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UBC Publications

The President's Report 1983-84 and 1984-85 1985

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*>1J8 V.iV.ORiM   ROAD
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November 20, 1985
THE PRESIDENT'S REPORT 1983-84 and 1984-85
To:      Members of the Senate and of
the Board of Governors
From:    Robert H. T. Smith, President pro   tern.
from March 7 through October 31, 1985.
This brief report will place on record the major
achievements and developments of the University during the
two-year period to August 31, 1985.  I acknowledge warmly
the assistance I have received in its preparation from
Dr. Peter A. Larkin (Associate Vice-President, Research),
and Mr. James Banham (Department of Community Relations).
Responsibility for the contents (and the inevitable
omissions) of course rests with me.
Robert H. T. Smith
Attachment:  President's Report (9 pages) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
'CEOFTHE VANCOUVER „ , _.        ,.__
'es dent November 20, 1985
It is my privilege to present this report for the two
academic years that have elapsed since Dr. Douglas T. Kenny's
report for 1982-83.  To say the least, they have been
interesting years, marked by the appointment, as successor to
Dr. Kenny, of Dr. K. George Pedersen as President, and his
subsequent resignation on March 7, 1985.  Serving as
Dr. Pedersen's Vice-President, Academic, I shared his deep
concerns for the future funding of the University.  As President
pro tern, from March to October, 1985, I was faced with the
difficult task of supervising the absorption of a second
consecutive five percent reduction in the provincial operating
grant.  Despite the establishment in the 1985-86 provincial budget
of the University Adjustments Program, it was necessary to take
some drastic steps, including the discontinuance of some programs
and activities, and the severe curtailment of others.  These
actions have serious ramifications for the University's academic
programs and reputation.
With the difficulties of the past two years, I have
been heartened by the unflagging support and assistance of the
senior administrative officers of the University.  Dean
D. R. Birch accepted the challenge of the position of Acting
Vice-President, Academic, and I am greatly indebted to him for his
outstanding service.  The four associate vice-presidents in
Dr. Birch's office (Drs. Dybikowski, Larkin, Risebrough, and
Russell) and my two advisors, Dr. C. B. Bourne and
Dr. A. J. McClean have also served ably, and ensured a smooth
transition in March of 1985.  The Vice-President, Administration
and Finance, Mr. A. B. Gellatly, who came to U.B.C. from the
University of Waterloo at the beginning of 1984, has undertaken
major revisions of administrative and financial systems.  The
energy, competence and unfailing good humour of both Dr. Birch and
Mr. Gellatly have been invaluable in troubled times.  The deans of
the faculties have all worked hard in making the many difficult
decisions that were necessary, and to all of them I express my
appreciation.  Both major governing bodies, Senate and Board of
Governors, have been constructively supportive during this trying
time. Page 2 November 20, 1985
Although the administration of the University has posed
problems over the past two academic years, there have been many
encouraging developments and significant accomplishments.
Enrolments have been maintained at approximately the same level
despite substantial increases in student fees.  The registrations
for the 1983-84 and 1984-85 academic years were 36,231 and 34,737
respectively as compared to 35,223 in 1982-83.  The lower total
in 1984-85 was a source of surprise, and the undergraduate quotas
established by Senate (notably but not exclusively in Arts,
Education and Science) after the unexpected 1983-84 enrolment
surge were not reached. The experience of these two years
emphasized the two major constraints on rational academic
planning:  sudden enrolment shifts, and funding uncertainties.
Graduate student enrolment, which increased substantially over
the last decade, held constant at roughly 4,000 with an
encouraging increase in doctoral candidates (more than 1,000 in
1984-85).  Otherwise, enrolments were more or less steady, the
only exception being those for summer session which declined from
4,362 in 1983-84 to 3,846 in 1984-85.  Continuing Education
programs enrolled 62,468 registrants in 1983-84 and 61,750 in
1984-85. If credit and all kinds of non-credit headcount
enrolments are combined, the University continues to serve almost
90,000 annually, a remarkable reflection of the wide community
the University serves.
The graduating classes continued the trend of increase
of recent years totalling 4,817 in 1983-84 and 4,994 in
1984-85.  As a departure from erstwhile practice, the spring
congregation in 1984 was expanded from three to six ceremonies,
one in the morning and one in the afternoon on each of three
days, each focussed on a particular Faculty or group of
Faculties.  The new format was widely appreciated permitting
greater public participation, the time for a short address
(usually by a faculty member), and the opportunity for a more
cohesive social gathering at the conclusion of the ceremony.  The
same practice was followed in the spring of 1985 and seems likely
to become the new tradition.
Fifteen honorary degrees were awarded over the two
academic years:
John J. Robinette, Canada's foremost authority on constitutional
law, was awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws at a
Special Congregation held at the Vancouver Law Courts. Page 3 November 20, 1985
J. V. Clyne, who completed his second term as Chancellor of U.B.C;
Henry P. Bell-Irving, former Lieutenant-Governor of the Province;
Dr. Charles A. McDowell, Head of U.B.C.'s Chemistry Department
for 26 years;
Mstislav Rostropovich, internationally acclaimed conductor,
cellist and musical director of the National Symphony Orchestra
in Washington, D.C;
Thomas K. Shoyama, a U.B.C. graduate and one of Canada's leading
civil servants in the post-Second World War period, former
Chairman of the Board of Atomic Energy of Canada, Ltd.;
Saburo Okita, President of the International University in
Tokyo, Japan's foreign minister in 1979-80 and one of the
architects of that country's post-war economic recovery;
Leopold L. G. Bentley, co-founder of one of Canada's leading
forestry companies, Canadian Forest Products.
Arthur Erickson, noted architect, former U.B.C. student and a
faculty member from 1956 to 1964;
Robert Langlands, a U.B.C. graduate now at the Institute for
Advanced Study at Princeton University, credited with reviving
interest in number theory, the oldest and purest of the
mathematical disciplines;
James Inkster, for 42 years a leading teacher, principal and
administrator in B.C.'s secondary school system;
Pierre Berton, U.B.C. graduate and a distinguished Canadian
writer, broadcaster and journalist;
Stuart Keate, former publisher of daily newspapers in Victoria
and Vancouver and one of Canada's best-known journalists during
a career spanning 42 years;
Margaret Siwallace, documenter of the language and culture of
her native Indian tribe, the Bella Coola; sadly, Mrs. Siwallace
died in August 1985, some three months after being awarded her
honorary degree;
J. J. "Jack" Munro, one of Canada's leading trade unionists and
a leading official in the International Woodworkers of America. Page 4 November 20, 1985
The growth area of the university in the past two
years has been research.  In 1982-83, the University received
roughly $48 million in sponsored research contract and grant
funds.  In 1984-85, the total was almost $60 million.  Increases
were recorded in almost every faculty, the most significant being
in the Faculties of Applied Science, Arts, Medicine and Science.
Particular efforts have been made to increase research contracts
with industry clients.  This number increased from 107 in 1983-84
to 177 in 1984-85, with an increase in value from $1.7 million to
$3.4 million.  An industry liaison officer was appointed in 1984
and industrial contracting is continuing to grow.
The University should not become so preoccupied with
research that teaching activities are affected, nor become so
involved in applied research as to distort academic priorities.
However, as the major research institution in the province and as
one of Canada's major universities, it has an obligation to
participate actively in all phases of provincial and national
research activity, contributing to all aspects of the social
fabric.  To date, the University has done extremely well across a
broad research front and will no doubt continue to make
significant contributions.
As might be expected from the magnitude of research
funding (the majority of which is awarded from peer reviewed
competitions), U.B.C. scholars have received many significant
awards in the past two years.
Dr. John Brown of the Department of Physiology was
awarded the 1983 Gold Medal of the B. C. Science Council as
leader of a research group that has discovered two hormones
that regulate the gastro-intestinal tract.
Dr. Peter Larkin, Associate Vice-President, Research,
and Professor in the Department of Zoology, was the recipient of
the 1983 Award of Excellence of the American Fisheries
Society for "outstanding achievement in fisheries science and
management." Page 5 November 20, 1985
Dr. William Unruh of the Department of Physics was the
winner of the Steacie Fellowship fron the Natural Science and
Engineering Research Council of Canada and the §5,000
Steacie Prize of the National Research Council in January
Dr. Walter Hardy, also of the Physics Department i
named the winner of the 1984 Professor Jacob Biely Faculty
Research Prize for "an outstanding record of achievement in
research that ranges from molecular and solid state physics
through applied physics and engineering."
The 1985 winner of the Professor Jacob Biely Faculty
Research Prize was Dr. John H. McNeill, Dean of the Faculty of
Pharmaceutical Sciences, for significant contributions to the
understanding of effects of cardiovascular drugs.
Dr. Anthony J. Merer of the Chemistry Department was
the 1984 recipient of the Barringer Award of the Spectroscopy
Society of Canada for his contributions to atmospheric
spectroscopy.  The award is made to younger Canadian scientists
to encourage applied research in analytical spectroscopy.
Dr. Margaret Prang of the Department of History was
the recipient in 1984 of an Award of Merit fron the American
Association for State and Local History in recognition of her
contributions to the study of B.C.
Professor Douglas Sanders of the Faculty of Law was
named the first recipient of the Bora Laskin Fellowship in
Human Rights.  The award was established to encourage research
and the development of expertise in the field of human rights.
Drs. Lawrence Bongie and Ruth White, both of the
Department of French, were the recipients of Decorations from
the French Government in January, 1985, for services to French
Dr. Crawford Holling of the Department of Zoology and
the Institute of Animal Resource Ecology was the recipient of
the Cross of Honor of Austria after spending three and a
half years in that country as director of the International
Institute of Applied Systems Analysis in Vienna. Page 6 November 20, 1985
The first winner of the Charles A. McDowell Award for
Excellence in Research was Dr. Daniel R. Brooks of the
Department of Zoology, for his innovative work on the theory of
evolution.  Dr. McDowell, the former Head of Chemistry,
established the award to recognize outstanding achievements in
pure or applied science.
The largest number of Killam Research Fellowships in
the University's history was awarded in 1984.  Winners of the
prestigious Canada Council awards were:  Dr. Christopher Brion,
Chemistry; Dr. R. Allan Freeze, Geological Sciences;
Dr. Walter Hardy, Physics; Dr. Ernest Peters, Metallurgical
Engineering; and Dr. Alexander Woodside, History.
A prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship was awarded in
1984 to Dr. Charles McDowell of the UBC Chemistry Department,
and in 1985 to Dr. Richard Unger to enable him to write a complete
history of the brewing industry in the Netherlands.
Dr. Izak Benbasat of the Faculty of Commerce and Business
Administration was selected as the first Marvin Bower Fellow
at the Harvard University Graduate School of Business
Administration.  Dr. Benbasat will spend a year at Harvard
conducting research on computer based information and support
Five U.B.C faculty members were elected to the Royal
Society of Canada in 1984.  They are:  Dr. David Jones, Zoology;
Dr. Frank Clarke, Mathematics; Dr. Christopher Brion, Chemistry;
Dr. William Unruh, Physics; and Professor Basil Stuart-Stubbs,
Students also received a number of prestigious awards:
Dominic Barton, an honors economics student was the
winner of the 1984 Rhodes Scholarship; Meredith Wadman, a
student in the Faculty of Medicine, was awarded the 1985 Rhodes
Scholarship, making her the second B.C. woman to win the award
(U.B.C student Catherine Milsum was the first in 1978).  Two
students in the Department of English, Heesok Chang and
Corinna Sundararajan, were the winners of 1984 Mellon
Fellowships in the Humanities.   Elaine K. Chang was the
recipient of a 1985 Mellon Fellowship Award that will take her
to Stanford University for graduate study in English.  Music
student James Parker was named first-prize winner in the 8th
annual Eckhardt-Gramatte Competition for the performance of
Canadian Music in May 1984.  The 1985 Eckhardt-Gramatte
Competition was won by U.B.C violin student, Joanne Opgenorth.
For the fifth time in nine years, U.B.C students have topped this
national competition. Page 7 November 20, 1985
I regret that in this report I cannot draw attention to
new programs of instruction.  Although there is always an
invisible evolution of academic programs, with new knowledge
constantly replacing the old in each course of instruction, it is
important to the dynamism of the University that new programs
should emerge in response to major new fields of human enquiry and
to new requirements from the society we serve.  It is thus
unfortunate that two new approved programs, a Bachelor of Science
in atmospheric sciences and a Master's in journalism, have been
held in abeyance pending the availability of funding.
The construction of new buildings has also been deferred
because of the financial restraint of the times.  The Library is
in particular difficulty as collections accumulate.  The library
collection, which grew to 2,465,584 catalogued volumes in 1985,
constitutes an irreplaceable resource for the province as well as
for the University.  U.B.C.'s Library is one of the top twenty
research libraries in North America.  Lack of shelf-space for
collections required the removal of more materials from the Main
Library stacks to storage, bringing to one quarter million the
number so relegated.  One encouraging development was the
designation by the Board of Governors in July 1985, of the Old
Bookstore site for Library expansion and the recognition of this
project as a priority for private capital fund-raising.  It is
anticipated that this building will include the Management
Research Centre and Library, made possible by the singular
outstanding generosity of Vancouver resident and businessman,
Mr. David Lee-Chai Lam.
The University has continued to give high priority to
the Library collections budget.  It has been protected from
reductions required of almost all areas of the University's
operations, and in 1984-85 received a 5% increase.  Sources of
outside funding have become increasingly important for the
development of specialized collections at the research level.
Grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
provided $50,000 in 1983-84 for collections on Italian Renaissance
art and 19th century music, and $45,000 in 1984-85 for Chinese
historical gazettes.  Through the use of a major endowment from
the estate of Dr. W. K. Burwell, the quality of collections in
sociology, psychology and anthropology has been assured.
Particularly gratifying was the community support for fund-raising
to purchase books for the Asian Studies Library. Page 8 November 20, 1985
The volume of service provided (as indicated by the
number of both loans and reference questions) recorded a steady
increase.  Expanded library services to the six affiliated
teaching hospitals, introduced in 1982, proved extremely
popular, with cooperative use of the improved health science
collections greatly exceeding anticipated levels.  Improvements
to Extension Library services, providing long-distance reference
service and assistance to U.B.C. credit students throughout the
province, were also positively received.
It is noteworthy that two new buildings have been
constructed on the University lands, both concerned with the
forest industry.  One building, on campus in the Applied Science
complex, houses the PAPRICAN research group that is affiliated
with the University.  It will be an important facility for the
Master's program in pulp and paper engineering.  The other
building, funded jointly by the Federal and Provincial
Governments, is on the Discovery Park site.  It houses PAPRICAN
research and development staff and is planned to provide for
other forestry related research organizations.  Regrettably, no
progress was made during this time on the Chemistry-Physics
building beyond the preparation of documents still waiting to go
to tender.  The project remains at this stage.  However, designation
by the Board of Governors in July 1985 of some endowment funds (to be
augmented through private and public capital fund-raising), for an
extension to the Museum of Anthropology, prompts me to be optimistic
about the prospects in the relatively near future for a suitable home
for the University collection of works of art.
Several new deans have been appointed:  Dr. Peter Suedfeld
(Head of the Department of Psychology since 1972) succeeded Dr.
Peter A. Larkin as Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies in July
1984.  (Dr. Larkin continues to serve as Associate Vice-President,
Research).  Professor Beryl March of the Department of Poultry
Science, served as Acting Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural
Sciences in 1984-85 following the resignation of Dr. W. D. Kitts.
Dr. James Richards was appointed Dean of the Faculty succeeding
Professor March in July 1985.  Dr. John H. McNeill (formerly
Associate Dean) became Dean of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences
in January 1985, following the retirement of Dr. Bernard E. Riedel
who had served as Dean for 17 years.  Dr. Riedel's responsibilities
as Co-ordinator of Health Sciences were assumed by Dr. Peter Larkin
on an interim basis, until the appointment of Dr. Morton Low of the Page 9 November 20, 1985
Department of Medicine to this position in July 1985.  New deans
were also appointed in the Faculties of Applied Science and of
Science in July 1985:  Dr. Axel Meisen to succeed Dr. L. M. Wedepohl
as Dean of Applied Science, and Dr. Robert C Miller Jr., as Dean of
Science to succeed Dr. C. V. Finnegan.  Dr. Meisen, a Professor of
Chemical Engineering, had served as Associate Dean of the Faculty,
since 1976.  As well, Dr. Miller was Head of the Department of
Microbiology before being appointed Dean.
Several changes occurred in the staff of the President's
Office in these two years.  Dr. R. Doncaster Russell was
appointed Associate Vice-President, Academic, in 1983.
Dr. Neil R. Risebrough's title was changed from Vice Provost for
Student Affairs to Associate Vice-President, Student Services,
in 1984.  Also in 1984, Dr. James Dybikowski was appointed to
the new position of Associate Vice-President, Faculty Relations.
Dr. James M. Kennedy, who had served as Vice-President (University
Services) from 1980, assumed full-time professorial duties
in the Department of Computer Science in 1984.  At that time,
Mr. A. Bruce Gellatly's area of vice-presidential responsibility
became Administration and Finance.  The area of Development
and Community Relations (a new vice-presidency created in 1984)
is of critical importance to the University in these times.
Mr. David McMillan carried this portfolio during 1984-85.
With prospects for improvement in the economy, both
provincial and national, I hope that The University of British
Columbia has experienced the worst.  While it has not been easy
to make the required adjustments, the University and its people
have risen to the occasion.  If I may be permitted a parting
observation, it is that I very much hope that the future will
see a willingness on the part of the three universities and the
government to recognize the Universities Council as the independent
body it was intended to be.  Only with this dual recognition can the
Council be expected — and obliged — to play its most important
role as the principled advocate of universities in British Columbia.
I am proud to have had the opportunity and privilege
to serve the University in the several roles which I have been
asked to fill. I shall have many fond memories of U.B.C. as I
take up my position at The University of Western Australia.
Robert H. T. Smith, President pro tern, to November 1, 1985; and
Vice-Chancellor-Designate, The University of Western Australia


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