Message from the Dean – September 2017

Welcome back to a what promises to be a phenomenal year for the UBC Faculty of Arts. Just off a year-long sabbatical, I’ve been thrilled to drop back into the press of events: to welcome 4,000 new students to Arts; to attend concerts, shows, exhibits and fundraising benefits; to participate in and attend talks, panels and conferences; and to celebrate our award winners and grant recipients. And we’re only three weeks into the semester!

The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts has launched its 20th Anniversary Season with a sold-out concert featuring the Blind Boys of Alabama and tenor Ben Heppner, and our brand-new School of Public Policy and Global Affairs launched with a day-long event featuring a keynote by former B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell.

In the last few years, the Faculty of Arts has built a new Audain Arts Centre; we’ve launched new degrees such as the Bachelor of International Economics; the Bachelor of Media Studies; the dual degree with the great French university Sciences Po; the Master of Management / Bachelor of Arts degree; and the Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs. And there is so much more in store to keep our degrees maximally positioned for our students’ success.

UBC Arts has become a leader in career preparation, in program outcomes, in co-op, in first-year programs, in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), in undergraduate and graduate research, and in community service learning. We are preparing our students to build both lives and careers that are grounded in 21st century needs and that allow students to participate in designing their education.

With UBC now recognized as number 31 in global rankings (Shanghai rankings), recognized as North America’s most global university (Times Higher Education Supplement), and with the Faculty of Arts as the most research-intensive faculty of its kind in Canada, our future looks bright indeed.

We have many challenges before us: How can we reorient the university to best serve First Nations communities and to respond to the needs of Indigenous communities all over the world? How can we ensure that there will be sufficient funds to support a student-friendly approach to education? How can we continue to engage the community for maximum input into our research and pedagogy? How can we continue to support our world-changing research while keeping domestic tuition low? What I can assure everyone is that we work every day on answering these questions!

I want to express my thanks to the faculty, staff and students who make all this happen, and who make me proud every day to be Dean of this Faculty.

Gage Averill
Dean of the Faculty of Arts