UBC Publications

UBC Publications

UBC Publications

The President's Report 1954-1955 1956

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Array the
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have the honour to transmit for your information my annual report
on the University for the academic year 1954-55. This year marks my tenth
year as President of the University of British Columbia, and I have in the
following pages developed some comparisons between the problems and
opportunities which I faced when first assuming office and those that face
the University today.
I was reminded in the preparation of the report of the greatly
increased volume of business which the Board of Governors and the
Senate are now engaged in, and I would like to take this opportunity of
paying tribute to the members of the Board and Senate, who voluntarily
give their time to guiding the destinies of this institution. As Board and
Senate you have encouraged its growth as a community of students and
scholars, as a provincial and national enterprise most intimately associated
with the training of the professional men and women the Province and
country demand and need, and as an institution which plays an increasingly important role in the social and economic well-being of the Province
and country. Not only the staff and students of the University, but the
people of the Province at large are fortunate, and should be grateful, that
busy men and women are willing and able to give so generously of their
time and energies, as you have done, to the development of an institution
so important to the life of the country. On behalf of all of us at the
University I would like to acknowledge your efforts with our most sincere
and genuine thanks.
A/nAuML, K\^^Ap4&. President's Report
September 1954 to August 1955
It is part of my obligations as President to "report annually upon
the progress and efficiency of the academic work of the University."
This is my tenth report. It may, therefore, be useful and appropriate
to engage in a general stock-taking of developments in the affairs
of the University of British Columbia, as well as to indicate in
outline old and new questions which are likely to confront us
during the next ten years. As in the past, I have chosen to be
selective. It is no longer possible to do justice to all the details
which are contained in the reports of departments, deans and
committees or in the several published reports of the University.
The latter speak for themselves. I wish to enquire into sorhe of the
more elusive, yet formative patterns of teaching, research and
organization which underlie — often only vaguely recognized —
the more visible or measurable trends of growth in number of
students and faculty, or of kinds and size of buildings, grounds
and equipment.
To be sure, the increase in our student body from 2,430 in
1943-44 to 9,374 in 1947-48 to 5,914 in 1954-55, the addition of
faculties as well as the growth in numbers on faculty and staff,
new buildings of all kinds, steady increase in revenue and expenditure — all these facts easily and obviously document the growth
and vitality of the University; they point as well to the relationship
between campus and Province.
Since 1941 British Columbia has grown from a population
of roughly 818,000 to 1,266,000 in 1954. A little over eight percent
of the Canadian population lived in this Province five years ago.
We are still the third largest province in the Dominion. Similarly,
Vancouver, with its 531,000 inhabitants in 1951, is by now the
third largest metropolitan centre in Canada.
Yet a university never reflects its immediate environment
alone. It is also a part of a national and international community. As an academic community it belongs to that inclusive yet distinct
company of scholars which is one of the few informal associations
on a scale and basis large enough to be world-wide.
A proper perspective of the last ten years in the University
must, at the very least, take into account several facts: the work
and forethought of all those who were responsible for the
University's solid foundation and development through its early
difficult years; the unique contribution that the influx of veterans
during six years beginning in 1945 made, especially to our modes
of teaching — a contribution which is not confined to the years
they were with us; the continuing demand for technical and
professional skills in this Province and throughout this continent
as well as abroad; the growing readiness and leisure in our
community for the enjoyment of the "arts" as well as for a diverse
intellectual climate; and the persistent way in which education in
our society is a matter of public debate and of public policy, both
provincial and federal.
In trying to assess the main developments and attempted, but
so far incomplete, undertakings for which we have been working, I
find it convenient to think of the years between 1945 and 1955
as falling into three periods.
Soon after I came in 1944 the influx of veteran students began.
Four years later we had over 9000 students. In the session of
1943-44 there had been 2400. This quadruple increase meant many
temporary arrangements. The majority of these depended on a
degree of cooperativeness and good will, on the part of the faculty
as well as of students, which it will always be good to remember.
Even now it is still too soon to appreciate the full impact of the
decision on the part of the Government of Canada to help support
university education for large numbers of discharged servicemen
and women. The educational aspirations of those veterans for
their children are among the reasons for an anticipated continuous
increase in university enrolment during the next twenty years.
Yet even though we had more students during the first few
years of my presidency than we have had since, the university
today is a considerably more complex and varied institution than
it was in 1948.
The second stage during my ten years could be described as the beginning of a substantial development in the variety of
teaching and research activities — a development that is likely
to continue for a long time to come. Since 1945 we have added the
faculties of Law, Medicine, Forestry, Pharmacy, and Graduate
Studies. We have added courses, staff and research facilities,
professional schools and institutes. Our obligations have become
many and complex. Though teaching undergraduates will always
be primary among these obligations, permanent commitments to
professional education in a variety of fields, to graduate training
and research and to various educational and technical services to the
community at large, have irrevocably augmented our general aims.
This report also covers the beginning of a third period:
planning for the further developments to accommodate increasing
numbers of students and additional ventures in professional education as well as in various special fields, especially in the social
sciences and the humanities. Many of the developments that I wish
to discuss, even if briefly, can, however, not just be thought of in
measures of student numbers or expenditures. In an academic
setting, returns and costs can never be a matter only of financial
accounting. Our efforts and ventures involve, in addition, contributions for which there can only be qualitative criteria.
For better or for worse, the University is now a complex
institution. Its several constituent parts can only be described one
at a time. There is no neat and clear way of drawing lines.
Traditionally, we think of the eight faculties—Graduate Studies,
Arts and Science, Agriculture, Applied Science, Forestry, Law,
Medicine, and Pharmacy — as the main divisions, with the Faculty
of Arts and Science as the core. Yet, the graduate faculty, which
has a "token" budget and no teaching staff of its own, 'cuts across'
these divisions, just as on a smaller scale some of the departments
straddle boundaries, to the delight of some and the displeasure
of others.
In addition to departments, our faculties comprise schools,
such as those of Architecture, Commerce, Education, Home
Economics, Nursing, Physical Education, and Social Work; institutes (Fisheries, Oceanography) and programs (Community and
Regional Planning). While the bulk of academic work is carried
out within and across these boundaries, there are other aspects of university work — quite apart from administration — which the
previous list does not directly indicate. I have in mind primarily the
many tasks which an almost bewildering array of committees
annually carries forward.
It is interesting to note in passing that at the present time we
seem to have reached a general stage of stock taking in the country
as a whole. The Massey Report is still a challenge to us. Royal
Commissions on the economic future of Canada and on radio and
television broadcasting are assembling data for reports which I
am sure will have bearing on the state and role of Canadian higher
education and on the on-going discussions about professional
training in various fields. All this will keep alive the opportunity
to debate and decide on the proper functions of contemporary
I should probably repeat in that connection that I remain fully
committed to the principle of making higher education generally
available to as many people as are able to profit by it. I also believe
that universities must combine tradition with flexibility. In Canada
and at UBC professors have had most of their graduate training
and education in the United States, England, or on the continent of
Europe. It is natural that our composite image of a "true" or
"great" university should incorporate memories of Berkeley, Cambridge, Chicago, Columbia, Gottingen, Harvard, London, Oxford
or Paris. Yet the Canadian West imposes opportunities and
limitations which demand new directions and experiments. Certainly the past has much to teach us; so does the East. West of
Lake Ontario it is only too easy to forget, for instance, that Canada
is officially a bilingual country and that the intellectual heritage
of French Canada can make a very important contribution to higher
education in any Canadian university. This Province, on the other
hand, confronts us with many social, economic and technical
questions, to the solution of which the University is obligated and
pleased to contribute. Besides, communities and regions — by
coincidence and design — create their own atmosphere and traditions of intellectual interest and work. In Vancouver we can face
many ways: across an ocean to the Far East, across forests and
mountains to the North and Arctic, across a nearby border to the
United States, across mountains to the Prairies. In a peculiar way we are at once in the centre and at the edge of several different
spheres, each with its own combination of economic, technological
or social problems. This reflects itself in the scope and directions
that our academic work assumes. Our imagination and our
resources must, of course, never be wholly absorbed by immediate
problems. There must always be room for the widest range of
individual scholarly and scientific interests and pursuits. In many
cases only other colleagues in the same field can assess the importance and meaning of some particular piece of work. In this way
the contribution of a university is always a manifold matter, to be
judged by a variety of standards and never only by one. But time
and place provide their own challenges and limitations. In our
case — and restricting myself to the general area of my own
specialty — problems arising from a growing and heterogeneous
population, which in many areas seems to have to devise new
institutions, would appear to be one important focus for different
kinds of investigative work.
In retrospect, it is good to be able to report that this University
in particular and other Canadian universities in general have been
spared the clear and present dangers to academic freedoms that
have threatened so many'of our sister universities, in many areas
of the world.
Our university tradition, unlike that of Germany for instance,
has never been paralysed by the destructive efforts of a dictatorship,
which does irreparable damage, especially to the social sciences
and the humanities. I am sure we shall continue to enjoy this
freedom, as long as we are prepared to defend it.
Yet we must neither take this freedom for granted nor fail
to see that it can be diminished in subtle and indirect ways, which
are not less harmful for being less obvious. A university is a public
trust. It can only carry out the functions entrusted to it if the
scholars that constitute the university are unhampered by doctrinaire demands from anywhere.
Academic freedom, as we have come to think of it in these
troubled years, is too important and far-flung a subject to be
adequately discussed within the limitations of an annual report.
A proper concern with it would have to include a discussion of
subject matter and methods of instruction as well as of many of the details and principles of the inner government of the university
and its relations to society.
I wish now to take up some of these matters in turn, beginning
with some general comments about the purposes and government
of the University of British Columbia.
Purpose and Government of the University
As a university we labour in three broad and overlapping
areas: teaching, research, and service to the community appropriate
to an academic institution. It is in these areas that we are prepared
to be judged. Within the University, however, these three tasks
cannot be an equal concern to each of us. Differences of training,
gifts, temperament and opportunity maintain a necessary division
of labour amongst us. Some of our most valuable faculty members
might well be unknown in the community; some of our most
effective teachers write little; some of our faculty who publish well
and frequently are not necessarily among our best teachers. The
proper balance between our three areas of endeavour is, therefore,
always an uneasy one, both for any one individual and for the
University as a whole.
I firmly believe that a university must be in alert touch with
the wider community in which it carries on its work. There is no
doubt that through our research in a rich variety of fields, ranging
from drug addiction to town planning, from forestry to fisheries,
we have concerned ourselves with questions of distinct practical
and local importance. Through our Department of Extension we
are similarly involved in many varieties of adult education. All this
is invaluable and will continue. We must, in addition however,
continue to guard ourselves against too many immediate demands
so that we may keep ourselves free for the exacting intramural
demands of teaching and research. Service to the community is a
long range, as well as a short range ideal. Our students, who for
the most part come from the communities of British Columbia,
need and deserve our best. Through them we hope to contribute to
a better future in the communities in which our graduates settle.
Service and knowledge lose something of their value if they
are not continually assessed and extended; a university that is not ceaselessly active in research does not deserve the name. Research,
however, takes many forms. Historical scholarship or experiments
to discover the causes of the common cold, new methods of forest
management and enquiries into the social organization of B.C.
Indians, all are examples of research. A common condition
underlies their diversity: the willingness to stand back and ask
questions, to subject everything to the discipline of thought,
including the premises and conventions of thought itself. Such an
enterprise demands much endurance and imagination and a degree
of detachment. A university is therefore continually experimenting
with working out the proper balance between being connected and
concerned with its immediate community, on which it depends, and
being removed- and insulated from it, so that by standing off it
can see more clearly into the past and the future as well as into the
present. It is wrong to confuse this necessary degree of being apart
with the popular notions of being "stand-offish," "impractical" or
"fiddling while Rome burns." Rather, I am suggesting that good
theories are among the most practical things a university can be
expected to invent or discover. But in some circumstances and for
some people these are born only under circumstances of freedom
from the many distracting interruptions of phones, letters,
newspapers, committees and lectures.
It goes without saying that for the University as a whole
teaching is one of its basic concerns, yet learning is not confined to
its students. Teaching, as an act of giving, implies learning as an
act of receiving. It follows naturally from all this that a university,
unlike a hospital or business, frequently tries to reach for rather
elusive goals and can adopt ho precise formula for balancing its
various undertakings. As an institution we are concerned with a
variety of groups within and without our walls: faculty, students,
administration, the community. Each of these is more than a
uniform collection of people. The various members of these
groups necessarily make partly contradictory demands on the
I need not go into detail as to how the University Act and the
division of responsibility between Board of Governors, Senate,
faculties, students, committees and alumni are intended as ways
for implementing our policies, safeguarding important individual rights and maintaining high academic standards. As President, I
have the privilege and opportunity to be in fairly close touch with
all these groups. I have made it a deliberate practice to be available
to any members of the University without in any way wishing to
interfere with the necessary autonomy of faculties and departments.
One might well ask, however, what alternatives a fast growing
university on the North American continent has for organizing its
teaching and research program save that of the maximum amount
of autonomy and responsibility.
With this in mind we have tried to supplement departmental
divisions by a series of committees. This year over a hundred
committees helped implement or plan the affairs of the University.
A word about these is in order, since committees can mistakenly
come to be regarded in a negative light. In a university many issues
cut across the divisions of faculties and departments or have to
be considered by smaller groups in detail before a larger body
can decide on well considered alternatives. Committees exist for
these purposes. In addition they assemble, in a face-to-face way,
people from different parts of the University who might otherwise
not have the opportunity to encounter each other. This is one of
several useful by-products of their operation. I would be the last
to deny, however, that committees can be time consuming. Yet
without them a majority of the members of the University would
not have the same sustained opportunity to become acquainted
with a wide range of problems that face us collectively and to help
in the formulation or inspection of policy with regard to these.
These committees are appointed by the Board of Governors, the
Senate, the faculties, or the President. Many of them are concerned
with the issues of finance, buildings and grounds, and future
development, or with counselling the various schools within
faculties about their programs. Some are concerned with the
complex issues of appointments and promotions. Some deal with
matters pertaining to foreign students, or Greek Letter societies, or
student health. Some are concerned with more specialized issues:
military education, for instance, residences, radiation, or the library.
Finally, some committees work entirely in the areas of research
and teaching, advising on special programs of study, advising
about university research funds or scholarship moneys, or consider- ing new academic developments. This list suggests the variety of
obligations the University inevitably shoulders and raises implicitly
the questions of proper limits and flexibility of an institution of
higher learning in this Province.
The qualities of its faculty and of its student body are, in the
last analysis, the measure of the standing of a university. In this
respect, as in so many others, UBC is very fortunate. We have been
able to attract and keep many able teachers, scholars and researchers
who have brought to us a wide variety of training and experience
gained in many parts of the world. Necessarily the riches of the
University in this respect are uneven: in some fields we have groups
of men and women sustaining between them lively undergraduate
instruction and a productive graduate program, in others one or
two people still have to work in relative isolation, while other fields
of knowledge and enquiry we have not been able to develop at*all.
Many reasons converge in a man's or woman's choice of the
academic career and life. The status and role of the university
professor have, furthermore, changed, in Western countries, during
the last fifty years. In one respect Canada is rather unique, for the
majority of the permanent teaching staff of its universities are
likely to have taken a substantial part of their graduate training
outside Canada, while the universities in which they teach are
a changing blend of English and American patterns. These
emphasize, at the same time, a regulated number of courses as
prerequisites for the B.A., the giving of many lectures, possibilities
of "honouring" as well as "majoring" in a subject, holding examinations for each course rather than "comprehensives," long summer
holidays with traditions of student employment, considering a
B.A. only the beginning of a professional career, and close and
important ties between the university and the local and national
community. These are part of the conditions under which our
faculty works. Remuneration, promotion and tenure are other
aspects of their work. Money is not and should not be one of the
prime ambitions of any one who wishes to give his life to
university teaching or research. But greater freedom and independence are some compensation for this. True, we expect our faculty
to remain closely in touch with the community and to meet, on a
fairly equal footing, a wide variety of groups in the community. But to be creative and efficient, members of faculty should be freed
from excessive financial worries and from pressure to accept
routine tasks for the sake of their monetary returns. However I
hope and expect that over the years more money will be available
for faculty salaries and that in my next annual report I shall be
able to speak of substantial progress in the financial status of the
In respect of both promotions and salaries I have striven for a
combination of flexibility and justice. A series of committees now
discuss our promotions. The criteria of assessment are becoming
clearer and more agreed upon. In large measure we see to it that
the men and women on our faculty are given that status which a
group of their peers and elders accord them after discussion. We
are also proposing to establish salary floors for various positions
and a pattern that provides some guide for promotions. In these
matters any one university cannot be an island unto itself. Opportunities "outside," be they other universities or other spheres of
work — such as government, business, the private practice of
medicine and law — affect the demands any individual can make
or the salaries we must offer, if we are to attract and keep a good
faculty. There must always therefore be a degree of flexibility in
our policies if the work of the University is to go on. It is also the
duty of a university administration to keep in mind the welfare
of the university as a whole, to protect the interests of those
scholars for whose services contemporary society is not prepared
to pay an adequate income, but whom the university should have
if it is to justify its title of a place of "higher learning." It is also
important to look after the interests of younger members of the
faculty, especially where there is reason to believe that the person
in question stands at the beginning of a distinguished academic
One final comment about the faculty in general may be in
order. During my ten years as president, I have seen it grow in
numbers, in diversity and in vigour. This is reassuring. On the whole
this growth has taken place along traditional lines. We have added
people to departments or added new departments. We have added
very few programs that cut across departmental lines, after the
fashion of Community Planning or the Institute of Oceanography.
10 There have been some cooperative research undertakings, such as
research on urbanisation and on the British Columbia Indians.
Yet inevitably the increased complexity of our faculty has meant
a growing number of 'separate worlds': departments and schools,
which tend to become self-sufficient groups. I hope that in the
next ten years this trend can be balanced by another one: a
willingness to join in concerted efforts of teaching and research
with colleagues in other parts of the University. At the present
time, it is primarily the students who experience the full range of
the University's academic enterprises rather than the faculty. The
past ten years, however, have seen a substantial development in the
scope and depth of our academic offering.
The Offering of the University
One generally thinks of courses, departments, schools or
faculties when one speaks about the offering of a university. At
the best this is incomplete, at the worst it is misleading. Besides
lectures and seminars, a university offers libraries and laboratories,
museums and exhibitions, clinical demonstrations and practical
experience, research projects and a whole web of informal occasions
for the exchange of ideas. Courses, moreover, are just a convenience, made necessary because there are so many of them. At the
core of any and every offering of a university you should always
find some particular quest in the perennial dialogue of question
and answer. As I see it, knowledge is one form this dialogue takes;
art would be another. Universities hope to keep this dialogue alive,
and to acquaint one generation with the questions and answers of
previous ones, for the sake of further inquiries in the future. For
the most part, however, we declare our offerings in the form of
courses constituted by lectures, assignments and examinations.
There are variations in this pattern. About half of our courses are
small enough so that they become weekly discussion groups. Some
of our courses meet as seminars once a week. The proper form of
instruction will always be an unsettled issue. Any answer will
probably differ from one discipline to another. I would like more
systematic consideration given to this topic, however, for it is a
little ironic that often the knowledge we teach puts into fairly
11 serious question the organizational forms we use to teach it. Some
people fully believe in the values of formal lectures and some see
no good in them; some think a seminar should be no larger than
twenty and soVne draw the line at a dozen. It would be useful to
add some clear facts to our opinions.
If we now turn from the question of how we teach to the
question of what we teach, I find myself facing an embarrassment
of riches. It is only proper that I survey our offering in this respect
in terms of our several faculties.
Faculty of Graduate Studies
Research, and training in the craft and techniques of research,
are part of the very definition of a university. They are not
dispensable luxuries, separate from teaching. Research takes many
different forms. Investigations in literature, law, mathematics, biochemistry, anatomy or social psychology, for example, require
rather different kinds of techniques and different facilities as
regards equipment, personnel and funds. Yet all fruitful enquiry
involves some degree of curiosity, a capacity for asking questions,
for standing beyond the accepted pattern of knowledge and
thought, and adding to it or revising it. It is primarily the business
of a faculty of graduate studies to sustain research and the attitudes
needed to push it forward as a permanent part of the routine of the
University. Some work in graduate studies has been done ever
since the University was founded. The Faculty of Graduate Studies
was established in 1949 and has continued to grow slowly, and
steadily. This year new areas in which we are prepared to admit
candidates for the Ph.D. degree were added. These fields are:
anatomy, bacteriology and immunology, electrical engineering,
geology, and pharmacy.
Unlike the seven other faculties, Graduate Studies has only a
small administrative budget of its own, and there is no separate
staff for graduate students. Departments vary in the extent to
which they can or wish to use their limited resources for graduate
training at the M.A. or the Ph.D. level. So far the general policy
facilitating graduate work has been deliberately conservative.
Our first concern has been to maintain high standards.  The
12 standing which our students have achieved suggests that our
caution was wise in the circumstances.
But the time has now come to pursue a vigorous program of
development in graduate work, without sacrificing any of the
standards and reputation we have achieved. It may never be
feasible for any one Canadian university to develop a uniform
degree of involvement in graduate work on the part of all its
departments and faculties. This may not even be desirable, given
the unequal needs of society for people professionally trained in
different fields and given also the variations in scholarly opportunities and interests among universities of different size and
tradition. Yet I hope that we can achieve a better balance between
the opportunities for graduate instruction and faculty research in
the physical sciences and the humanities, or the biological and the
social sciences. Few are likely to object to this and many favour it.
But money and personnel are not the only obstacles. We will in
addition have to examine our views as to the most appropriate
and productive lines of enquiry, especially in the humanities and
the social sciences. In the last resort this is an individual scholar's
own problem. Yet some discussion among the faculty and some
clear statements of agreement and disagreement on questions
like the following are likely to further our individual efforts
1. Assuming that intellectual accomplishment, especially in
the humanities and the social sciences, is not independent
of the general intellectual climate of the time and place
in which it is attempted, what are likely to be the most
appropriate kinds of enquiries for scholars in the 1950's
in the Canadian West?
2. How can we ensure and define a proper balance between
"basic" and "applied" research in our various disciplines
where this distinction has become relevant?
3. To what extent should a graduate school deliberately
attempt more than specialized training and scholarship,
and how might training in our professional schools be
broadened to include further work in the humanities and
the social sciences ?
4. What can or should we do at the undergraduate level to
13 select and prepare people for later advanced training in
post-graduate work?
What can we do to balance specialization with general
education, and to include in the latter more systematic
treatment of the nature of science, assuming that there is
as much reason for people in the humanities to know about
the basic issues in the physical and social sciences as for
the reverse.
If our graduate work is to develop, certain related things
should be done in the near future. More time should be available
for research. Perhaps we could liberate teaching time for members
of a department in some sort of rotation, determined in large
measure by the research program advanced by the applicant. We
must make available more teaching time for courses designed
exclusively for graduate students.
We must also do a very great deal more than we have in
the past to attract good graduate students. It will probably be wise
to continue the policy of admitting to courses in the graduate
faculty all graduates of this or any other university with adequate
qualifications. Some students may derive much benefit from taking
a number of courses at the graduate level even though these are
not arranged to qualify them for a higher degree. In the case
of those wishing to proceed to a higher degree we should continue
to encourage our own graduates to go elsewhere and to discourage
candidates from proceeding to a Ph.D. degree at this university
if the whole of their previous academic work has been done here.
Under these circumstances adequate financial support for graduate
students becomes imperative. It is my hope that the present grants
from the National Research Council and the Defence Research
Board for work done primarily in the physical sciences will soon
be matched by grants for work in the humanities and the social
sciences. Many of our graduate students receive support through
teaching appointments and assistantships. Yet this support has its
limitations and is not suited to students who do well in research,
but are poor instructors or who, though welcome as foreign
students, are burdened with language difficulties. Clearly we need
more scholarships and grants to attract the best students and to
14 provide them with a necessary degree of financial independence.
The proper distribution of our resources between undergraduate
and graduate work, or between teaching and research is always
subject to debate. It must, in addition, change with circumstance.
Yet this University must expand its graduate offering and increase
the faculty time available to engage in scholarship and research. A
graduate faculty closely related to the rest of the University is in
an excellent position to keep academic effort and routine fresh
and vital and to sustain an atmosphere of creative effort. Without
the latter, teaching and studying lose their savour; and without
savour they have limited value.
Faculty of Arts and Science
It is in no wise unfair to the importance of the other faculties
to call the Faculty of Arts and Science the core of the University,
especially with regard to the undergraduate offering. In addition
to about eighteen departments it contains five "schools." Its
enrolment is larger than that of any of the other faculties, and
much of its work involves preparation for subsequent specialization
in medicine, law, applied science or agriculture. It also provides
"services" to other faculties, especially in such areas as mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, the social sciences and the
languages, including English.
During the last ten years the work'of this Faculty has expanded
in many respects. Departments have been added, such as Slavonics
and International Studies, and departments have been reorganized.
Chemical Engineering, for instance, is now separate from Chemistry. Significant additions have been made to existing departments,
notably anthropology, criminology, archaeology. Anthropology has
been added as a distinct discipline and has developed a fairly
comprehensive program of courses and research with the help of a
substantial grant from the Carnegie Corporation. Criminology has
developed into a much needed program jointly supported by the
Attorney-General's Department and the University. New courses
or programs of study have been instituted. Among these should be
listed courses in the Far East, in genetics, in linguistics, and in
Renaissance and Medieval studies. It is impossible to do justice to
15 all the developments, but a few further ones in the three areas of
the humanities, the natural sciences and the social sciences might
be mentioned here as indications of the directions in which this
Faculty is moving.
Several of the departments dealing with languages, literature
and history have formulated programs of study in specific periods,
like the Renaissance, or specific areas, like Russia or the Far East.
The integration of such programs with existing departmental
arrangements is not always easy and the attempt to make specific
areas themselves one department's prerogative can only be an
incomplete solution.
On the other hand, I hope that the future will see further
experiments and developments in the line of 'institutes' which,
like our present work in fisheries and oceanography, can specialize
in particular areas, such as the Far East or French Canadian studies,
while combining the resources of several departments.
I need not remind anyone that the language departments, and
especially the Department of English, can and do play a particularly
important role in any attempt at general education. How they can
best make their contributions is not always so obvious. Appropriate
and accurate expression are certainly necessary accomplishments in
any kind of intellectual activity or professional pursuit. Literature
in English or any other language is one of the main durable
creations through which we gain access to the inner life of others.
The humanities, therefore, have every opportunity to make a
central contribution to general college education, provided they
avoid some rather obvious fallacies. One of these is the tendency to
belittle practical pursuits as such. Another is the failure to acknowledge that an understanding of the basic issues and contributions
of the physical and social sciences is equal in importance for
general education to an appreciation of literature and history.
Parallel misconceptions are of course to be found in the social
or physical sciences. The world of scholarship is often an amusing,
and at times a sad mixture of vision and blindness.
The more specialized interests of various faculty members in
the humanities present a wide range of topics and include research
on Neo-Latin pastoral poetry as well as on Matthew Arnold or
A. M. Klein. I hope that in the future more graduate work will be
16 possible in the humanities, especially of a kind which can be
combined with some of the undertakings in the social sciences.
The physical sciences in the Faculty of Arts and Science carry
forward between them a great array of courses and research
projects. Like all university departments they must individually
work out some feasible balance between undergraduate instruction
and upper year or graduate specialisation and research. Unlike
some other parts of the University, they have certain advantages
with regard to research funds, well paid future employment of
their students and recognition of their general importance by the
community. Again it is not possible to review their work in a way
which would give those not directly associated with it an immediate
and vivid sense of its promise and interest. Investigations are
spread over the whole area of biological, physical and geological
sciences and their various subdivisions. One finds a concern with
ambrosia beetles and their destructive affection for newly felled
trees, with black-tailed deer and black-necked grebe, with steelhead,
shiners and trout, with waterfowl and diving ducks. Work is going
forward on the geography of settlement and on petrology, on
problems of natural resources and on glacial maps. Techniques are
being devised for analysing the copper and zinc contents of mosses
and lichens as well as for doing research on staphylococcus. In
physics we have excellent facilities for low temperature research.
These are just random examples; further ones could easily be
added from mathematics and chemistry.
Some important changes have also taken place in the undergraduate teaching program, especially in biology. It is never easy
to arrive at a proper balance between an inclusive coverage of one
of the major natural sciences and a needed specialization in some
particular area. For that reason it is always gratifying to see
departments periodically reviewing their offerings and experimenting with various alternatives.
The social sciences have held their own during these last ten
years, and have also been considerably strengthened by new
developments in anthropology and criminology.
The boundaries of the social sciences are admittedly fluid.
In the present connection I am, however, primarily thinking of
anthropology, criminology, economics, history, political science,
17 psychology and sociology. Law and social work present different
problems to which I shall turn presently.
In many respects we are ideally located for a vigorous program
of teaching and research in anthropology. The Province contains
about 31,000 Indians, who became the subject of a comprehensive
cooperative research project on which I reported last year. As the
most western Canadian (university we are also nearest to various
research possibilities among peoples of the Pacific and in the Far
East. No other Canadian university has similar opportunities. We
are unique, as well, in having embarked on a criminological
program which trains students for work in the professional
correctional fields. The other social sciences all carry heavy loads
of teaching and research, besides being under constant pressure
from the community for a wide variety of services. In these fields
it is especially important that a proper balance be kept between
undergraduate instruction and graduate training and research, as
well as between relatively short-term "applied" research and
"basic" enquiries. Sustained analysis of the more durable aspects
of economic and social processes is absolutely essential if we are
not to exhaust our intellectual capital necessary for the resolution
of the more immediate problems that confront us from day to day.
I have every hope that during the next ten years the social sciences
as a whole will grow in vigour and creativity. There are excellent
opportunities for a systematic analysis from several points of view
of Canadian society and the particular forms it takes in the West.
Made part of undergraduate training, such knowledge will stand
us in good stead.
The professional schools in the Faculty of Arts and Science
have become increasingly well established during the last decade.
The School of Social Work celebrated the fact that twenty-five
years ago the first course in this field was begun in the University.
The School of Commerce continues to extend the areas it serves
in B. C. through its extensive non-credit and diploma courses; it is
also in close touch with various professional and technical groups
in the community for whom it provides various facilities of
instruction and examination. Home Economics and Physical Education continue to provide the kind of trained talent that is needed
in these areas. About education and its development into a
18 College of Education on this campus I shall have more to say in a
subsequent report.
Applied fields and professional schools are an integral part
of most contemporary North American universities. They have
much to contribute to the life of the University, especially if
through one device or another they remain closely tied to the rest
of the University. It is important not to forget that, by its very
definition, a professional education can never be confined to the
acquisition of sheer technical competence, but necessarily includes
a concern with the sciences and humanities as such, as well as with
the intellectual principles by which facts and techniques are first
It is my sad duty to report to you that three faculty members
died during the year under review:
Dr. Ethel Harris, formerly Assistant Professor of French, on
Dec. 10th, 1954; George F. Drummond, Professor Emeritus of
Economics, on Dec. 19th, 1954; and Dr. Gilbert N. Tucker,
Professor of Canadian History on May 21st, 1955.
Each of them in his own particular way made distinct contributions to the life of the University. I should like to record our
gratitude and our sense of loss.
Faculty of Applied Science
At UBC, this Faculty includes alike the various branches of
engineering, of nursing and of architecture.
Our School of Nursing maintains a vigorous degree and
diploma program that involves its staff in a heavy routine in
summer as well as in winter. Increasingly, the School has become
involved in clinical training, while cooperating with hospitals,
particularly the Vancouver General, in the training of its students.
After their first period of residence in the hospital, nursing
students are brought back to the campus for instruction during
July and August, then return to the hospital, and finally come back
to the campus for a final year. Field work requirements have
recently been expanded to include four weeks' experience in a
small hospital. Toward the end of their first year in hospital they
are also brought back to the campus 'for a two-week period of
19 instruction in the history of nursing, human growth and develop1-
ment, and public health nursing.
Numbers enrolled in nursing have increased consistently. This
year there were about forty, five years ago we had about fifteen.
I mentioA these details, because they illustrate a fairly general
problem in the University, especially in those faculties devoted to
professional training, namely the need to re-assess the adequacy
of professional education. Technological changes in the actual
organization and practice in various fields of engineering, nursing,
medicine or social work, developments in the natural and social
sciences, make continuous revision in professional training obligatory. I am pleased to report in this connection that in all these
fields attempts are under way to combine the necessary technical
or clinical instruction and exercises with some venture into the
humanities and the social sciences. Though students in this Faculty
are exposed to a program of general education during their first
year or two at the University, this is not enough. It is important
that they have an opportunity to avail themselves of some of the
insights of the sciences and of the study of man and society at
the same time as their technical tasks, their clinical experiences
and their decisions about further specialisation are on their minds.
In 1954 Chemical Engineering was transferred from the
Faculty of Arts and Science to this Faculty.
The Department of Mining and Metallurgy continues to
bring honours and grants to the University, and is extensively
engaged in research and graduate work.
Only details of the many projects under way in this Faculty
could do justice to the calibre and importance of the work being
The School of Architecture, which also maintains a program
in community and regional planning, is helping to create new
tastes in public and private building in this Province and is helping
to find answers to the apparently simple but actually complex
question: how can we best be housed at home, at work and at play ?
Research on the accommodation needs of welfare agencies, on
patterns of urbanisation in B.C., on structures for tall buildings or
designs for church doors, and on the use of colour and finishes
appropriate in modern office buildings is part of the work of the
20 School and illustrates the variety and the importance, to the
University and the Province, of professional architecural training
in the widest sense.
Faculty of Agriculture
The work of this Faculty is carried out through the two
Divisions of Animal Science and Plant Science and through four
departments, including Agricultural Economics and Agricultural
Mechanics, Poultry Science and Soil Science.
The Division of Animal Science was organized this year. It
combines the former Departments of Animal Husbandry and
Dairying. This move toward integration, it is hoped, will facilitate
work within the Faculty, as well as between it and the Provincial
and Dominion Departments of Agriculture. In other parts of
the University similar mergers have taken place, while in yet
other instances previous combinations have been subdivided.
Considerable experimentation is still required to assess the relative
advantages and disadvantages of different forms of departmental
specialisation and integration.
The Department of Soil Science was also established this year.
Its program of teaching and research is intended to satisfy the
needs of students in Forestry, Geology, Geography and Biology
as well as Agriculture.
For many reasons the many undertakings of the Faculty of
Agriculture must be closely related to professional and governmental bodies in the different fields of agriculture. The Faculty
provides much professional advice, a variety of short courses
and considerable leadership in agricultural matters. Its work is,
however, not only of local significance. Its students come from
various parts of the world and its research activities concern basic
issues in the management of animals and plants, agricultural
engineering and economics, soils and general planning. Very
active investigations are going forward in all of these fields and
especially in poultry science and animal science.
The work of the Royal Commission Inquiry into the Milk
Industry in B.C. was given extensive assistance by the Department
of Agricultural Economics. One of our faculty members acted as
21 consultant, gave formal evidence, prepared a number of reports
and helped in the analysis of some 10,000 pages of evidence.
In a province like B.C., a Faculty of Agriculture of the kind
we are fortunate to have provides a very important link between
community and university. There is every reason to believe that
this link will increase in strength and complexity in the years to
Faculty of Medicine
Last year was the first time that interns in the Province might
have had all their previous medical training at the University,
for our first class of medical students graduated in 1954. The
decision to open a medical school, taken in 1945, has been a major
source of the increased complexity and quality of UBC. A medical
school is necessarily a costly undertaking. Yet already the school
has not only achieved high professional standing, but has also
provided the University as such with a resource in people, ideas and
facilities which it is impossible to describe or assess adequately.
Apart from the demanding routine of transforming undergraduates into doctors, the various departments of the Faculty
of Medicine carry on important lines of investigation. This is
especially true in the Departments of Anatomy, Biochemistry,
Medicine, Neurological Research, Paediatrics, Pathology, Pharmacology, Physiology, and Surgery. Much of this research could not
be undertaken were it not for generous support from various
foundations, and from different departments of the Federal
Through the medical school and its long list of clinical or
honorary instructors, we maintain a close link with the various
hospitals, and other institutions, such as the Provincial Mental
Hospital. Such links substantially increase the usefulness of a
university and provide us with knowledge about the values and
wishes of the general population from which most of our students
I am pleased to be able to-report, too, that additional buildings
now under construction or soon to be begun, both on the grounds
22 of the General Hospital and of the campus, will provide the
Faculty with additional and much needed space.
There is every reason to expect our medical school to continue
to grow in stature, to maintain its high standards of teaching and
research and to expand as well in particular areas, e.g. psychiatry,
during the next few years.
Faculty of Pharmacy
This Faculty began its work in 1948. It has established a
pattern of teaching its students for three years on the campus and
arranging for a year of practical work under the supervision of
a practicing pharmacist. A close cooperation exists, therefore,
between the faculty members and the practising profession. Such
liaison was further strengthened this year through visits with stores
and hospital pharmacies. These visits were intended to "acquaint
the pharmacist in practice, with the work in the university and to
survey with him possibilities for more effective extension services."
The Faculty also offers important refresher courses throughout
the Province. This year these were held at the Victoria Royal
Jubilee Hospital and at Chilliwack.
Faculty of Forestry
There can be no doubt about the direct importance to this
Province and to this University of a faculty that concerns itself,
through teaching, research and demonstration projects, with the
many problems of forest and tree management. The prosperity of
British Columbia, and hence the financial well-being of the
University, are fairly intimately related to that sector of the
economy which involves logging, the use of wood, reforestation
and allied matters. We are in a rather favourable position to
discharge our responsibilities in this respect; specially endowed
library funds, scholarships and lectureships, a university forest, a
faculty actively engaged in research, and a highly motivated
student organization combine to sustain the work of this faculty
on a high level. The student publication of a Forestry Handbook
for British Columbia, on which I commented last year, is now
23 being revised by the Forest Club with assistance from faculty
members. They also assist the club in the preparation of research
notes: these are reports of student investigations in various fields
of forestry, which are published in mimeographed form with
financial assistance from the forest industries.
In addition to an active program of research, the faculty
arranged short courses in photogrammetry and statistical methods,
through the Extension Department in cooperation with the Departments of Mathematics and Civil Engineering. A conservation
workshop and a Junior Forest Warden camp were also held during
the year.
Faculty of Law
I shall never forget the beginning of the Faculty of Law in
1945. We were committed to start a degree course in law before
we were even certain of faculty appointments. We planned for an
initial class of twenty students, and a hundred came. We provided
the Faculty with two huts, but we soon had to find six larger ones
to accommodate the expansion.
Today the Faculty of Law is housed in a permanent modern
building. Its teaching staff is composed of eight full-time faculty
members and fourteen part-time lecturers. The high reputation of
the Faculty is firmly established throughout Canada, in part
because of the annual publication of legal notes and case books
especially drawn from Canadian materials. Provincially, the impact
of the school has been profound. In 1955 — a decade after the
opening of the Faculty — over half the practising members of the
legal profession in British Columbia are graduates from our own
Faculty of Law.
Research in Law can take several forms. Investigations so far
have concentrated in the main on the practice and interpretation
of law and on legal aspects of labour problems. The relation
between law, including international law, and other institutions
of society and the character of the social aspects of such procedures
as trial by jury, juvenile and family courts or of the changing
meaning of civil liberties are subjects which will perhaps receive
more explicit attention in the future. I certainly hope that the
24 Faculty of Law will always remain in close touch with relevant
work in other faculties and that throughout the campus undergraduates have an opportunity to understand the meaning of
different legal arrangements in the related areas of work, government, domestic relations, civil liberties and international affairs.
The Student Body
In Canada the undergraduate lives between several worlds.
He is leaving the world of high school behind and is expected to
study on his own initiative and to make decisions which affect
his future. Yet in many respects he is in a dependent status,
financially and otherwise. He expects his college days to be the
beginning of a new chapter in his life as well as a temporary
period of freedom and fun.
We do not know too much, in a systematic way, about the
many characteristics of our student population which have a
bearing on the actual effects of our educational policies. Our
professional schools, however, keep themselves well informed
about the detailed progress of their candidates. The future will
probably bring more discussion about the extent to which a
university should in fact get to know its student population, offer
systematic counsel and assume responsibilities of job placement,
health education or personal guidance. In that respect North
American and European universities tend to diverge considerably.
Broadly speaking, on this continent we have come to assume fairly
inclusive responsibilities for many aspects of student life, though
in general Canada has not gone as far in this direction as have
many universities in the United States. As always, there are several
sides to the issue. One of these is financial. The relations between
faculty and students are directly affected by student-staff ratios and
by the facilities available for profitable mutual encounters outside
classrooms. On both counts we are not well off. Given our present
teaching loads and other responsibilities, it is difficult to find time
for frequent contacts with students. Some form of tutorial system,
however desirable, would call for a considerably expanded faculty.
In the future this situation is likely to get worse unless we are
given substantial funds for increasing faculty appointments. As
Total Winter  |
Total Summer
1,000       2,000       3,000       4,000        5,000       6,000
1944-45 J
■    ■ .    _
Ap. Sc.     Nursing       Agric.
1954-1955 student residences increase and dining facilities improve, student
—faculty relations will assume new forms. In the past many of
our faculty members have been active in student organizations
associated with some special fields of study. The faculty also takes
an active part in the many extracurricular activities that claim one's
attention on this campus, especially at noon.
Time, too, is scarce when a full academic year is crowded into
the period between September and May. On the other hand,
students wish and need freedom and autonomy. Student government has strong roots on this campus. I hope, however, that amid
all our developments and plans for expansion, we shall increase the
opportunities for faculty and students to meet informally in a
residence's dining room or some common room, uninterrupted by
bells and free of a concern with assignments or grades.
Over half of our students come from the Lower Mainland,
including Vancouver. About six hundred come from Canadian
provinces other than B.C. The largest groups from outside Canada
come from the British West Indies and the United States. An
almost equally large group come from Asia. About ten percent
of our students are citizens of countries other than Canada or the
United States; about a third of these are citizens of Great Britain.
It is, therefore, fairly easy for any student to meet fellow
students from many other parts of the world, including almost all
the countries of Europe, several parts of Asia, and Central and
South America and Africa. This is as it should be. A university
must be an international meeting place. Personal acquaintance,
through their representatives, with at least some of the many
cultures, religions and regions, which in their interdependence
affect each other and world politics, should be part of the general
education of any university graduate. In that regard it is a pleasure
to be able to report that through the generosity of the Vancouver
Rotary Club the campus will soon have a permanent International
Age is another important fact concerning the student population. In the Faculty of Arts and Science, for instance, the bulk of
its students were born between 1930 and 1937. Most of them, in
other words, were very young indeed when World War II broke
out. Not many of them remember much about the Depression. As
28 a rule they are taught by people who have lived through these
events and had their thoughts shaped by them. In a professional
school the age situation tends to be somewhat different. In the
Faculty of Medicine, for instance, the majority were born between
1928 and 1933, about the time when the Nazi dictators became
established in Europe.
I hope that in some subsequent report I can return to these
facts and comment on their implications for the teaching process
and for the kind of relations that can develop between faculty and
students. One of the many reasons why a university can be such a
stimulating and perplexing place lies in this revolving encounter
between the generations. Every year we see people grow into a
new stage of adulthood. Every year, too, as teachers we have to
relate our own changing perspectives to those of our students and
puzzle over the half-familiar mixture of acceptance and rebellion
which each generation of freshmen brings with it.
Students as individuals are a transient part of the university.
As they graduate we become part of a past which in retrospect
stands for many things, including fun, decisions, some disillusionment, some enlightenment. Yet though a student tie with a
university is temporary, it is also peculiarly irrevocable. It can
become the basis of continued association, which in turn benefits
the university in many ways. UBC is fortunate in these respects.
Its almuni and alumnae give it the best of support.
The Library
I am happy to be able to report that additions to our library
have kept pace with extensions in our course offerings and the
majority of the research interests of the faculty and graduate
students. The size of our collection has almost doubled during the
last ten years, and the rate of annual increment has about
quadrupled. In the year 1944-45, we added 5,249 volumes. This
year we added 20,368 volumes. We have also doubled the number
of periodicals received.
In addition to keeping already established collections reasonably up to date, the library has added further fields of collection,
such as pharmacy, medicine and law, architecture and community
29 planning, music, anthropology, Slavonic studies, oceanography and
fisheries. Special funds, from private individuals, the Rockefeller
Foundation and Carnegie Corporation and other sources, have
allowed us to increase our library resources in a wide range of
subjects. The Howay-Reid collection of Canadiana is an example
of the value of private benefactions.
As the library grows in books, periodicals, manuscripts and
theses, so does its staff, its services and the use which is made of it
by the academic and local community. In 1945 there were nine
professional and seven clerical persons working on the library
staff. Today there are twenty-six professional and thirty-eight
other staff.
It should not be forgotten that for reasons of economy and
overall efficiency the University is committed to a plan of centralized
library service. We do not maintain departmental libraries or
specialized reading rooms on any appreciable scale. The library
must, therefore, perform a variety of functions. It is one of
the main places where undergraduates can read (and meet) and,
in the upper years, discover the limitations of textbooks by getting
to know the stacks. A library potentially ensures that continuity of
thought and work which underlies the cumulative character of
scholarship and research. There is, of course, no end to the process
of exploration, but the intellectual undertakings of any one
individual, especially in the physical and social sciences, must as
a rule begin with references to relevant work of others. The library
provides this link, though it is certainly hard put to keep up, in a
balanced way, with publications. To attempt this it must not only
maintain a system of acquisition, cataloguing and checking of
its material; it must also provide for the binding of a large
number of volumes every year, and must try to combine the variety
of interests of staff and advanced students with some attempt to
have available a representation of all the fields of knowledge
which may legitimately claim the attention of a university. The
library answers queries from students, faculty and others. It tries,
through talks, displays and special shelves on specific topics, to
stimulate the general art of reading. It facilitates the compilation
of an annual report of staff and faculty publication. Perhaps it
will be possible during the next ten years to increase substantially
30 the University's partnership in the actual publication, in book
form, of the work of its faculty. Eventually there is every reason
why the University of British Columbia should, like other Canadian
universities, have its own press. In any case, it is inevitable and
right that the library should receive an increasing portion of the
University's total income. As a building and a resource it symbolizes
in a concrete and palpable way the diversity and unity of the
University. In housing the accomplishments of the past, it points
to the possibilities of the future and provides at least some of the
conditions of academic creativity.
The Arts and the University
It has recently been suggested that in Vancouver "the
combination of urbanism, wilderness, and salubrity provides an
exhilarating climate for the arts." The University has every
intention of contributing to this "exhilarating climate" and has
in fact become involved in various of the arts both through regular
courses and through the work of the Department of Extension.
The Summer School of the Arts is an important part of our
academic curriculum during July and August. Theatre, and opera
are both seriously cultivated then, as are a variety of crafts. During
the winter, courses in fine arts, music and in drama are part of the
regular work of the Faculty of Arts and Science. I hope that in
the near future we shall be in a position to develop further formal
courses in dramatics, and to expand our offerings in music.
Here I must mention the work of the Fine Arts Committee,
which in conjunction with the Students' Literary and Scientific
Executive has been arranging for several years excellent extracurricular noon-hour and other programs on the campus. These
include the reading of poetry and plays, lectures on selected topics
in literature and the arts, exhibitions in the Fine Arts Gallery,
chamber music, recitals and symphony concerts, films, and plays.
Perhaps it is superfluous to make any further comments on
the obvious importance to a university of music, drama, and the
fine arts for through our interest and performance in these fields
we establish yet another link with the community. Yet the urgency
of the world situation raises questions in this regard which are
31 best faced as squarely as possible. We are told on all sides that
we need more engineers, that survival depends on technology, and
that our demand for scientists is increasingly far in excess of our
supply of them.
One cannot dismiss these facts as untrue or irrelevant: they
are starkly true and will inescapably affect university life throughout this nation for many years to come. Yet the precise meaning
of this situation and the proper answer to it are necessarily open
to debate. We would act irresponsibly indeed were we to turn
our universities into technical schools. Rather the reverse, I hope,
will always be among our aims: that is to keep technical training,
in most of its forms, intimately associated with general education,
including the arts. It cannot be the task of universities to provide
society with the whole range of technically trained and technically
competent men and women that it needs, or with completely
trained people in all the fields in which the university does offer
instruction. All institutions must concentrate their resources somehow. In our case, whatever our involvement in engineering, the
physical sciences, medicine and the like, we cannot forget that our
tasks involve the instruction in and investigation of the theoretical
principles which underlie specific techniques or particular traditions of technical work. A university must examine the ways in
which human thought and experience operate, and the forms in
which thought and experience come to be represented by one
person to another, by one time to another, by one discipline or
another. The arts are one form of expression, one way of representing outwardly what is inside, one way of speaking about time, and
space, or experimenting with different analogies of tone, colour,
form or style. As such, their proper study has much to contribute
to the whole effort of endless discovery of the principles, and their
relations, which can make sense out of the various orders of nature,
society, technology and thought. Universities alone are free and
able to investigate these principles on a sustained and organized
basis. A concern with the arts is never a luxury; discarding them is
a tragic waste. I am assuming that concern with the arts is not
snobbery and is not confined to the collecting of past achievements
in safe places. A concern with the arts can be expected to include
attempts to create new writing, painting, composing, or sculpturing.
32 In that way, those who are primarily concerned with finding ways
for what they wish to say or with finding ideas that should be
given form, can provide a balance to those whose discipline is that
of collating and interpreting the data of nature, history, or
technology, and who are, therefore, more concerned with establishing impersonal findings that others can use or reject.
Public Occasions
The more diversified and larger a university grows, the more
necessary though difficult it becomes for anyone of its members
to have a proper sense of the institution as a whole. Public
occasions, including congregations, can remind the participants of
the purposes of the university and of the many others of their
members that they rarely see or meet.
During this past year the University held its triennial Open
House, and the campus became a general academic exhibition open
to everyone. As far as possible, the work of all departments of all
faculties and schools was presented to the public in appropriate
ways: demonstrations, book displays, laboratory exhibits, experiments and the like. No one visitor can inspect all there is to see
during the one day, however long, but as a concrete expression of
the University's work, Open House certainly was an eminent
success, attracting some 50,000 visitors.
Our annual fall and spring congregations are historic incidents
in our academic life: they award honours or bring to a close
programs of studies. In a sense they are devices for placing limits
upon the academic year, for making the status of the student a
temporary one and for separating each generation of students
from those who replace and succeed them.
During the session under review we awarded the following
Honorary Degrees to the following persons: the LL.D. to Sir
Douglas Copland, General Victor Odium, Francis Burd, Robert
Mayhew, Harold Campbell; D.Sc. to Joseph Pearce; and D. Litt. to
Ethel Wilson. Sir Douglas Copland, Dr. Pearce and Dr. Campbell
delivered the congregation addresses.
A special congregation was convened to confer an honorary
degree of Doctor of Laws on the Most Reverend and Right
33 Honorable Geoffrey Francis Fisher, D.D., Lord Archbishop of
Canterbury, Primate of all England and Metropolitan, who spoke
to a large university audience.
As has become a custom, a student assembly was convened on
Wednesday, September 22nd for all students and staff in the
Armoury. At this gathering I welcomed the freshman class and
addressed the student body on the nature of the university and the
rights and obligations of members of the academic community.
Other public occasions included the Board of Governors'
Reception for the faculty and staff, and services in connection with
Remembrance Day, and graduation exercises.
Perhaps it might be well if in the future there were other
occasions in which the university participated as a whole. I could
well imagine eminent men or women on our staff giving one or
more lectures at some special occasion to a university wide audience
on the present state of their discipline or their own work in it.
All efforts to keep alive and increase a sense of the interconnected-
ness of knowledge and of the similarities of problems in otherwise
very different fields deserve support.
The   diversity and the Community
Universities can never be self-sufficient communities: they
must recruit their members from the outside and return most of
their graduates to positions elsewhere. On this continent, however,
state and provincial universities have developed a fairly distinct
and explicit pattern of relations with the communities of which
they are a part. A discerning and comparative history of these
universities (and their counterparts elsewhere) has yet to be
written. When such a history is available to us, it will, I am sure,
have much to say about the many efforts of adult education,
advisory and investigative services, and extra-mural academic
offerings, that have come to be expected of us.
The role of a provincial university in adult education is
primarily a matter of time, staff and money. No one doubts the
necessity of cultivated reasonableness and considered knowledge
for a democracy. Lectures, singly or as elements in a series of
non-credit courses, are an important way by which a university
34 tries to do its part in this connection. Every week members of our
faculty give lectures, most of them in the evenings, to different
groups in communities of the Province. Frequently those who
lecture receive no payment in return for their services. The extent
to which professional people, whatever their specialty, should be
expected to give freely of their time and energy is .one of those
questions which will continue to be debated in the future as they
have in the past. It is important, however, that our faculty remain
in contact with the groups which make up the adult section of our
society. In turn citizens listening to these lectures in their own
meeting places will have an opportunity of appreciating the
importance of scientific and scholarly activities and of enlarging
their own knowledge. It is for these and other reasons that, through
its Department of Extension, the faculty of the University has
over the years contributed to a steadily increasing program of
courses, lectures, conferences and workshops.
Similarly, many of our faculty serve on committees and
bodies that help carry on one or the other phase of local or
national undertakings. The list of these is a long one, since it
would include such diverse activities as the Defence Research
Board, the Community Chest, the National Research Council, the
Board of Trade, and labour, business and religious organizations
and also organizations that promote the various causes of the
United Nations, civil liberties and international affairs. To a
degree, involvement on the part of the faculty in these affairs is
a matter of individual choice and preference, and an expression
of the faculty's freedom and obligations as private citizens.
Nothing should interfere with civil or academic freedom. Yet in
free professions the lines between work and home, public obligation and private privilege, work day and holiday, are necessarily
hard to draw. A faculty member's contribution in any context
usually involves special competence and a connection with the
University. It is never easy to set limits to his responsibility and
always possible for a faculty member to become inundated with
a profuse set of distracting demands, both from within and from
without the university community.
In a way, of course, this is excellent. We should be properly
concerned if the community ignored us. Yet we must also protect
35 ourselves against dissipating our resources over too wide areas of
activities. Our usefulness to everybody would disappear if we
gave up our commitment to standards and traditions that have a
long and important association with the past and with an outlook
that is impatient of the limited or parochial point of view. In this
respect a university must be a conservative institution. There is
another side to this same issue, however: a university like our own
must create new involvements, new areas of enquiry and activity.
It cannot survive on what has come down to it from the past. To
paraphrase a famous philosopher, a university which is unduly
concerned with its beginnings is lost. If I come back again and
again to this conflict between conservatism and change, between
further expansion and consolidation, it is because it is part of so
very many of our discussions in almost every aspect of university
Issues of this kind are never solved once and for all.
Meanwhile, however, the University has achieved a most creditable
record of research on problems which the community has brought
to our desks and laboratories. Our institutes of oceanography and
fisheries, our program in community planning and development,
our physical and social scientists have all contributed to various
projects of "applied" research that have yielded immediate benefits
in a variety of contexts. In addition, various of our faculty
members participate in the settlement of labour disputes, while
others are consultants for industrial and business concerns or are
members of commissions set up by our various governments. The
University and the community both gain from such activities, and
in this way the life and history of the University and of the Province
come to be part and parcel of one another.
The Department of Extension publishes a separate annual
report which provides the details of extra-mural courses, vocational
services, field services, short courses and conferences. In another
section of this report I refer to the University's activities in the
field of arts and the Extension Department's role in that field.
A brief comment about extra mural credit courses will bring
the present section to a conclusion. So far, responsibility for
correspondence and lecture courses for credit has been entirely in
the hands of the regular staff. Members of our faculty have volun-
36 teered for the time consuming jobs of writing correspondence
courses, or giving evening courses of lectures. Since 1949, when
correspondence courses were first begun, over 1800 have enrolled
in a total of eight such courses. Further courses are being prepared.
The list of lecture courses for credit is also increasing. The most
important group interested in these courses are teachers. It is
likely, however, that the demand for this type of service will
increase substantially during the next five years. It will then
become necessary to review our philosophy and policy on these
matters. Perhaps participation in extra mural instruction should be
considered part of the ordinary load of a faculty member, with
appropriate reductions in his or her other duties. Perhaps a division
of labour in these matters is indicated. In any case, further
developments will need additional staff as well as considered
decisions as to how intensively and widely the university should be
involved in this phase of education.
It is my own view that the forms of adult education and the
functions of the Extension Department will grow and develop
over the next few years. This Province is likely to be one of the
regions in which much experimentation in this connection will take
Buildings and Grounds
Buildings are more than physical necessities; the same is true
for grounds and their proper upkeep. Anyone who has been
associated with the University, or who has come to visit it, knows
that our campus is most beautifully situated. In that very important
respect we are more fortunate than most other universities in the
world. Increasingly our building program and the layout of the
campus is doing justice to the beauty of mountains, water and view
that surround us. But I need not remind anyone that a university
which still accommodates a very large part of its activities in army
huts or in semi-permanent structures must continue to be involved
in a vigorous building program for a long time to come. Our
need in that respect is, of course, intensified by the addition of a
college of education and an increase in student enrolment which,
unlike our previous expansion during the veteran period, is not
going to be a temporary one.
37 Many buildings have been added since I first arrived on the
campus. In this, as in other regards, our more recent developments
owe a good measure of their success to the forethought of those
who were responsible for university policy before me. In 1946
we added the Agricultural Pavilion, in 1947 the large and much
used Physics Building. By 1948 the Library had a new north wing.
(It will soon need further additions.) In 1949 we opened the
Home Economics Building and in 1950 the Engineering Building,
the Biological Sciences Building, and an official residence for the
President of the University. The pharmacy wing in the Biological
Sciences Building was opened in 1951. The War Memorial
Gymnasium was available to us in 1951. The Wesbrook Building
(housing the School of Nursing, the University Health Service and
Hospital, the Bacteriology Department and the Department of
Public Health among others) was added in 1952. During the same
year the Law Building, and the first three units of our women's
residences—housing 156 students — were completed.
In 1953 the Faculty of Agriculture opened a new Horticulture
Building, and during this last year work was begun on an extension
to the Administration Building, a Home Management house, as
well as on a building that will house the post office, bookstore and
bus-stop cafeteria.
As I have stated earlier, the Provincial Government has
promised the sum of $10,000,000.00 to be spent on a new building
program to include a new Arts Building as well as a Medical
Building and some student residences. We have also been granted
some 433 acres as a much needed extension of the campus area.
The face of the campus and the University will continue to
change and fill out substantially during these next ten years and
by 1975 — fifty years after the University first moved to Point
Grey — we hope we shall have built enough permanent buildings
to replace all of the huts we now occupy.
It may be true that buildings do not make a great university
and that a concern with the physical facilities should be kept within
proper limits. But it is even more true that, without proper
facilities, without proper space and without a pattern of buildings
and grounds which are appropriate to their setting, a university
38 is less than it should be and deprives its students and faculty alike
of an atmosphere and surroundings that are as important as the)
are difficult to describe.
Neither facts nor figures ever speak for themselves. Yet an
interpretation of the financial resources and expenditures of the
University easily and visibly illustrates once more the general trends
of increasing complexity and diversity during the ten years which
this report is documenting on almost every page. As a provincial
institution the University is a financial half-way house between
a public corporation that meets most of its expenditure through
the revenue it takes in and an institution, like a public school,
which operates entirely on grants received. For most purposes we
of necessity operate on an annual basis. Endowments and investments at present play an insignificant role with us. Yet, in
accordance with university practice, we hold out to our faculty
and staff the promise of permanent employment and consider
tenure in that sense a just and necessary corollary of academic
accomplishment and effort.
Last year we received and spent over $6,000,000. Ten years
ago our budget was about $800,000. During those years costs of
living and learning have risen steadily and steeply. Within this
period our student body, leaving aside the veteran enrolment, has
almost tripled. This fact alone, however, is probably much less
significant than some of its concomitants which, in turn, are only
indirectly related to numbers of students. The University has
become a much more complex and diversified organization involved
in a wide variety of academic enterprises, some of which are very
costly. In 1944-45, for instance, we spent just over $15,000 on
research; last year we spent half a million. During the next years
we hope to and must spend even more. Ten years ago we had
available for student aid, in the form of fellowships, scholarships,
prizes, bursaries and loans, about $14,000. This year the figure
comes to about half a million. As I have shown in my last annual
report, this is still far from enough, though we are genuinely
grateful for the moneys we have received in this, and in other
39 connections, from private individuals and public bodies alike.
The accompanying chart makes it clear that the Provincial
Government has provided an increasing level of support for the
University and has substantially increased its grant during these
ten years. As the undertakings and expenditure of the University
become more diverse, it is natural that student fees should provide
a smaller proportion of the total revenue than in former years. We
have also tried to keep increases in fees to a minimum. Under these
circumstances the cost in fees to a student and his family has been
kept down in relation to the cost and value of the education which
he can now acquire on our campus. To be sure, the value of an
education and the cost of it bear no simple relation to one another,
but present standards of both general education and specialized
training call for institutional arrangements which cost much
money — and will cost much more. I hope that in the next ten
years the financial lot of the academic staff will be better and that
there will be substantial increases in their salaries. I feel confident
that many others in our country and Province share this belief with
me. Over the years our gifts, grants and endowments have
increased from about $32,000 to $1,112,000. It can be said, then,
that the Provincial Government, private individuals and the
Federal Government are all interested in our welfare and are
bearing some share of our increasing costs of operation.
In financial terms, the largest item in our budget is accounted
for by the faculty and their salaries. General maintenance costs
are also among the largest items of expenditure. Salaries and
maintenance account for 80% of our expenditure. Ten percent
goes to research. Administration is the other large item. The
upkeep of buildings, grounds and equipment is easily taken for
granted, but only a short sighted policy would try to "cut corners"
in this area of our expenditures. Administration, furthermore, is
an ambiguous term and includes the personnel required to register
students and keep account of their academic progress as well as
the staff needed to administer salaries and wages.
Prospect and Conclusion
A few of the many issues and observations that this review
of my ten years as President of U.B.C. has tried to state may bear
4n summary repetition; a few of the more urgent next steps might
appropriately close my account.
One can think of this university as constituted by a series of
intersecting circles. As a provincial institution it is intimately
related to the life of one of the ten provinces of Canada. As a
Canadian university, it is part of a nation which has advantages
and characteristics that are only beginning to be clearly assessed
and developed. As the most westerly Canadian university it is
part of that complex of things and feelings called "the West,"
which links it as well to the west of the United States and
continues across the Pacific. As a university it belongs to that
circle of institutions of higher learning which is one of the oldest
international associations. As an institution in the Dominion of
Canada it participates in the exchange of persons and ideas that
is made possible by the organization of the British Commonwealth.
To a degree these circles over4ap. Their respective loyalties
reinforce each other. To a degree they diverge: their respective
traditions and values balance and challenge each other. Within
this framework and its history, other influences constitute the
intellectual and daily climate of the university: the varied training
and experience of the faculty, the many different backgrounds of
the students, the inevitable differences of age and outlook that any
encounter between students and professors brings about, the variety
of private political and religious convictions or of professional or
social aspirations, that lies back of the decisions to study, research
and teach. By some combination of decision and coincidence,
UBC has come to develop a lively atmosphere of its own and has
every promise of continuing to develop as a creative institution of
higher learning. For some of our ambitions the ground is clear,
for others we must still feel our way. We shall continue to provide
for any and every person in this province who seeks a university
education and has the qualifications necessary for admission.
We shall continue to maintain a balance between general and
professional education, undergraduate teaching and graduate work
and research, between extramural and intramural enrolment. The
fairly immediate future will, in addition, bring new developments
in the following general areas: the arts, the social sciences, professional and graduate training, and residential student life.
At Music and the fine arts deserve a larger and more formal
place in the curriculum of the Faculty of Arts and Science. The
social sciences, through additions to staff, and expanded research
funds must flourish as vigorously as the natural sciences, for they
have much to contribute to general and professional education and
to a systematic understanding of immediate and basic issues in the
economy, culture, and society of this and of any other area. I hope
that a Department of Asian Studies will be yet another part of
further developments in this regard. As our fields of professional
training expand to include dentistry, physiotherapy, and others, so
must our resources for graduate work in the "pure" sciences and
the humanities. We need especially scholarships and other forms
of financial assistance for graduate students. We also need to free
more time for research. In most cases in a university, the processes
of enquiry and teaching must go hand in hand. We shall have to
devise new ways too, for including in such professional programs
as those of engineering, law, medicine and nursing, those portions
of the resources of the humanities and the social sciences which
are essential if our engineers, lawyers, doctors, nurses and others
are to be judicious and reflective as well as technically competent
practitioners of their arts. We must also try to ensure that those in
the humanities have an intelligent understanding of the sciences
and of the professions on which they depend. At all times we must
make it possible for a fair share of the University's time, energy
and money to be devoted to research into questions of immediate
and long range concern. Continuous efforts at enquiry are the best
insurance against narrowness or excessive criticalness, both of
which can limit the value of the work of a university.
Every university is always a place of sustained association for
relatively few and of a shorter period of four or five years for
many. In the typical case, these four years come at the beginning of
adulthood for our students. Inevitably, in our culture, this must
be a period of freedom and of decision, of fun and intellectual
periodic hard work. Being part of a metropolitan centre — yet
situated at a beautiful edge of it — we shall probably never be
primarily a residential university. Considerable increase in student
accommodation is nevertheless called for. Such expansion must,
however, be accompanied by some deliberate decisions about the
42 kind and degree of corporate student life that is appropriate and
desirable in our case. Other places like Oxford, Cambridge,
Toronto, California, Columbia or Harvard are not necessarily the
best models, though they can tell us something of the advantages
and disadvantages of different kinds of living arrangements for
students, and the like. Without a doubt, a great deal of university
education takes place outside lecture rooms, offices and labs, and
in the discussions over meals or in the evenings. It would be good
if the future provided more time and leisure for such things.
The University has become too complex an institution to be
reported on comprehensively and justly within the limits of one
annual report. Some of our accomplishments and plans and difficulties I have described to you. Provided world politics give us
enough time, I feel confident about the future and about the
opportunities that others have given us or that we ourselves have
learned to create. Strong and good universities are absolute
necessities for any society that wishes to be free. There is every
reason to count U.B.C. as one of those places of strength and to
look toward it as a source of enlightenment and discovery.
A\ Government of Canada Grant
Provincial Government Grant
Student Fees
University Extension
Services and Rentals
Other Income
Gifts, Grants and Endowment Income
0   250,000 500,000 750,000 1,000,000'      1,500,000      2,000,000      2,500,000      3,000,000      3,500,000 Educational: Academic Faculties,
Departments and Associated
Academic Services
Administration and Non-Academic
Fellowships, Scholarships,     I
Prizes and Bursaries
Ancillary Enterprises (Net
0   250,000 500,000 750,000 1,000,000
April 1, 1954 to March 31, 1955
Government of Canada Grant
$   590,652.30
Provincial Government Grant
Student Fees
University Extension
Services and Rentals
Other Income
Gifts, Grants and Endowment Income
Academic Faculties, Departments and
Associated Academic Services
Administration and Non-Academic
Fellowships, Scholarships, Prizes and
Ancillary Enterprises (Net)


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