UBC’s Engagement and Commitment to Student Diversity Initiative

Student Involvement Opportunity: Student Diversity Initiative

We are looking for students for the following facilitated dialogues:

1. East, South, Asian, Asian Canadian focus
February 7, 5-7:30 pm @ University Centre Lower Level Classrooms – RM 101 (6331 Crescent Road)

2. Transfer Students
February 9, 5-7:30 pm @ Chilcotin Boardroom, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre

We are looking for participation from undergraduate students, specifically those identifying as Korean, and/or transfer students.

Please RSVP by e-mailing Joanna at student.diversity@equity.ubc.ca ASAP – spaces are limited.

Learn about UBC’s Engagement and Commitment to Student Diversity Initiative

In October 2015, the UBC Board of Governors approved a 46.8% increase in international student tuition. Concerned with the potential impact on the diversity of UBC’s student population, the UBC Alma Mater Society, and the UBC International Students’ Association submitted a proposal to the Board outlining concerns related to international tuition increases.

In recognition of the concerns raised and the changing dynamics of our student populations including the increase in the population and complexity of the diversity of our domestic and international students on our campuses, the Board of Governors established the UBC Commitment to Diversity Fund. These resources will strategically engage, enhance and embed diversity into our systems and operations.

Together with an advisory committee, the Provost and Vice-President Academic Pro Tem, Vice-President, Students, and Associate Vice-President, Equity & Inclusion are currently developing a strategic plan to allocate the resources.

Building on existing reports and plans, such as Valuing Difference (2010), Place and Promise (2012), and Implementing Inclusion (2013), a project team will consider information from the Undergraduate Experience Survey data analysis, develop a comprehensive literature review, analyze current best practice and relevant research, and consult with key campus experts, partners, and stakeholders.  Please see the Links & Resources Guide below for more information.

Get Set Phase 1 and 2

The project planning team has identified a Get Set phase 1 that will include building and laying the foundation necessary for the development of a strategic plan that lays out a systemic approach to addressing university operations, policy, culture, programs, and practices. Currently underway is an environmental scan that includes the gathering of relevant data, and a literature review. In addition, there are plans for a series of consultations with key stakeholders and subject matter experts to identify and assess the strength of current systems and supports to attract and retain diverse students. Lastly,  next steps the university needs to take to enhance our diverse university community will be identified.

Discussions are being held with senior university leadership, program directors, elected student leaders, and key informants responsible for the recruitment of diverse students, as well as those who work closely with the retention of international and domestic students. A range of stakeholders will participate including members of the Provost’s office; members of the VP Student’s Office; Aboriginal and International Student Support; CTLT; DVC UBCO Students Leaders: AMS; GSS; ISA; and subsequently identified key informants.

The Get Set phase 2 will include facilitated conversations with prioritized student populations, leaders of student groups, and other key informants identified in these conversations.

Recommendations and a strategic and tactical systems-wide implementation plan (including the development of a clear institutional statement on equity, diversity, and excellence) for Year 1 – 3, will be presented to the Board in April 2017.

Fund Breakdown

Get Set Phase: Year 1, 2016-17: $0.3 million
Year 2, 2017-18: $1.0 million
Year 3, 2018-19: $2.0 million
Future/ongoing: 2019-onwards: $2.0 million

Advisory Committee Membership

  • Sunaina Assanand, Associate Dean, Student Success (Faculty of Arts)
  • Catherine Dauvergne, Dean (Peter A. Allard School of Law)
  • Blake Edwards, President (UBC Students’ Union Okanagan)
  • Jan Hare, Associate Dean, Indigenous Education (Faculty of Education)
  • Linc Kesler, Director and Senior Advisor on Aboriginal Affairs (First Nations House of Learning, President’s Office)
  • Karen McKellin, Executive Director (International Student Initiative)
  • Gurdeep Parhar, Executive Dean, Clinical Partnerships and Professionalism (Faculty of Medicine)
  • Pam Ratner, Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President, Enrolment and Academic Facilities (Vice-President Academic and Provost’s Office)
  • Kate Ross, Associate Vice-President, Enrolment Services and Registrar (Enrolment Services)
  • Samantha So, Vice-President Academic (UBC Alma Mater Society)
  • Janet Teasdale, Managing Director, Student Development and Services
  • Jay Wickenden, Instructor (Department of Chemistry)

Project Team Membership

  • Sara-Jane Finlay, PhD, Project Lead (AVP, Equity & Inclusion)
  • Jude Tate, PhD, Project Lead (Director, Equity & Inclusion)
  • Jenna Omassi, Project Support (Advisor, Office of the Vice-President, Students)
  • Joanna Yang, Project Manager (Project Manager, Equity & Inclusion Office)
  • Nitya Iyer, Consultation Facilitator (Partner, Lovett Westmacott)
  • Manjeet Birk, Consultation Facilitator (PhD Scholar, Faculty of Education)
  • Robert Daum, Advisor VP Students
  • Hazel Hollingdale, Research Assistant (PhD student, Department of Sociology)


  • Manjeet Birk, Consultation Facilitator (PhD Scholar, Faculty of Education)
  • Robert Daum, Advisor VP Students, Consultation Facilitator
  • Nitya Iyer, Consultation Facilitator (Partner, Lovett Westmacott)


University Administration
Meetings were held in November and December 2016 with senior university administrators, as well as departments and units involved in supporting students. These included:-

Office of the President
Provost & VP-Academic
Deputy Vice-Chancellor, UBCO
Vice-President, Students
Associate Vice-President, Enrolment and Academic Facilities
VP Student Portfolio
Faculty of Arts, Applied Science, and Science Advisors
Aboriginal Student Services

View the full stakeholder list

Meetings with student stakeholders will take place in January and February 2017. Stakeholders include student leaders, including the Alma Mater Society and Graduate Student Society, to the Board of Governors and Senate student representatives. Stakeholders also include student-led clubs, associations, initiatives, and foundations that represent intersecting identities, especially student groups where recent data demonstrated favourable and unfavourable experiences at UBC. The representative student groups include:

  • Indigenous and First Nations groups
  • Student of colour groups
  • Trans and Gender non-conforming students, Queer and LGBTQ groups
  • Mental health network
  • Asian/South-East Asian student groups
  • Transfer students

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

UBC Equity & Inclusion Office
2306 – 1874 East Mall,
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z1, Canada
Tel: 604.822.6353
Fax: 604.822.3260

Emergency Procedures | Accessibility | Contact UBC  | © Copyright The University of British Columbia