priorities and refocusing on the academic mission. And change can make some people uneasy. If it didn’t, it would be called the status quo. So, it is no surprise that not everyone at the university embraced this vision and the required actions.
That said, the assertions in the released documents, were not based on facts or evidence given to me at any time.
Still, I attempted to work in a collegial manner which is the hallmark of every well-governed university. Unfortunately there was never any formal review of my performance, or outreach by the Board to the broader university community. This would have allowed both the UBC Board and myself to assess my first year accomplishments and the scope of the work ahead.
This summer it became clear to me, that I did not have the support of the full Board, and as such felt I had no other option but to resign in the best interest of the university. It is my sincerest hope that I with leading UBC scholars will carry on with this important work on behalf of UBC, British Columbia, and Canada.
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Thanks Dr. Gupta. Sounds like you would not mind coming back as UBC President under more collegial circumstances. I for one as a faculty member would be very glad to have you back as our President, given that your tenure was so unceremoniously cut so drastically short.
At least from the outside, these recent revelations demonstrate two things:
1. The UBC Board behaved in a manner inconsistent with the values of transparency, academic integrity and honesty the university espouses;
2. Leaving the administration of a university to ‘suits’ with conflicts and permitting an environment of clubbish secrecy at the highest levels, is antithetical to how universities should run.
Bottom line: a real academic with real academic credentials and values tried to make a difference, and was hounded out by the suits. At least this is what UBC is going to be remembered for, barring a miracle.
What about Dr. Kenneth Hare, resigned as President in 1969 after much kerfuffle, and then a succession of temporary presidents.
The vision: the University of British Columbia creates an exceptional learning environment that fosters global citizenship, advances a civil and sustainable society – hik hik hik!!!
Reblogged this on mfduran.
Thank you. This is much appreciated: and from our very brief crossing of paths, when you went to the trouble of meeting with departments back in the spring–I’m in FHIS–know that (at least) some of us were attentive and optimistic.