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UBC Publications

UBC Reports Oct 17, 1996

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Stephen Forgacs photo
Match Maker
First Nations artist Lyle Wilson takes a moment from carving a replica
of a 2,500-year-old wooden spear thrower to compare it to the darker
original. The replica is for use in travelling exhibits. The spear
thrower, or atlatl, was recovered from a Skagit River site and is one
of more than 80 small carvings, tools, stone bowls and images that
comprise the Written in Earth exhibit on display through Dec. 31 at
the Museum of Anthropology. For information call 822-5087.
Grass roots donate to
Korean research centre
The B.C. Society for the Advancement
of Korean Studies (BCSAKS) presented
UBC    President
David  Strangway
with    the    final
installment  of a
$500,000  donation to the Centre
for   Korean   Re
search, one of five
research  centres
in the Institute of
Asian Research.
The gift, with
matching funds
from the Government of B.C., totals $ 1 million.
Also at the
cheque presentation ceremony
were the Republic
of Korea's new
Wung-Sik Kang. members ofthe board of
directors of BCSAKS, and senior UBC
faculty and staff.
Funding for the UBC gift was raised in
President Strangway accepts donation
from Seong-Soo Lee (right), president
of the B.C. Society for the
Advancement of Korean Studies.
a grass roots effort involving about 160
individuals and organizations representing about 500 members in the local Korean community
over a period of
about five years.
The Hon. Helen
Hce-Kyung Chung,
a respected Korean
educator and member of the Korean
National Legislative
Assembly, helped
generate support for
the campaign dur-
inga visit to Vancouver in 1992.
At meetings with
the     alumni     of
Seoul's Ewha Girls'
High School as well
as with the BCSAKS
board of directors,
she inspired members ofthe local community to contribute to UBC. Her donation of
$125,000 was the campaign's lead gift.
See KOREA Page 2
Man in motion sets
new goals for future
Wheels are turning for the 10th anniversary celebration of Rick Hansen's Man
in Motion Tour.
Hansen officially launched the anniversary in Cape Spear, Newfoundland, on
Aug. 24, 10 years from
the date that he began the
last segment of his epic
journey around the world
and across Canada. Ten
months of commemorative events in each province will culminate in Vancouver on May 22.
"My life has been a series of new goals, journeys
and horizons and this is
just another stage in that
process," said Hansen.
'The goal of the anniversary is to remind people
what the tour was about,
tell what has been accomplished over the past 10
years and present our future vision."
Hansen came to national and international attention in 1985 when he pushed
his wheelchair 40.000 km for two years
and two months through 34 countries.
The effort raised $24 million for the Man
in Motion Legacy Trust Fund in support
of spinal cord research, rehabilitation.
wheelchair sports and awareness. Today,
the foundation has awarded over $15
million to projects in these fields.
Hansen plans to use the 10th anniversary of his trek to introduce a series of
new initiatives and programs that will reinforce
the goals of the original
tour and help establish
new goals. For example.
Hansen is currently
working with premiers
across the country to establish a provincially
based fund that would
see a portion of relevant
traffic offence fines allocated to support spinal
cord and head injury research, and rehabilitation and accident prevention programs.
"It's about time people
take personal responsibility for their actions whether that's
speeding, drinking and driving, or not
stopping for a traffic light," said Hansen.
This neurotrauma initiative is based on
relevance, making the people who cause
accidents more responsible for the damage they cause."
See MOTION Page 2
UBC United Way hits
$100,000 mark
Only two weeks into the United Way's
campus campaign, UBC faculty, staff
and   students   have   donated   over
$100,000   towards   this
year's goal of $290,260.
'This year's campaign
is off to a great start," says
Margaret Sayer of University Computing Services,
who is co-chair ofthe campus campaign with Theatre Prof. Raymond Hall.
"UBC people have a real
tradition of participating
in the United Way campaign at all levels."
Sayer emphasizes three points about
giving to and through United Way: it's the
way to help the most, as it encompasses
a broad range of agencies providing vital
United Way
services in the community: it's an effective way to designate your support to
specific charities; UBC itself is the fifth
most designated charity
among donors to the
United Way of the Lower
General donations to
the United Way of the
Lower Mainland support
its 99 member agencies,
which provide a broad
range of services to individuals and families.
Designated donations given through
the United Way may be directed to any
registered charity in Canada. One hundred cents of every dollar given through
the United Way goes to the designated
chart tv.
Turning Tables
The West End Youth Project puts youth to work solving issues of concern
Cheap Thrills 3
The Thunderbirds put on a show for the whole family
Stage Struck 3
Teaching Trends: Studying stage design without leaving your home
Identity Crisis 12
Forum: Prof. Patricia Marchak wonders about the role of universities 2 UBC Reports • October 17, 1996
School owes
Larkin debt of
Bill New's moving tribute to
Dr. Peter Larkin [UBC Reports,
Aug. 15) deserves a personal
Until 1990 I had the
privilege, as the director of the
School of Community and
Regional Planning, and
subsequently as director of
the Centre for Human Settlements, to serve under all
deans of Graduate Studies
since Henry Angus.
Dean Larkin was unique in
his common sense approach and
in his ability to encourage those
within his faculty to think for
themselves, resolve their own
problems, and reach for the
highest standards in scholarship
and teaching. He championed
cross-disciplinary learning and
teaching, and bringing together
the fragments of knowledge and
information so that issues of
interdependence can be resolved
systematically. The School of
Community and Regional
Planning owes Dr. Larkin a debt
of gratitude beyond any formal
acknowledgement. He nurtured
its aims and aspirations despite
budget cuts, competing disciplinary claims, and other campus
colleagues' limited understanding
of why planning ought to be
taught within a graduate faculty.
Thanks, Bill New, for
sharing with us your own
H. Peter Oberlander
Emeritus Professor
Community and Regional
Continued from Page 1
The funds raised through the
BCSAKS campaign will support
graduate fellowships, faculty exchanges and library collections
to assist in advanced research.
In recognition of the BCSAKS
gift, the reading room in the Centre
for Korean Research will be named
The British Columbia Society for
the Advancement of Korean Studies (BCSAKS) Reading Room.
BCSAKS is a Vancouver-
based organization which is led
by not only respected business
leaders and professionals but
also UBC professors (Young Suk
Moon, Tae H. Oum, Seong-Soo
Lee) who provided organizational
skills and leadership as part of
their university service activities. It was established to promote understanding of Korean
society among Canadians.
It offers financial support to
Korean studies programs at Canadian educational institutions,
supports exchange programs for
scholars, students, artists and
educators between Canada and
Korea as well as Korean heritage, language, and culture programs and other activities that
enhance communications between Canada and Korea.
Members ofthe BCSAKS group
attended the official opening of
the new home of the Institute of
Asian Research and the Centre
for Korean Research in the C.K.
Choi Building on Oct. 7.
UBC Reports welcomes letters to the editor on topics relevant to the
university community. Letters must be signed and include an address
and phone number for verification. Please limit letters, which may be
edited for length, style and clarity, to 300 words. Deadline is 10 days
before publication date. Submit letters in person or by mail to the UBC
Public Affairs Office, 310 - 6251 Cecil Green Park Road, Vancouver B.C.,
V6T 1Z1, by fax to 822-2684 or by e-mail to janet.ansell@ubc.ca.
Access to
news groups
Should UBC through its
University Computing Services
(UCS) provide easy access to
all the Usenet and other news
groups? Many of your readers
probably use UCS as their
Internet service provider,
which includes access to their
news server
newshost.ucs.ubc.ca: this is
the "place" to read rec.gardens
or any of more than seven or
8,000 different news groups.
Until recently, I didn't think
much about all the other news
groups until I got a new copy
of Netscape and poked around
using the newsreader. Quite
bluntly, UCS seems to be a
distributor of pornography. I
was surprised to discover how
easy it was to view literally
thousands of full colour
pictures, most being explicitly
I noted two things. First,
news groups that weren't
explicitly sexual such as
alt.binaries. pictures, gardens
had very few articles: usually
under 50. Those that were
sexual in nature had article
lists over 500 and often over
1.000. Note as well, the word
article is computer jargon for
high quality pictures and
apparently movies. Also, from
my experience in the more
benign but heavily used news
groups, there is likely a large
turnover of articles daily or at
least weekly.
The second thing I noted
was a large number of
newsgroups that explicitly
invited postings of child
pornography: for example.
While I didn't browse
through that particular
news group, I did in the
potentially more innocuous
alt. binaries, pictures, nudism
and found a hotbed of
sexually explicit photos of
children. No, there was no
redeeming artistic vision
about these photos.
So, the question I pose is:
should the university through
UCS provide easy access to
these photos? Recently, I have
read that iSTAR Internet. Inc.
—a commercial Internet
provider—has blocked access
to just these sorts of news
groups. Why can't UCS?
Surely, academic freedom
doesn't extend this far.
David Abbott BSc
Continued from Page 1
Other anniversary initiatives
include the Olympic Inclusion
Program which would see elite
wheelchair track events moved
from demonstration to full medal
status at future international
athletic gatherings like the Olympics and Commonwealth
In April and May 1997 Hansen
travels to the Northwest and
Yukon territories and major cities across Canada, to talk about
some of the programs he has
developed during the last decade.
One of these is the Life Skills
Program currently available to
B.C. students from kindergarten to Grade 12. The program
focuses on six elements: understanding oneself; communicating with and relating to others;
accessing and using information; solving problems and making decisions; living with and
initiating change; and setting
goals, making and enacting
plans. Hansen hopes the program will soon be available to
students across Canada.
The third week of May will see
the culmination ofthe 10th Anniversary celebrations in Vancouver, including the 1997 Canadian Wheelchair Basketball
Championships — hosted by the
Man in Motion Foundation.
Other national meetings and
events involve the Canadian
Paraplegic Association, the National Neuroscience Network and
the Man in Motion Symposium
which will bring together many
of Canada's leaders in the field of
research, rehabilitation, educa
tion, health care, government
and the private sector.
Hansen, a UBC alumnus and
a paraplegic since the age of 15,
was appointed as a special consultant on disabilities to UBC
President David Strangway in
1989 and helped establish the
Disability Resource Centre on
campus which promotes the full
participation of people with disabilities in post-secondary education. The following year, the
Rick Hansen National Fellow
Program was created at UBC to
foster international awareness
of the potential of people with
Today, as founding director of
UBC's Life Skills Motivation Centre, Hansen conveys his motivational message through speaking engagements, educational
seminars, products and initiatives which emphasize the transition of life skills beyond the
field of disability.
UBC's Board ofGovernors has
approved a plan to consolidate
all endowments associated with
Hansen's name into a single entity called the Rick Hansen Trust.
This trust will hold funds as an
endowment for a Rick Hansen
Institute which will be built on
campus. Possible tenants in the
new facility will be the Rick
Hansen National Fellow Program, the Institute of Health Promotion Research, the Rick
Hansen Man in Motion Foundation, the Disability Resource
Centre, the Life Skills Motivation Centre, and Rick Hansen
Enterprises. There will also be
space for collaborative projects.
A Pickens Christmas
Get on the GOOD list... make your reservation NOW!
Christmas Buffet Lunch
Wed. Dec 4 & Thur. Dec 5
Two seatings:
11:30 - 12:30 or 1:30 - 2:30
-   Mutant-V
Call UBC Catering for Reservation
Buffet Lunch is presented by
UBC Catering & Special Events
Location Sponsored by UBC Alumni Association
(604) 822-6289
Edwin Jackson 224 3540
Just because there are cheques in your        4524 West  1 1 th AveilUe, pllOne & drOp ill,
or by appointment, your place.
cheque book doesn 't mean you have money
in your bank account. TVwindom
Wills and Estate Planning Seminar.
W.P.G.C.C. 4397 West 2nd. Ave.
Monday. Oct 21st. 7:30p.m. FREE
Mutual Funds licenced through
Ascot Financial
Services Ltd.
Annuities, Life Insurance^
Berkowitz & Associates
Statistics and Mathematics Consulting
research design
data analysis
Jonathan Berkowitz, Ph.D
4160 Staulo Crescent, Vancouver, B.C., V6N 3S2
Office: (604) 263-1508 Home: (604) 263-5394
Electronics Research
and Development
Prototypes - Medical Devices - Data Acquisition
Analog Circuit Design - Embedded uC
Let us help you with your prototype development.
Ray Dahlby, Raytech Instruments Inc.
Tel: (604) 264-7008 Fax: (604) 681-2421
UBC Reports is published twice monthly (monthly in
December, June, July and August) for the entire university
community by the UBC Public Affairs Office, 310 - 6251
Cecil Green Park Road, Vancouver B.C., V6T 1Z1. It is
distributed on campus to most campus buildings and to
Vancouver's West Side in the Sunday Courier newspaper.
UBC Reports can be found on the World Wide Web at
http://www.ubc.ca under News, Events and Attractions.
Managing Editor: Paula Martin (paula.martin@ubc.ca)
Editor/Production: Janet Ansell (janet.ansell@ubc.ca)
Contributors: Connie Bagshaw (connie.bagshaw@ubc.ca),
Stephen Forgacs (stephen.forgacs@ubc.ca)
Charles Ker (charles.ker@ubc.ca),
Gavin Wilson (gavin.wilson@ubc.ca).
Editorial and advertising enquiries: (604) 822-3131 (phone),
(604) 822-2684 (fax).
UBC Reports welcomes the submission of letters and
opinion pieces. Opinions and advertising published in UBC
Reports do not necessarily reflect official university policy.
Material may be reprinted in whole or in part with
appropriate credit to UBC Reports. UBC Reports ■ October 17, 1996 3
Charles Ker photo
Behind The Scene
C.K. Choi stands behind the centrepiece—inscribed with the characters
representing trustworthiness—of the rock garden just south of the new
building that bears his name. The UBC benefactor spoke at the recent
opening ofthe new home for the Institute of Asian Research. Attending
the opening ceremonies were C.K. Choi, his son David Choi and other
members of the Choi family, Vancouver Mayor Philip Owen, B.C.
Education Minister Moe Sihota and Raymond Chan, federal Secretary of
State for Asia Pacific in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The building
houses five research centres focusing on different regions of Asia: China,
Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia and India and South Asia.
Teaching trends
Theatre and Film Dept.
Design courses on CD-
ROM a first in Canada
by Connie Bagshaw
Staff writer
Theatre Prof. Ron Fedoruk knows that his classes can be as exciting as
waiting for paint to dry. It's a fact in any scene painting course. But with the
use of technology, he hopes to cut down on the drying time, and update
current teaching methods used in performing arts curriculum worldwide.
With a grant from UBC's Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund, and
the support of his colleagues in the Theatre and Film Dept.. Fedoruk has
embarked on a project, called At First Brush, to videotape several theatre
design courses for classroom use.
"No one else is doing this in the area of scene painting or design at a
Canadian institution," Fedoruk said. "In effect, the tapes will function as a
reference text because there are few textbooks for these types of courses."
He added that the content was specifically designed to have broad application with the future intent of transferring the courses to CD-ROM for use
in distance education and on the Internet.
One CD-ROM and three 20-minute pilot tapes of broadcast quality —
instructing students in everything from painting brick walls to wood grain —
are being tested in the classroom this month. Problems will be solved with
guidance from a team of student and faculty evaluators before the remainder
ofthe 12-part series is produced which will include lighting, makeup and
properties curriculum.
Fedoruk, who prepared the course content, said that third-year university
level skills are taught, but can be assimilated by anyone of high school age
and beyond.
When asked about the advantages of using technology in scene painting
and design courses. Fedoruk's response is quick.
"On average, there are 20 students in a scene painting course. That's an
enormous number to have in the paint shop at any one given time. With
tapes or CDs, students can work on a staggered schedule."
They will also be helpful to students when they work on productions as
part of their course work, which can mean missing classes.
"At present, all we can do is try to be flexible, but now students can miss
a class and pick it up later without penalty," Fedoruk explained.
He cited instant replay, students' ability to absorb course content at their
own pace and in the order they want, and the continuity tapes give to the
curriculum, no matter who's teaching it, as other advantages.
At First Brush will share the resources of another departmental initiative
— the digital workstation for film and video which is capable of manufacturing CD-ROMs — to transfer the tapes onto CD as published material for use
on the Internet and by other institutions and private users.
While technology is the medium of the message, Fedoruk stressed that
content remains the most important element of the project.
"Painting is a centuries old manual skill, after all."
Program collaborates
to address youth issues
Crime, drug use and dropping out of
school are a few youth issues which have
traditionally been tackled through separate prevention programs. But because
such behaviors tend to cluster, it makes
sense to develop complementary, broad-
based community projects to support
positive youth development.
The West End Youth Project has used
the latter approach in a three-year collaboration with the Burrard Health Unit,
the West End Community Centre and
UBC's Institute of Health Promotion Research (IHPR).
Funded by the B.C. Health Research
Foundation and the Vancouver Board of
Parks and Recreation, the project has
sought the input of about 123 young
people between the ages of 12 and 20. The
goal has been greater youth empowerment — getting youth actively working on
issues that are important to them.
So far, the project has led to a buddy
system between grades 7 and 8 students,
a youth-run community council, the creation of a youth-run newspaper, temporary space for a youth resource centre,
and the election of youth to community
boards and associations.
'These initiatives are aimed at building support systems in the community as
well as self-esteem, confidence and life
skills," says Margaret Cargo, a researcher
with IHPR.
Project participants also realized that
in order for youth to put their ideas into
action, adults and youth had to work in
partnership and share in the decisionmaking and leadership.
As a follow-up to the project. Cargo and
youth development worker Carrie Samoil
are developing a video and accompanying
training manual for adult youth workers
illustrating how youth and adults can
better work together to achieve common
goals. The materials will emphasize a shift
in how adults traditionally work with youth.
"We recognized an obvious need for
more resources aimed at practitioners
and how they can augment their own
skills, attitudes and ways of interacting
with young people," says Samoil.
Samoil says resources currently available on the subject presume that adults
have the necessary background and skills.
'These materials are written from the
perspective that adults know and understand the issues of teens today, know
how to speak to them and how their
behavior effects the youth they are working with," she says. "As adults we think
we can remember what it was like to be
16, but many of us really can't."
Cargo and Samoil will use a grant from
the Vancouver Foundation to produce a
10-minute video and training manual.
Their hope is to have these resources
available to a range of professionals from
teachers and youth counselors to childcare workers and social service agencies.
Mentors drawn from
students, faculty, staff
by Connie Bagshaw
Staff writer
The Women Students' Office (WSO)
has launched a new program designed to
build community and provide support to
women students of color at UBC.
The first of its kind at a Canadian
university, the Women of Color Mentoring
Program matches sttidents with mentors
drawn from peers, faculty and staff to
share experiences and problem solve in an
effort to enhance their university life.
Participants will be matched according
to career interests and personal compatibility, said WSO counsellor Begum Verjee.
'This program seeks to address the
needs expressed by women of color on
campus,  especially  the need  to  share
concerns, develop a sense of community,
form strength and solidarity and discover
role models," said Verjee, who co-ordinates the program.
"It also provides women with a safe
place to talk about their experiences of
bias and discrimination."
In addition to regular one-on-one meetings, students and mentors will gather
for group activities such as workshops
and lectures by guest speakers.
The program will also sponsor a series
of cultural events — open to the public —
featuring the achievements of women of
color, including film screenings, theatre
and music performances.
About 30 women to date have registered
for the program which runs until April 1997.
For more information, call 822-2415.
Top student athletes
compete Oct. 17-31
The advent of a new university year
also marks the beginning of an exciting
athletics season at UBC. UBC's varsity
teams are made up of some of the nation's top young athletes, many of whom
go on to international levels of competition. Others may end up playing for the
National Hockey League (NHL), Canadian or National Football Leagues (CFL
and NFL) or playing for professional
teams in Europe or elsewhere.
Varsity games are fast-paced, exciting
and offer excellent entertainment value
says Don Wells, external affairs co-ordinator
for UBC Athletics and Sport Services.
"A family of four can take in a basketball,
hockey or football game for under $20, and
that includes hot dogs," he says.
Admission is $7 for adults, $4 for youths
and seniors, $3 for UBC students and free
for children under 12.
• The Thunderbird football team takes
on Calgary at Thunderbird Stadium
Oct. 26 at 7:00 p.m.
• Pre-season basketball continues Oct. 23
as UBC goes up against the University of
Regina, and Oct. 30 against the University
of Winnipeg. Both games start at 7:30
p.m. in War Memorial Gym.
• The Thunderbird ice hockey team takes
on the Lethbridge Pronghorns in its
Canada West league-opening series
Oct. 18-19. Games take place in the
Thunderbird Winter Sports Centre and
start at 7:30 p.m.
• The men's and women's soccer teams
play two games each Oct. 19 and 20. The
women play Calgary Oct. 19 at 12 p.m.,
and Lethbridge Oct. 20 at 2 p.m. The men
play Calgary Oct. 19 at 2 p.m. and
Lethbridge Oct. 20 at 12 p.m. Games take
place on the O.J. Todd Field and there is
no admission charge. On Oct. 22, the
men's soccer team plays Simon Fraser at
Thunderbird Stadium at 7 p.m.
Up-to-the-hour scores and event information can be obtained by calling
822-BIRD. 4 UBC Reports • October 17, 1996
October 20 through November 2
Sunday, Oct. 20
Green College Performing
Arts Group
Anti-Talent Night. Green College,
8pm. Call 822-6067.
Monday, Oct. 21
Hearing Accessibility
Research Seminar
Hearing Environmental Sounds.
Barry Truax, Communication and
Contemporary Arts, SFU. St. Paul's
Hospital, Conference Centre, Providence Wing, Phase II, 1st floor, 4:30-
5:30pm. Call 822-6352.
Biotechnology & Gairdner
Foundation Seminar
Helicobacter pylori: Facts And Controversies. Dr. B.J. Marshall, Foundation for Helicobacter and Intestinal Immunology. IRC#4, 3:30pm.
Refreshments. Call 822-2210.
Continuing Studies
Seminar Series
Travel Writing, Isabel Nanton,
author. IRC G41/42, 7:30-
9:30pm. Continues to Nov. 25.
$110. Call 822-1450.
Mechanical Engineering
The Physics Of Blade Forming
(Papermaking Fluid Mechanics).
Sheldon Green, Mechanical Engineering. CEME 1202, 3:30-
4:30pm. Refreshments. Call 822-
Astronomy Seminar
Gravitational Lensing.
Christopher Stubbs, U ofWashington. Physics & Astronomy
318, 4pm. Refreshments. Call
Centre for Japanese
Research Seminar
Japan's Economic Miracle, Small
Government And The Politics Of
Tax Cuts. Masaru Kohno, Political Science. CK Choi 120, 12:30-
2pm. Call 822-2629.
Applied Mathematics
Suspension Bearing Gravity
Flows On Sloping Bottoms. Prof.
Bryant Moodie, U of Alberta. CSCI
301, 3:30pm. Call 822-4584.
Resident Speaker Series
Body And Soil: Nature Metaphors
And National Identity In The
Quebec Declaration Of Sovereignty. Caroline Desbiens, Comparative Literature. Green College, 5:30pm. Call 822-6067.
Tuesday, Oct. 22
Animal Science
Seminar Series
Poultry Production In Brazil.
Sazzad Hossain, Federal U, Brazil. MacMillan 158, 12:30pm.
Refreshments. Call 822-4593.
Biotechnology Laboratory
Self-Incompatibility In Canola:
Genes To Make One Love Thy
Neighbour. Prof. Steven
Rothstein, U of Guelph. Wesbrook
201, 12:30pm. Refreshments.
Call 822-4733.
Astronomy Seminar
Carbonaceous Materials In Space.
Harry Kroto, U of Sussex. Hebb
Theatre, 4pm. Call 822-2802.
Statistics Seminar
An Analysis Of Categorical Repeated Measurements. Prof.
Philip McCloud, Monash U. CSCI
301, 4-5:30pm. Refreshments.
Call 822-0570.
Lectures in
Modern Chemistry
C60 Buckminsterfullerene. The
Celestial Sphere That Fell To Earth.
Prof. Harold Kroto, Sussex U.
Chemistry 250 south wing, lpm.
Refreshments from 12:40pm. Call
Continuing Studies
Lecture Series
Prague: The Heart Of Europe. A
Look At The Historical, Social, Political And Cultural Dimensions.
Various speakers. Lasserre 107,
7:30-9pm. Continues to Nov. 12.
$45, seniors $35. Call 822-1450.
Green College Speaker Series
Environmental Security And
Freshwater Resources: The Need
For Eco System. Jutta Brunnee.
Law. Green College, 5:30pm. Reception in Graham House from
4:45-5:30pm.   Call 822-6067.
Green College Speaker Series
Poetry Reading. David Bromige.
Green College. 8pm. Call 822-
Object Identification Clinic
Identification Clinic For Objects
And Artifacts. Museum conservation staff. MOA, 7-8pm. To bring
objects for conservation advice call
822-5087 in advance.
Wednesday, Oct. 23
Seeing Trees: Engendering Environmental And Land Use Planning.
Maureen Reed. Geography. Centre
for Womens Studies, 1896 East
Mall, 3:30-5pm. Call 822-9171.
Respiratory Research
Seminar Series
Eosinophil-Delivered Cytokines In
Asthma: Intracellular Storage And
Relevance To Inflammation. Dr. R.
Moqbel, U of Alberta. St. Paul's
Hospital, Gourlay Conference
Room, 5-6pm. Call 875-5653.
Microbiology & Immunology
Seminar Series
T Cells And Autoimmunity.
Christopher Ong, Microbiology and
Immunology. Wesbrook 201, 12-
lpm. Call 822-3308.
Faculty Development
Natural And Life Sciences On The
World Wide Web. Kathryn Hornby
and Helen Chow. David Lam basement, Continuing Studies Computer Lab. B (use outside entrance
behind Trekkers), l-4pm. To register, call 822-9149.
Ecology & Biodiversity
Research Seminar
The Influence Of Food And Predation On Raptor Reproductive Strategies. Pat Kennedy, Colorado State
U. Family/Nutritonal Sciences 60.
4:30pm. Refreshments in Hut B-
8. 4:10pm. Call 822-3957.
Centre for Japanese
Research Seminar
Assertion Of Rights And Legal
Culture In Japan. Prof. Koichiro
Fujikura, Law, Waseda U. CKChoi
120, 12:30-2pm. Call 822-2629.
Lectures In Modern
C.A. McDowell Lecture In Chemical Physics. Prof. Harold Kroto,
Sussex U. Chemistry 225 (centre
block). 10am. Call 822-3266.
Classics Lecture
Born To Be Wolves? Origins Of
Roman Imperialism. Prof. Kurt
Raaflaub, Brown U. Buchanan B-
318, 12:30pm. Call 822-2889.
Classics Lecture
Soldiers, Citizens, And The Evolution OfThe Early Greek Polis. Prof.
Kurt Raaflaub, Brown U.
Buchanan B-318, 3:30pm. Call
Continuing Studies
Lecture Series
Mexico: Yesterday And Manana.
Myriam Cabrera. Carr Hall Conference Room, 7:30-9:30pm. Continues to Nov. 13. S60. seniors
$45. Call 822-1450.
Fiction Reading
The Instructor. Ann Ireland.
Buchanan penthouse, 12:30pm.
Call 822-0699.
Your UBC Forum 3
Role OfThe Student - Your Rights
And Responsibilities. Moderator:
Maria Klawe. VP Student and Academic Services. Conversation Pit,
SUB.12:30-2pm. Call 822-6799.
Orthopedics Grand Rounds
Orthopedic Engineering Research.
Thomas R. Oxland, Maurice E.
Muller Institute for Biomechanics. U of Bern. Vancouver Hospital/HSC. Eye Care Centre auditorium, 7am. Call 875-4646.
Noon Hour Concert
Geoffrey Rutkowski, cello, Paul
Berkowitz, piano. Music Recital
Hall, 12:30pm. $3 at the door. Call
Thursday, Oct. 24
Earth & Ocean Sciences
Deformation Processes In Crustal
Shear Zones. Joseph White, U of
New Brunswick. Earth & Ocean
Sciences 135, 12:30pm. Call 822-
Multimedia Seminar
A Century Of Crests On The North
West Coast: Biomechanics Laboratory Resource On the Web.
Marjorie Halpin, Anthropology and
David J. Sanderson, Human Kinetics. University Services Building TELEcentre, l-2pm. Call 822-
Biotechnology &
Neuroscience Seminar
Subcellular Targeting Of
Multienzyme Signalling Complexes. John D. Scott, Vollum Inst,
for Advanced Biomedical Research,
Portland. IRC# 1,4:30pm. Refreshments. Call 822-0705.
Genetics Graduate Program
Cellulases And Cellulose Binding
Domains (CBDs): A Sticky Tale.
Douglas Kilburn, Microbiology.
Wesbrook 201, 4pm. Call 822-
Faculty Development
Controlled Commotion: Active
Learning In A Large Class. Paul G.
Harrison. Wesbrook 100, 4:30-
5:30pm. Call 822-9149.
MacMillan Lecture Series
The Role Of Science And Advocacy
In Conservation. Patricia Kennedy,
Colorado State U. MacMillan 166,
2:30-3:30pm. Call 822-0502.
Marion Woodward Lecture
International Nursing: From A
Creditable Past To A Challenging
Future. Verna Huffman. IRC#6.
8pm. Call 822-7506.
The 1996 Library Lecture
Digital Libraries And Their Future, Or. Outsourcing The University. Michael Lesk, Computer Science Research, Bellcore. Angus
110, 12:20-2pm. Call 822-3310.
Medieval and Renaissance
Panel On Art And Ritual In Early
Modern Europe. Patricia Badir,
English and Rose Marie San Juan,
Art History. Green College, 4:30pm.
Call 822-6067.
Green College Speaker Series
Fireside Chat. David Bromige. poet
and story-teller. Green College.
7:30pm. Call 822-6067.
Physics and Astronomy
The Search For More Fundamental
Structure. Pekka Sinervo, U of Toronto. Hebb Theatre. 4pm. Refreshments at 3:45pm. Call 822-3853.
Social Event
Let's Meet. Faculty mentoring program. Graduate Student Centre
penthouse, 5-8:30pm. Refreshments. RSVP by Oct. 21. Call 822-
UBC Symphony Orchestra. Grace
Chan, soprano, Jesse Read, conductor. Old Auditorium, 12:30pm.
Call 822-3113.
Author Reading
Fugitive Pieces. Anne Michaels.
Frederic Wood. 12:30pm. $10 ($8
st udent and senior). Call 822-2514.
Friday, Oct. 25
Occupational Hygiene
Program Seminar
The Dangerous Habit Of Not Sleeping. Stanley Coren, Psychology.
Koerner lecture theatre G-279,
12:30-1:30pm. Call 822-9595.
Theoretical Chemistry
Monte-Carlo Particle Simulation For
Plasma Assisted Materials Processing. V. Serikov, Inst. Fluid Science,
Tohoku U. Chemistry D-402 (centre
block), 4pm. Call 822-3266.
Linguistics Colloquium
The Acquisition Of Moraic Structure In Japanese. David Ingram.
Linguistics. Buchanan penthouse,
3:30pm. Refreshments. Call 822-
Mathematics Colloquium
Primal Versus Dual Viewpoints In
Nonsmooth Optimization. Philip
D. Loewen, Mathematics. Mathematics 100, 3:40pm. Refreshments at 3:15pm in Math Annex
1115. Call 822-2666.
Geography Colloquium
Employment Opportunities And
Prospects For Geographers In Consulting. Panel of consulting geographers from the Vancouver area.
Geography 229, 3:30pm. Call 822-
Lonergan and Science
The Spirituality Of Science. Hugo
A. Meynell, U of Calgary. Buchanan
B-325, 12:30-l:20pm. Call 221-
Lonergan For the Future
Lonergan And The Coming Third
Millenium. Fr. F.E. Crowe, U of
Toronto. St. Mark's College,
7:30pm. Admission by donation.
Call 221-3342.
Graduate Student
Conference in International
International System In AGrotian
Moment. Richard Falk, Princeton
U: David Kennedy, Harvard Law
School: Robert Jackson, UBC;
Karin Mickelson, UBC. Green
College Coach House and Great
Hall. 9am-6pm. Continues Oct.
26. Call 602-1588.
Grand Rounds
Care For The Dying Child:
Pediatrics And Palliative Management. Palliative Care Physicians, Canuck Place. GF Strong
auditorium, 9am. Call 875-2307.
UBC Symphony Orchestra. Jesse
Read, conductor. Old Auditorium, 8pm. Call 822-3113.
Saturday, Oct. 26
The South Asian
Colloquium of the Pacific
Centre For India And South Asia
Research. CK Choi 120, 9am-
4pm.   Refreshments.  Call 822-
Green College Performing
Arts Group
Dylan Thomas' "Reminiscences
of Childhood." Performed by
Arnab Guha. Aurian Haller and
others. Green College, 8pm. Call
Lonergan and Spirituality
Bernard Lonergan On The Trinity And The Human Spirit. F.E.
Crowe, U of Toronto and H.A.
Meynell. U of Calgary. Regent
College, 9am-4pm. $25, students / seniors $5. Call 221 -3342.
Vancouver Institute
What Can We Return To The
Earth? Japanese Pollution Experiences. Prof. Koichiro Fujikura,
Faculty of Law, Waseda U. IRC#2,
8:15pm. Call 822-3131.
Monday, Oct. 28
Faculty Development
Developing A Teaching Dossier
For Tenure, Promotion And Reflection. William Webber and
Judith Johnston. David Lam,
Faculty Development Seminar
room (use outside entrance be-
The UzBC Reports Calendar lists university-related or
university-sponsored events on campus and off campus within the Lower Mainland,
Calendar items must be submitted on forms available from the UBC Public Affairs Office, 310 - 6251 Cecil
Green Park Road, Vancouver B.C., V6T 1Z1. Phone:
822-3131. Fax: 822-2684. Please limit to 35 words.
Submissions for the Calendar's Notices section may be
limited due to space.
Deadline for the October 31 issue of UBC Reports —
which covers the period November 3 to November 16 —
is noon, October 22. Calendar
UBC Reports • October 17, 1996 5
October 20 through November 2
hind Trekkers), 3-5pm. Registration 822-9149.
UBC School of Nursing
Research Colloquium
Self-Rated Health Status: A
Measurement Conundrum.
Pamela Ratner, Assistant Prof..
Nursing. Vancouver Hospital/
HSC, Koerner Pavilion T-180.
3:30-4:30pm. Call 822-7453.
Resident Speaker Series
The Palazzo Courtyard: A Progressive Revelation. Lynn
Gordon-Findlay, Architecture.
Green College, 5:30pm. Call 822-
Science and Society
Political Surveys And Majority
Rule. Richard Johnston, Political Science. Green College, 8pm.
Call 822-6067.
Tuesday, Oct. 29
Biotechnology Laboratory
Seminar Series
Continuous Phase Woven Fabric Matrices For Protein Chromatography And Buffer Exchange. Michael Ladisch, Purdue
U. Wesbrook 201, 12:30pm. Refreshments before the seminar.
Call 822-4838.
Statistics Seminar
A Class Of Markovian Samplers
Related To The Gibbs Sampler.
Professor Claude Belisle, U Laval.
CSCI 301, 4-5:30pm. Refreshments. Call 822-0570.
Graduate and Faculty
Christian Forum
The Modern University And
Christian Assumptions. Prof.
John Redekop, Political Science,
Wilfred Laurier and Trinity Western U. Buchanan penthouse,
4:15pm. Refreshments at 4pm.
Call 822-3112.
Lectures in Modern
The Influence Of Zeolites On The
Behaviour Of Organic Reactive
Intermediates: A Laser Photolysis Study. Fran L. Cozens,
Dalhousie U. Chemistry 250
(southwing), lpm. Refreshments
from 12:40pm. Call 822-3266.
Travellers In Epiros Then And
Now. Richard Spratley. MOA,
7:30pm. Call 822-5087.
Green College Speaker
Flirting With The Enemy: State -
NGO Relations In Mexico.
Faranak Miraftab, Community
and Regional Planning. Green
College, 5:30pm. Reception in
Graham House 4:45-5:30pm.
Call 822-6067.
Creative Writing
A Reading With Sandra Birdsell.
Buchanan A-100, 12:30-
Wednesday, Oct. 30
Ecology & Biodiversity
Research Seminar
Arctic Ground Squirrel
Populations At Kluane: Experimental Manipulation Of Peanut
Butter And Other Limiting Factors. Andrea Byrom. Family/
Nutritional Sciences 60,4:30pm.
Refreshments Hut B-8 4:10pm.
Call 822-3957.
Biotechnology Laboratory
Novel Aqueous Two-Phase Systems For Protein Purification.
Tjerneld Folke, Biochemistry,
Lund U. IRC#4, 12:30pm. Refreshments before the seminar.
Call 822-5136.
Respiratory Research
Inhalable Particle Effects: Is Small
Really Beautiful? Dr. Sverre Vedal,
Medicine. St. Paul's Hospital,
Gourlay Conference Room, 5-6pm.
Call 875-5653.
Microbiology & Immunology
From Locus Control Region To
Apoptosis InTCells. AstarWinoto,
Molecular and Cell Biology, U of
California, Berkeley. Wesbrook
201, 12-lpm. Call 822-3308.
Law Lecture
The Charter Dialogue Between
Courts And Legislatures: Perhaps
The Charter Of Rights Isn't Such A
Bad Thing. Prof. Peter Hogg, York
U. Curtis 101/102, 12:30pm. Call
Modern European Studies
Colloquium Series
Vaclav Havel's View On Europe: A
Voice From The Centre. Marketa
Goetz-Stankiewicz, Germanic
Studies. Buchanan penthouse,
3:30-5pm. Call 822-5969.
Applied Mathematics
Modelling The Response Of Laminated Composite Structures To
Projectile Impact. RezaVaziri, Civil
Engineering. CSCI 301, 3:30pm.
Call 822-4584.
Surgery Grand Rounds
Trauma Systems, Centres And
Services — Where Does VHHSC
Stand? Dr. Richard Simons, Vancouver Hospital/HSC. GF Strong
auditorium, 7am. Call 875-4136.
Cultural and Media Studies
Interdisciplinary Group
Youth, Disaffection, Law And
Popular Culture. Steve Redhead,
Law, Manchester Metropolitan U.
Green College, 5:30pm. Call 822-
19th Century Studies
Science And The Arts. John Gilbert, Health Sciences Co-ordinator.
Green College, 8pm. Call 822-
Orthopedics Grand Rounds
Surfing The Internet As An Orthopedic Surgeon. Daniel Ngui, third
year medicine. Vancouver Hospital/HSC, Eye Care Centre auditorium, 7am. Call 875-4646.
Noon Hour Concert
Rita Costanzi, harp. Music Recital
Hall, 12:30pm. $3 at the door. Call
Thursday, Oct. 31
Earth & Ocean Sciences
Climate OfThe Arctic Ocean: Key
Features And Processes. Richard
Moritz. Earth & Ocean Sciences
135, 12:30pm. Call 822-3466/
Genetics Graduate Program
Sexuality And Dimorphism InThe
Fungal Pathogen Ustilago Maydis.
Jim Kronstad, Microbiology and
Plant Science. Wesbrook 201, 4pm.
Refreshments. Call 822-8764.
Biostatistics Seminar
Modelling Zero Inflated Count
Data. Cheryl Garden, Statistics.
CSCI 301, 4-5:30pm. Call 822-
Law And Society
Lunchtime Seminar
The Sociologist As Lawyer: The
Case Of Max Weber. Thomas
Kemple, Anthropology and Sociology. Green College, 12pm. Call
Issues In Post-Secondary
New Realities, New Directions, New
Institutions - The Changing Higher
Education System In British Columbia. Gerald O. Kelly, president
and vice-chancellor. Royal Roads
U. Green College, 4:30pm. Call
MacMillan Lecture Series
Using Stable Isotopes To Monitor
Avian Migration And Reproduction. Keith Hobson, Canadian Wildlife Service, Saskatoon. MacMillan
166,2:30-3:30pm. Call 822-0502.
Joan Carlisle-Irving
Lecture Series
Breaking Frames: Ned Lud Meets
Erving Goffman. Iain Boal.
Lasserre 102, 12:30-2:30pm. Call
Science First Lecture Series
Educational Computer Games: Is
There Any Science In Making
Learning Fun? Maria Klawe, Computer Science. IRC#6, 1-2pm. Call
Crystallization Of Proteins At Interfaces, A Two- Dimensional Phase
Transition. Viola Vogel, U ofWashington. Hebb Theatre, 4pm. Refreshments 3:45. Call 822-3853.
Law & Society Seminar
The Sociologist As Lawyer: The
Case Of Max Weber. Thomas
Kemple, Anthropology and Sociology. Graham House, Green College, 12-lpm. Call 822-4837.
Friday, Nov. 1
Theoretical Chemistry
Production And Distribution Of
Hot Atoms In Planetary Atmospheres. G. Arkos, Earth and Ocean
Sciences. Chemistry D-402 (centre block), 4pm. Call 822-3266.
Occupational Hygiene
Program Seminar Series
Cholinesterase Monitoring In The
Field With The EQM Cholinesterase Kit. Matt Keifer. Koerner lecture theatre G-279, 12:30-1:30pm.
Call 822-9595.
Geography Colloquium
Ageographia, Heterotopia, And Van-
The University of British Columbia
1997 Diabetes Conference: The Younq Diabetic
Date: April 4 & 5, 1997
Location: Coast Plaza at Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC
This conference will focus on the Type 1 diabetic from infancy to 25 years of age as well as
Tvpe II diabetes in the adolescent.
Specific issues to be addressed include:
• Genetics and prediction of 1DDM
• Diabetes in adolescents
• Prevention
• Family Issues
• Management of IDDM during pregnancy
For further info, contact: Ph: (604) 822-2626; Fax: (604) 822-4835
The Dal Grauer Memorial Lectures at UBC
Koichiro Fujikura
Professor of Law, Waseda University, Tokyo
Japanese Environmental Law and Policy
Assertion of Rights and Legal Culture in Japan
Wednesday, October 23 at 12:30-2:00 PM
in C.K. Choi Bldg., Conference Room, Main floor
For the Best of All possible Japans:
Partial Justice in a Consensus-based Society
Friday, October 25 at 12:30 PM
Curtis Bldg., Faculty of Law, Moot Court Room 176
What Can We Return to Earth?
Japanese Pollution Experiences
The Vancouver Institute
Saturday, October 26 at 8:15 PM
in Woodward Instructional Resources Centre, Hall 2
You are invited to attend...
The UBC Alumni Association
Annual General Meeting
October 17,1996
6:30 pm for 7:00 pm start
Cecil Green Park
The AGM will include the introduction of this year's Board of
Directors, reports on last year's activities and a review of plans
for 1996-97. Come meet the new Board and get involved in your alumni
association. Light refreshments will be served.
couver's New Public Library.
LorettaLees, Geography. Geography 229, 3:30pm. Call 822-2985.
Mathematics Colloquium
How Many Parameters Does It
Take To Define A Generic Polynomial? Zinovy Reichstein, Oregon
State U. Mathematics 100.
3:40pm. Refreshments at 3:15 in
Math Annex 1115. Call 822-2666.
Linquistics Colloquium
Passives And Object Control In
Mainland Comox (Salish). Susan
J. Blake. Buchanan penthouse,
3:30pm. Refreshments. Call 822-
Cultural and Media Studies
Interdisciplinary Group
Discussing Issues Around Law
And Popular Culture. Steve Redhead, Law, Manchester Metropolitan U. Green College, lpm.
Call 822-6067.
Grand Rounds
Nitric Oxide In Newborns With
Hypoxic Respiratory Failure, An
Update. Dr. A. Solimano,
Pediatrics. GF Strong auditorium.
9am. Call 875-2307.
Band Festival. UBC Jazz Ensemble, Fred Stride, director. Music
Recital Hall, 12:30pm. Call 822-
15th Field Artillery Band. Richard van Slyke, director. Old Auditorium, 7:30pm. Call 822-3113.
Student Leadership
Erna Hagge, Speakeasy, Toast-
masters. SUB214/216,9am. $35
including lunch and snack. Register at AMS Volunteer Services,
SUB 100D. Call 822-9268.
Saturday, Nov. 2
Vancouver Institute
An Evening With Mary Pratt. Mary
Pratt, artist. IRC#2,8:15pm. Call
Faculty. Staff and Grad Student
Volleyball Group. Every Monday
and Wednesday, Osborne Centre, Gym A, 12:30-1:30pm. No
fees. Drop-ins and regular
attendees welcome for friendly
competitive games. Call 822-
4479 or e-mail:
Fun and Fitness
UBC Community Sport Services
offers adult ballet, gymnastics and
ice hockey classes for beginners.
No experience is necessary. For
more information call 822-3688.
Morris and Helen Belkin Art
Gallery Exhibition
Tuesday - Friday: 10am-5pm;
Saturday, 12-5pm. 1825 Main
Mall. Call 822-2759.
Surplus Equipment
Recycling Facility
Weekly sales of furniture, computers, scientific etc. held every
Wednesday, noon-5pm. SERF,
Task Force Building, 2352 Health
Sciences Mall. Call 822-2582 for
Garden Hours
Nitobe Memorial Garden open
10am-2:30pm weekdays only.
Botanical Garden and the Shop-
in-the-Garden are open 10am-
6pm daily (including weekends).
Call 822-9666 (gardens), 822-
4529 (shop). 6 UBC Reports ■ October 17, 1996
Committee Members
• Peter J. Frost, Professor, Faculty of Commerce, Chair of the Human Resources
Department Review Committee
• Erik de Bruijn, Assistant University Librarian
• Maureen Douglas, Assistant to Dean, Science
• Glenn Harris, VP Finance, University of Alberta
• Susan Langland, Director, Faculty Affairs and Administration, Medicine
• Albert McClean, Professor of Law
• Axel Meisen, Dean of Applied Science
• Mary Risebrough, Director, Housing and Conferences
• Lynn Smith, Dean of Law
• Glen Stanger (Vice Chair), Associate Director, Plant Operations
• Peter van der Leeden, Director, HR, University of Victoria
Our Committee has interviewed approximately 50 members of the campus community,
including President Strangway and other members ofthe President's Office, some Deans,
and Department Heads, leaders of CUPE Locals 116 and 2950, the Presidents of AAPS
and the Faculty Association, the Senior Administrative Officers of each Faculty, the
Associate VP of Human Resources and members of the HR Department. We read the
study brief provided for our Committee by the HR Department and a number of other
relevant documents. We received 14 written submissions from individuals on Campus.
The Committee met for three full days of hearings on the HR Department and met on other
days to plan the process and subsequently to evaluate the review data and report. We
have at all times received the cooperation ofthe Human Resources management and staff
in our efforts to carry out our mandate and we have found our interviewees to be very
forthcoming and helpful in their responses to our questions.
Our observation has been that human resource practice in a university as large and as
complex as The University of British Columbia is in itself a very complex process. We have
found it necessary to think very carefully and somewhat divergently about each of the
questions and the issues posed to us as a committee by the VP of Administration and
Finance. (At the time of the formation of the Committee this was Bruce Gellatly. At the
present time it is Terry Sumner.) We have found that it is neither possible nor wise to
present an analysis and a set of recommendations that is simplistic or that provides
simple directions to those who will be contemplating action on the basis of this report.
In many cases we provide a range of options and a series of considerations for policy and
We have attempted to suggest some new directions for the HR Department that we believe
will serve the university community well and that will assist it to fulfill its function and
role even more effectively than at present. We believe that this approach to our
assignment does justice to the inherently intricate nature of the Human Resource
function at UBC.
Our report is divided into four sections. The first section deals with the mandate of the HR
Department. We present our own view of the mandate based on our investigations, and
compare it with that presently stated by the HR Department. The second section ofthe report
deals with the question of the effectiveness and the suitability of the "Human Resources
Generalist" concept. The third section presents our comments and recommendations on the
effectiveness and the accountability ofthe HR Department. The fourth section presents our
final comments and conclusions. There are two appendices to which we will refer in our
report. In accordance with our mandate, we have not reviewed the Department of Health
Safety and Environment (HSE) for which the Associate Vice President of Human Resources
is also responsible.
Part One
In the opinion of this Committee, there is nothing more important than the development
and assurance of best human resource practices that reflect the mission, values and
aspirations of the University and the community which it serves. These are the
responsibilities of every member of the University Community and. in particular, the
responsibility of the Department of Human Resources.
The HR Department needs to assume responsibility for the design and operational
integrity of core human resource services and processes that are consistent with
established norms and with applicable policies, statutes and contract terms. The
Department must model best practice in the conduct of its own affairs.
In order to do this. Human Resources must develop the capability and provide services
in a fashion that reflects the extent to which responsibility is shared by all operating units
for the achievement of best human resource management practices.
The Department's current mission statement is as follows:
"Human Resources supports UBC's mission of being a world renowned institution of
higher education and research by providing human resources' leadership and services
in order to maximize the potential and ability of employees to contribute and develop at
UBC." —March 16, 1995, Report to the Board ofGovernors (p. 1)
The Department of Human Resources therefore identifies its specific role as "...providing
leadership and services in order to maximize ihe potential and ability of employees to
contribute and develop at UBC". In its report to the University's Board of Governors, the
Department also outlined its functional divisions, as follows:
Human Resources Generalists
Customer Service
Limited Time Only (LTO)
Job Evaluation System Project (JESP)
Organizational Training & Development
Human Resources Information Centre
Faculty Pension Plan
Staff Pension Plan
Employee Relations
The report further notes that these internal functions were reorganized after 1990, "to cluster all
client-related services within our Human Resources Generalists to work direcdy with client
departments and with our bargaining units supported by the specialist functions shown above. "
—March 16, 1995, Report to the Board ofGovernors (p. 13)
The 1995/96 Budget and Planning Narrative, published a few months later, also
contains a statement on the roles and responsibilities of the department:
"Human Resources works in partnership with departmental managers and supervisors in
the delivery of recruitment, job evaluation, organizational change, human resources
planning, total compensation management, training and development, employee relations
and the management ofthe University's human resources databases."
Comments on Mandate Made to the External Reviewers
Everyone who communicated with the Review Committee expressed the view that there
was a need for a university based Human Resources Department. It should provide
support to the University Community, and especially to its managers, directors, heads,
deans and senior administrators, to ensure that UBC is an equitable, safe, efficient and
productive place of work, in support of its academic mission. However, there was no
consistency regarding the services the Department should provide or on how the services
should be delivered.
Some believed that human resource services should be provided by a centrally-funded
and managed unit, which might, or might not, have "service representatives" in faculty
or departmental offices. Others expressed the view that many personnel-related tasks
could be done more efficiently by faculty and/or department administrators, and that the
role of Human Resources should be to provide specialist advice from a central office.
The types of human resource activities suggested to the reviewers included responsibility for
or involvement in the following activities (not stated in order of priority):
1. training and organizational leadership development
2. strategies for increasing flexibility in a competitive world
3. collective bargaining
4     improving staff relationships with unions
5. reallocation of resources, restructuring and downsizing
6. communication to the University Community of internal and external changes
affecting human resources issues (e.g., government regulations and legislation)
7. benefits administration
8. processing and distribution of personnel information
9. improvement of individual's understanding of his/her employer-employee partnership with the university
10. recruiting of non-faculty personnel
11. job re/classification
12. hiring/appointment of non-faculty staff
13. management of employee (including faculty) records
There was considerable comment on whether or not particular activities within Human Resources
should continue to be carried out there, and whether or not activities currently being carried out
elsewhere might better be done if transferred to the Department.
Recommendations on Mandate
Based on our extensive deliberations, the Review Committee recommends the following
mandate, role and responsibilities for the Department of Human Resources. This
recommendation is consistent with the Department's vision statement and expands its
reach and responsibilities in some arenas while reducing them in others. It provides the
basis for a coherent set of services.
Our view of the mandate for the HR Department is reflected in our earlier statements that
are repeated here for emphasis:
In the opinion of this Committee, there is nothing more important than the development and
assurance of best human resource practices that reflect the mission, values and aspirations ofthe University and the community which it serves. These are the responsibilities
of every member ofthe University Community. However, they are the particular responsibilities of the Department of Human Resources.
In this role, the HR Department needs to assume responsibility for the design and
operational integrity of core human resource services and processes that are consistent
with established norms and with applicable policies, statutes and contract terms. They
must model best practice in the conduct of all their own affairs.
In order to do this. Human Resources must develop the capability and provide services in
afashion that reflects the extent to which responsibility is shared by all operating units for
the achievement of best human resource management practices.
The mandate which we recommend for the HR Department includes:
1. To build university-wide consensus on best human resource management practices
by reflecting the University's mission and values and developing appropriate norms.
2. To assume responsibility for the design and operational integrity of core human
resource services, processes, policies, statutes and contract terms that are consistent with those norms.
3. Develop capability and provide services in a fashion that broadens the responsibility
base for providing excellent human resource practices on Campus. This is so that it
is acknowledged and the responsibility for its practice is internalized and shared by
all the units.
4. Model those best practices in the conduct of its own affairs.
Commentary on Roles and Responsibilities
Within this mandate, we see the HR Department responsible for the following roles and
responsibilities. More detailed attention to specific areas of implementation of the
mandate can be found later in the report.
1. Training and Leadership Development: The MOST and BEST training programs were
well regarded by their users. In the Committee's judgment, the training mandate needs
to be expanded to include orientation of all new employees, as well as VPs, Deans, Heads,
Directors and other administrators. There should be ongoing programs covering new
systems, teamwork and partnering skills, changes in legislation and collective agreements.
2. Collective Bargaining: While the President defines the University's position on
collective bargaining, and there is coordination with the Employee Committee ofthe
Board ofGovernors, the Department of Human Resources should lay the foundation
for progressive collective bargaining through consultation with administrative heads,
review of past experience, research on labour/employee practices in other organizations, harmonization of bargaining strategies for different employee groups and
identification of barriers to improving the working environment and efficiencies.
Since there is considerable academic expertise regarding collective bargaining and
personnel relations at UBC, it should be utilized.
3. Benefits Planning and Management: Since this is an important part of collective
bargaining, recruitment, personnel management and restructuring, it needs to
receive continued attention.
4. Interpretation of the Collective Agreement: The Department needs to interpret
collective agreements, secure expert advice on the interpretation of the collective
agreements, and to communicate the interpretation throughout the University. The
Department's mandate does not apply to agreements with the Faculty Association. UBC Reports • October 17, 1996 7
5. Conflict Management and Dispute Resolution: There is a prevailing need for the
Department to have and to impart to local managers in the University the specialized skills involved in mediating, facilitating and solving the Department's problems
that provide an alternative to adversarial approaches to conflict.
6. Recruitment: The Department coordinates the process of staff recruitment; establishes procedures and policies; ensures adherence to policies; tests for skill proficiencies
of applicants and is available to assist departments with recruitment. Where
mandated by the collective agreement the Department must also manage postings,
recalls and/or bumping employees between operating units. This is a continued
need. However, decentralization ofthe activity to Departments and Units is an issue
that needs to be addressed. We comment on this later in the report. In addition, we
note and commend the work of LTO and encourage its role of assisting in return-to-
work opportunities of employees.
7. Job Re/classification/Job Evaluation: The Department's role is to recommend fair
compensation policies and to ensure that the job classification, reclassification and
evaluation processes are sound and fairly administered.
8. Record Keeping: It is understood that the Financial Services Department provides
this record keeping service on Campus. However, the Human Resources Department
should ensure that the central personnel records for which it is responsible are kept
and effectively maintained. These records should include basic information on
appointment date, education, experience, salary and performance evaluation of all
non-faculty employees.
9. Organization Change: The Department should promote improvements in human
resources practice. It should explore and be responsive to opportunities to help units
deal with human resource management implications of restructuring and re-
engineering, including provision of process tools and support.
10. Communication of Policy: The Department should develop policies in collaboration
with all units affected. It should communicate in a timely manner information on all
aspects of human resources, including outcomes of arbitration rulings, step three
decisions and disseminate pertinent jurisprudence to relevant individuals and units in
a timely manner. The Department should also be an advocate for appropriate changes
in legislation and should communicate desirable changes in legislation to legislators.
11. Performance Management and Career Development: Individuals at UBC should be
provided the opportunity for career development. The Department should ensure that
performance evaluation data plays an integral role in career planning on campus. It
should also ensure that career development is systematically implemented on campus
through follow-up (and training).
In addition, the department is responsible for strategies that:
• increase organizational flexibility
• improve staff relationships
• improve each individual's understanding of his/her employer/employee partnership
with the university
Finally, we believe that the role of Human Resources in developing strategies for
flexibility, improved relationships and better understanding of working relationships is
to ask questions that will direct attention and energy toward these objectives, to ensure
that there are appropriate resources to make attainment of these aims possible, and to
make recommendations on delivery of such strategies. We add that developing better
understanding of working relationships encompasses both union and non-union staff.
We turn in the next section to a consideration ofthe role and effectiveness of Generalists
in support of these roles and responsibilities.
Part Two
The Committee was asked to assess the effectiveness ofthe role of "generalists" from both
the users' and the Human Resources Department's perspective. We think it important
to state at the outset that, as currently envisaged and practiced, it is not working well
for many ofthe users in the system. The Committee will be recommending changes to the
role and to the way the generalist functions and we suggest that failure to address this
issue forcefully and soon will likely undermine the overall good progress of the
As currently expressed by the Department, the primary role of the generalists is to
provide advice and to make recommendations on all human resource management
issues to front line supervisors, managers, heads and other administrators.
'Generalists', or Human Resources Advisors (HRAs), are assigned to portfolios consisting of
specific administrative units at UBC, and their role is to advise their clients on all aspects
of employee relations. Aspects of that role, as outlined in their job description, include writing
employees'job descriptions and doing re-classifications, recruitment, "routine" day to day
questions and queries, dispute resolution ("pre-grievance". grievance, and arbitration),
assisting in the management of change, training and development, as well as performance
issues and layoffs. In reality, the roles of HRAs vary widely, depending upon the needs and
experience ofthe managers within their particular portfolio, and could be described as being
on a continuum, from an advisory or "clearing house" role at one extreme, to primary advisor
on the other, i.e. from dealing personally only with routine matters, transmitting all other
problems to a "specialist", to being the primary decision maker, seeking advice only in defined
situations or when, in their judgment, it is wise to do so. This variation is a reflection ofthe
requirements and expertise of the managers: some need only occasional information and
advice, whereas others need "full service".
We think it fair to characterize user reactions to the HRA role, as well as our own, as
mixed. However, it is also important to state that the concept is working well for some
users. Hence, we are not advocating that it be discontinued. However, we recognize that
there are problems with its current implementation. There is a sense ofthe role as being
neither "fish nor fowl" in that advisors tend not to have the depth of experience and
knowledge that Specialists have in many key HR areas in which they operate. Nor do they
have the time to deal with all the general HR issues they are expected to handle. One
result is that administrative heads and other managers often simply "go around" the
advisors to get the help they need from specialists in the Department. Further, the work
loads facing most advisors are so large and diverse that it becomes difficult for them to
give the broad advice and counsel for which they are hired. There is the additional issue
of to whom advisors report. Is it: (a) the senior administrator(s) whom they serve, or (b)
the HR Department? and, if the latter, to whom within the Department should they
report? We could not get a definitive position on this from our interviews.
HRAs appear to be most successful when they work closely (including geographic
proximity) with units which do not have HR expertise readily available. The HRAs are then
able to assist and to guide managers on an ongoing basis. They appear to be successful
when, in addition, their level of knowledge and experience about HR practice is high. As
will become clearfrom our recommendations, the advisor model is likely to work best where
advisors are assigned to units that want and need their services and where the
professional calibre ofHR Advisors is at a high level and they have become experienced
in the culture and the operations of UBC. This last characteristic requires time in role to
(1) Change the emphasis from Generalists to "Advisors" since this will allow them to
provide advice and counsel without attracting the expectation of being "all things to
all people". This is a hazard of the generalist title.
(2) Focus the attention ofthe Advisors in areas where there is a need expressed by units
for advice, guidance and counsel from HR professionals who are, in effect, specializing in this advisory role for specific clients. The level and method of delivery of
Human Resources services should be determined by each unit in consultation with
Human Resources Department.
In this context, the current generalist model would continue to be appropriate for some
units. However, other units may require only occasional access to a specialist, dealing
with most personnel matters independently. The need for 'full service advisors or for
specialists will vary depending upon a unit's requirements.
(3) Recruit at a very high level of professional expertise to fulfill this wide-ranging
advisory role and provide a very high degree of support for them and for existing HR
Advisors. We are not necessarily suggesting that current HR Advisors lack this level
of expertise and performance. We do believe that they are often stretched beyond their
limits because of overwork and inconsistent workloads so that it is likely to be difficult
for them to maintain the level of knowledge and skill necessary to deliver high
performance on a sustained basis in the University. We comment later on the
organization of Advisors within the Department.
We recognize that having focussed and supported the HR Advisor role, there is a
matching need to provide the same kind of attention and support for Specialists
within the HR Department, most notably those dealing with Employee Relations.
The HR Advisor Model
Having drawn these broad conclusions about the HR Advisor Model and recommended
general changes to its function, we outline some of the details associated with the role and
make specific recommendations. The sections that follow, particularly Position Description
and Scope, may more obviously support the full service advisor model, i.e. advisors having
full responsibility for the client's HR needs rather than a smaller, more focussed role.
However, we believe the recommendations as set out below are referable and important for
any person working in an advisory capacity.
Position Description: The role of the HR advisors is "to provide advice and to make
recommendations on all human resource management issues to front line supervisors,
department managers, directors and department heads". We agree with this, but we will
comment on the scope of the role, and the statement that advisors "provide advice and
make recommendations."
Scope: To advise on "all human resources management issues" is potentially a huge task,
and one which needs focussing and refining. We suggest that some matters be removed
from the portfolio, for example:
• "benefits" is an area which requires immediate detailed knowledge, where inquiries
could be directed to the Benefits Section ofthe Department as we understand happens
frequently now.
• "liaison and exchange of information with various external agencies and organizations
to build awareness ofthe University" are tasks which appear more appropriate for the
Associate V-P, Human Resources or the Director, Compensation, Development and HR
Information Systems.
Our intent is not to diminish the role of the HRAs unless there is compelling reason to do so. If
the role is excessively reduced the reason for having generalist HRAs will be defeated.
One reason for keeping the role of the advisor as comprehensive as possible should be
noted. We were told that on occasion advice was inaccurate and that inconsistent advice
had come from different sources. We realize that this perception may arise for a number
of reasons and may not be well founded. Nonetheless, if, within defined limits, the HRA
is the sole source of advice, then the risk of clients getting inconsistent advice is
diminished. Also, if HRA's are well qualified and strongly supported, the risk of
inaccurate advice being given is lessened.
Although the HRAs provide advice, recommendations, and options in light of their
knowledge and experience, ultimately it is the administrator who is responsible for the
decision. If the administrator wants to do something which the HRA thinks is not possible
or appropriate, then the HRA must be able lo take the matter to someone more senior in
the Department of Human Resources. This is not unnecessary "policing" but an example
of both the University and the administrator being afforded the advice and protection that
Human Resources is expected to provide.
RECOMMENDATION: We recommend that the reporting relationship of the HRA be
clarified. We suggest that an HRA who is assigned to a specific unit reports directly to the
administrator of the client unit for their work performance, as one would in a client-
consultant relationship. HRAs should also report to a senior person in the HR Department. The precise nature of this dual reporting relationship needs to be worked out by
the HR Department in consultation with clients.
Evaluation and Reclassification: One ofthe roles ofthe HRA is to establish and evaluate
new positions and existing classifications; to determine appropriate pay grades and
salaries; to ensure equity among University-wide positions and to represent the
Department in this regard at appeals. These roles under the current model are
appropriate, but the following are concerns about the functioning of the Classification
• the slow speed at which classifications cycle through the Classifications Committee
• some Committee comments focus in on small issues (format of job descriptions,
typographical errors, etc.) rather than on content
• some jobs considered by the Classifications Committee were beyond the experience of
some of the HRAs and thus the decision-making process was inadequate.
In fairness to the advisors, an unusually high number of reclassifications concerned
primarily with compensation not classification have come forward for consideration; the
workload as a result is staggering.
The current Job Evaluation System Project (JESP) is expected to classify positions based
on a point system, and the associated compensation system will provide broad salary
bands for each classification. In theory, this should simplify changes in classification and
RECOMMENDATION: That JESP be implemented as soon as possible so that HRAs may
move away from the labour-intensive activity of job reclassification, which contributes
to advisor "burnout" and robs them of time which could be better spent in coaching and
training of administrators, managers and other University staff. 8 UBC Reports ■ October 17, 1996
Recruiting: In practice, the recruiting role ofthe HRAs varies from unit to unit, and some
variation is perhaps inevitable. Nonetheless, the units themselves should handle as
much of their recruiting as they can. HRAs should provide advice and train new
managers. Only in units which do not recruit often enough to develop their own expertise
should HRAs time be involved in the details of the recruiting process.
RECOMMENDATION: Where feasible, the units themselves should take on the responsibility for recruiting (as in fact some already have). The roles of HRAs can then be limited
to consultation and training.
Management of Change: When major or even minor changes are contemplated, it is
important that their implications are fully understood and planned. This is particularly
true in the area of human relations.
HRAs must know their clients and their needs. In these times of budget cuts, amalgamations, "down"- and "righf'-sizing, HRAs should work with the client and the division
of Organizational Training and Development (OTD) to develop appropriate strategies and
support client needs. For example, HRAs must be able to interpret the collective
agreements on the issues of notices of termination, layoffs and recalls. HRAs must be
able to provide training for new roles and activities in a unit. HRAs with experience of
change initiatives should be able to provide invaluable advice and suggestions to
departments. The HRA can also be a valuable communication link between other units
and the OTD.
RECOMMENDATION: The portfolio of the HRAs must be structured so that they play an
appropriate consultative and communication roles in the managment of change.
Conflict Resolution: The current "Position Description" provides that the HRAs work
"with management staff and faculty, employee relations advisors and local union officials
to settle various issues, disputes and grievances to step 2 by collecting information,
documenting processes, participating in discussion, recommending solutions and
negotiating settlements as applicable." This description lacks clarity in three respects:
• Insofar as the HRA can negotiate settlements, does this mean that the HRA has the
authority to bind the University, or must the settlement be referred to some other
person for approval and if so, to whom?
• Are there matters on which the advisor can only recommend and others on which the
advisor can reach binding agreements and if so, how are the two types of matters
• Where does the HRA's responsibility end and where is it transferred to another
individual in the HR Department and/or to the administrative head of the unit?
We heard two comments in this regard from those we interviewed: (i) the investment of
seventy to eighty percent of an HRA's time on employee relations was not profitable for
the client and (ii) the HRAs cannot be expected to know the level of detail a specialist does
about employee relations matters, nor to have the same breadth of employee relations
experience. If the HRA withdrew after step 1, it would eliminate the possibility of
inappropriate advice or, perhaps more importantly, avoid undermining the HRA's
credibility with the unions.
RECOMMENDATION: The role of the HRA should be to advise, coach and train
supervisors and managers to deal with labour relations issues at the front end of the
process, up to and including step 1. Anything beyond step 1 in the grievance procedure
should be handled by the Administrative Head in consultation with an experienced
employee relations specialist. The HR advisor would, of course, provide the specialist
with the information relating to the disagreement, but would not be responsible beyond
this point. (Step 1 involves meeting between a grlevor and his or her immediate
supervisor. Step 2 meetings involve the Department Head; Step 3 meetings involve the
University Labour Committee.)
Organization and Relationships: In addition to external clients, the HRAs interact with
three main UBC groups: 1) their clients 2) their colleagues in the HR Department, and
3) others they need to work with in carrying out their duties. The close working
relationship with their client units which results from the current practice of permanently assigning one advisor to a group of client units is a good option for some. The
"client councils" organized by HRAs enhance this relationship, but it is unfortunate that
these councils are not always widely used, nor broadly based, nor at senior levels.
1) Clients. Some feel that it is desirable for HRAs to be in close proximity to their client
units. Even with e-mail and voice messages, given the key role ofthe HRAs, it is to their
and their client's advantage to get together as easily as possible and an 'on-site' option
makes this possible. One HRA is currently located in the Faculty of Medicine (the client
unit) and this arrangement works very well. However, due to the limited number of HRAs
and the need to assign individual HRAs to several units, such proximity cannot presently
be widely assured.
RECOMMENDATION: We recommend that, if possible, when requested by the units,
HRAs be moved into their client units and their reportifig relationship to the unit
administrators and to the Department of Human Resources be specified. If groups of
clients could find accommodation for Advisors within their work area, an 'on site' advisor
could be an option for them. Also, a clearly understood back-up system, through
Personnel Assistants or some other alternative would be advantageous to clients. HRAs
who are not located in client units should be issued with cellular phones to facilitate
efficient communication.
2) Colleagues in the HR Department. Concern was expressed to us that this interaction
was undervalued, and could lessen if HRAs were located in the client units. If there is
a change of location, great care must be taken to ensure that the HRAs continue to be
major contributors to the Department's mandate and that their reporting relationships
are well identified. The HR Department should recognize the importance ofthe role. In
our opinion, the current internal administrative arrangements may not always give
HRAs the leadership and support that they need.
RECOMMENDATION: That advisors report to and have access to a senior person in the
Department, if not the Associate Vice-President then a Director. We understand the
advisors may be incorporated into the Employee Relations group. If this is so, a
fundamental review should be undertaken by the HR Department relating to the
leadership issue and to our concern regarding having the HRAs' work weighted too much
towards employee relations issues. This is a point we raised earlier. We recommended
a separation, as far as possible, between problem solving and development roles on the
one hand and negotiation activities on the other.
3) Deans, Heads and Directors; Vice-Presidents. The importance of the role of HRAs
must be clear so that they have no difficulty of access when that is necessary. This is
especially so when the issues that are under consideration have relevance to the position
of faculty, to issues of equity and human rights, to organizational changes, or to matters
of legal import. Equally, much of what the HRAs will do will require that they deal with
the representatives of the various campus unions. For them to do this effectively, the
importance the University attaches to what they do needs to be clearly articulated.
RECOMMENDATION: That the importance of the Human Resource Advisor, as we
recommend it be constructed, be recognised and supported by the University adminis
tration and by the Unions.
Importance of the Position: The "Position Description" states: "Implications of
decisions or advice may be grievance or litigation with financial and legal consequences
for both the Department and the University. Delays in service may result in disruption
to client department operations and result in an unfavorable image of the Department
and the University. Communication of inaccurate information/advice, faulty analysis
resulting in (un)successful (sic) grievances could result in legal and/or financial liability,
restrictions on operations, damage to credibility and poor relations with unions and
We agree with this statement, and the importance ofthe position is further clarified if this
negative statement is stated in more positive terms. An advisor's job, done well, benefits
the University enormously. Good recruiting, timely and accurate advice, the avoidance
of disputes, their speedy and non-adversarial settlement when they do occur - all ensure
good employee relations and the avoidance of what can be lengthy, expensive and
acrimonious arbitration and legal proceedings.
RECOMMENDATION: That in any review ofthe position of HRAs by the HR Department
based on this Report, the qualifications, rank and remuneration of HRAs be set
appropriately, bearing in mind the expectations and responsibilities of the position.
Clients expect breadth and depth of knowledge across a range of HR issues; therefore,
recruitment standards must be set to attract those who have substantial experience in
the relevant areas. Client needs are not well served when this position is used primarily
to train new hires to be HRAs.
Part Three
Effectiveness and Accountability of HR
In this section of our report we provide our assessment ofthe effectiveness ofthe Department
as well as examine a number of specific issues that have a bearing on the current and future
successful operation ofthe Department. To begin this assessment, we cite the Department's
own statement in the report to our Committee.
In the early 1990's, "the Department was perceived as painfully reactive and as a creator
of barriers and [an] enforcer of policy. The transformation task was to turn the human
resource function from reactive to a proactive enabling role - while ensuring the full
integration and alignment of departmental and university goals - the ultimate goal being
the creation of an energized, integrated client-service function."—November 1995 Report
to the Review Committee ofthe Department of Human Resources (p. 17).
Feedback to this Committee from members of the university community supports the
view that under the leadership of Frank Eastham. Associate VP for Human Resources,
the Department had indeed moved toward a more positive, enabling role in the
University. While there are areas of dissatisfaction expressed by members of unions
which will be discussed and addressed later, many individuals interviewed characterized
the Associate VP and his staff as flexible and responsive to issues raised by units and
individuals and as being dedicated professionals. The Committee recognizes the vision,
energy and enthusiasm that Frank Eastham brings to HR matters at UBC and it
recognizes the dedication of the Department's staff. We applaud the direction now being
taken by the Department, recognize the amount of effort and talent involved in changing
the perception of many clients on campus and making the improvements in the delivery
of the Department. We encourage steps be taken to further improve the performance of
the Department.
There are a number of specific issues that need to be addressed in order to maintain the
positive momentum of the Department.
(1) Senior Level Succession Planning: Strategically, the Department and therefore the
University are at some risk because of the lack of depth in the management of the HR
Department. The Department's organizational structure does not enable other senior
staff members to acquire the necessary experience or visibility so that they could succeed
Frank Eastham. Several individuals expressed concerns about the long term leadership
of the HR Department. We share this concern.
RECOMMENDATION: That the HR Department institute a succession and development
plan which addresses the long term leadership issues and which trains current managers
to assume senior and strategic planning roles. This plan should also identify gaps in the
current staffing of senior management levels in the organization and should include steps
that will ensure efficient and effective operation of the Department during any extensive
absences at the senior level of the Department.
(2) Communication within the HR Department and with the UBC Community: To make
best use of individual expertise, intra departmental communication and trust must continue
to be fostered. Open discussion and understanding of the complex and varied problems
encountered and solved by HR staff are beneficial. Feedback from staff members suggests
that more attention should be given to finding ways to increase the flow of information among
HR members and between management and staff. The need for continuously improving
communication between the HR Department and both faculty and staff was stated in many
of our interviews. The current pace and diversity of work by HR managers and staff makes
it difficult to attend to the need for such communication within the Department and between
the Department and the University. Nevertheless, it is essential, inourview, that this process
receive considered and continual attention by the Department.
RECOMMENDATION: That the HR Department explore ways to encourage and ensure open
communication within the Department and between the Department and other units and
individuals on Campus. We recommend that the HR Department implement such initiatives
quickly. Specific recommendations which might be explored include:
(1) That weekly or bi-weekly meetings of the HR Department be held, or continue if already
in place, with a rotating Chair and focussed agendas.
(2) That HRAs and other members ofthe HR Department be kept informed of all changes
in University policy and structure which could affect their portfolios, so that outdated
or inaccurate information is not transmitted or acted on.
(3) That the client council meetings with HRAs and invited guests continue, be well
advertised, and that client input for topics for discussion be actively sought.
(1) That a monthly on-line HR Information Bulletin be created to communicate HR
changes and updates to the University Community. Input from all sections of HR
would be expected, as well as from the wider community. Preferably such information
should form part of a Human Resources homepage on the WWW.
(2) That the current phone system be upgraded with cell phones or some other
technology to put clients more quickly in direct contact with  HR professionals.
(3) That the results of arbitration and Step 3 grievances be communicated quickly to faculties
and departments, along with informed comment about the implication of such results for
future operations, and be made available in electronic format so that the experience gained
be understood and used so as to avoid recurrence ofthe problems. UBC Reports • October 17, 1996 9
(4) That reclassification cases now under review be processed expeditiously and not
delayed until the final implementation of JESP, and results of reclassifications be
communicated to respective individuals/units as soon as possible.
(5) That the results of various stages in the reclassification process be communicated to
individuals and units in a more timely fashion.
(6) That confirmation of details regarding a job offer (name, SIN. UBC ID, salary,
grade/level, starting date) be made available to the hiring unit in a timely
(3) Relationships With Unions: A long-term goals ofthe University is to be among the
best employers in North America. One of the mechanisms promoted by the HR
Department which is intended to move the University in this direction is "to build a
partnership with the unions". While some union commentary to this Committee
characterized relations with the University as improved in some areas, others perceive
that unions are ignored in the University's planning processes and they characterize the
HR Department's role as obstructionist on many matters.
It is the Committee's observation that at a fundamental level there are aims and
objectives of the University and the unions that are in dramatic opposition. The
University and the HR Department, through its efforts to serve the mandate of UBC, want
flexibility and efficiency in their strategic initiatives so as to deal with major changes in
the environment. The unions want consistency in the face of changes which put pressure
on jobs within the University.
RECOMMENDATION: That the HR Department, which has a role in serving the
University and its individual members, make a serious and systematic examination
of areas of agreement and successful partnering between the University and the
unions and areas where these are absent. Having identified these arenas, we
recommend that the Department develop jointly with the unions a broad array of
strategies which provide security in employment on the one hand and serve the
mission of the University which faces fiscal, technological and social change. The
current reliance on concepts and language such as "partnering" if promoted without
regard to fundamental disagreements in philosophy and aims between the administration and unions seems likely only to exacerbate negative feelings and distrust from
the latter groups.
It is the Committee's view that the HR Department can act, and in some areas is acting
to broker improved working conditions and relationships. However, more varied strategies that reflect differences are needed. We note also, that for the HR Department to
succeed in such endeavours requires a willingness on the part of union leadership to
engage in the process constructively. Our mandate is to comment and advise on HR
Department philosophy and practice and we do so knowing the difficult challenges
inherent in the process.
(4) Job Evaluation: The new point factor job evaluation system being developed by the
employee groups and the HR Department is intended to capture the attributes of various
aspects of work in a consistent manner. This project is an example of a joint agreement
with the unions and the employee associations that is intended to and should reduce
costs in the long run. Despite the growing pains associated with such a large undertaking
it is vital, in our opinion, to the University and to improving its management of human
RECOMMENDATION: That the new job evaluation system be completed without delay,
thereby providing a basis for making necessary changes.
(5) Information Systems and Transaction Processing: The University has an
urgent and continuing need for access to HR information. At present this is met by
a mix of departmental and central information systems. The Integrated Human
Resource Information Systems (IHRIS). although successful in some aspects does not
appear to provide an adequate centralized HR data base. Access is distributed to only
a few large departments. Input from our interviews suggest that problems with the
payroll system manifest themselves in payroll difficulties. This is a complex issue and
the root of the problem maybe elsewhere. IHRIS, however does not seem to be working
to its potential. For example, is it a payroll system or an integrated information system
for UBC?
RECOMMENDATION: That the HR Department and Financial Services and others
should clarify the mandate of IHRIS and establish how this mandate can be best
(6) Benefits: Based on information from our interviews, it would appear that it is difficult
to obtain information about the actual costs of benefits to the University. On an
individual level, employees do not appear to know who to contact or how to obtain
information about their individual packages. This assumption could be checked by the
HR Department.
1) That benefit costs be incorporated into financial, human resource and budget
2) That procedures which have been established and publicized, and which identify
clearly where and how employees can receive information about their benefit packages
and costs, should be reviewed for effectiveness.
3) That employees receive reports annually on their benefits and/or have on-line access
to their personalized benefit packages.
Part Four
Conclusions and Final Recommendation
Our report has focussed on the mandate, roles and responsibilities within the HR
Department as well as on the effectiveness of the HR generalist. We have also
examined and commented on the effectiveness and the accountability of the HR
Integration of HR Functions on Campus
We were asked to provide benchmarking information on the HR Department, making
comparisons with HR Departments in other organizations. As noted in the preamble,
the practice of Human Resources Management in an organization as large and
complex as UBC is highly context bound. There are no truly comparable organizations
or fully valid data for benchmarking purposes. We gathered information from six
Canadian universities (the universities of Alberta. Calgary, Manitoba, Toronto,
Saskatchewan and Western Ontario) on the way they approach integration of HR
functions and practices. By integration, we mean combining academic and non-
academic functions under one department or area. Categories ol practice where
integration might occur included Collective Bargaining, Record Keeping, Recruitment, Training and Development, Workplace Environment, Organizational Development and Conflict Management, and Pension and Benefits.
While these descriptions do not permit any inferences about best practices, some
comparisons are possible and are presented in the following table.
Table 1: Level of Integration of HR Functions
Collective Bargaining
Fully Integrated
Partlv Integrated
Not Integrated
Record Keeping
Training &
No data for Calgary
Conflict Management
Pension & Benefits
(No data for Calgary)
It becomes apparent on examining this table that there is variation across the six
universities with regard to the level of integration of HR functions as well as variation across
functions. Recruitment, for example, is decentralized to some degree, with the HR
Department playing a coordinative role. Record keeping, pension and benefits administration also tend to be primarily the responsibility of the HR Department.
There was most variation across the universities for the Collective Bargaining function.
This is not surprising, given differences in history and culture of employee relations at
different universities and in the larger Provincial contexts within which they operate.
Nevertheless, there was more integration of this function and its activities than we had
expected. The most common arrangement is for the HR Department to assume a
leadership role for negotiations involving staff other than academics. Even where
collective bargaining is fully integrated (Calgary, Manitoba, Toronto), there appears to
be different committees for academics and for non academics. In Calgary, the Vice-
President (Academic) is represented by one of the Deans on the Faculty Negotiating
Committee. At Manitoba and Toronto, the composition of bargaining teams changes for
each employee group or union. At the University of Toronto the VP (Human Resources)
serves as chief negotiator in both academic and non-academic negotiations.
Our Committee considered the issue of how integrated the UBC collective bargaining activities
should be and we put to several interviewees the question of whether UBC as an institution and
its members would be better served by fully integrating this function within the HR Department.
(The Department is currently responsible for coordinating collective bargaining of non-faculty
staff.) Responses were mixed and typically strongly held, for or against full integration. It is our
Committee's view that the issue of the degree and nature of integration of Employee Relations
within the HR Department should be the subject of a separate assessment undertaken in the
fairly near future. We do not have a position on which direction UBC should proceed; fuller
integration or the status quo for example. We do believe that the level of integration of HR
functions at UBC merits review in the near future.
Final Comments
Our overall conclusion ofthe HR Department, based on the evidence available to us, is that
it is doing a good job and is making strong efforts to improve the quality of service it provides
to its UBC clientele. The most notable achievement is the desire to be a responsive and
effective organization which is an integral part of the pursuit of the University's mission.
Frank Eastham (Associate Vice President, Human Resources) deserves credit for this
achievement as well as projecting a progressive image for the Department outside the
University. The Department has many highly dedicated staff members who are working very
hard under, in many cases, difficult conditions.
We have suggested ways to broaden its mandate. We encourage a sharing of the
recognition and practice of excellent human resource management by all units on
Campus. We have commented on ways in which the roles and responsibilities ofthe HR
Department can be expanded and sharpened. We have emphasized the importance of
training, information sharing, performance management and career development as
important roles and responsibilities for HR.
We have specifically examined the concept of "Generalists" and we recommend a change
in title to Human Resource Advisor. We recommend a hybrid model for HR Advisors that
takes into account a continuum that includes HRAs being fully responsible to specific
client units on one end of the range, and HR Specialists who are located within the HR
Department on the other end. We have also recommended that HR Advisors focus on the
training, counselling, problem solving aspects of HR and that employee relations issues
be dealt with primarily by the ER Specialists.
We have urged the HR Department to institute and manage a formal succession plan and
to change its organizational structure and practices so that several senior managers
have the ability to become conversant with the Department's operations so that
succession is ensured. We have recommended that the Department create and manage
procedures to ensure open communications within the Department and with other
units. We have encouraged the HR Department to explore systematically ways to
increase the possibilities for agreement and partnering between the University and the
Unions. We have identified areas for attention regarding Job Evaluation. Information
Systems, Records Management and Benefits.
We have found this review process to be instructive and to have been a valuable way to leam about
the practice of Human Resource Management at UBC. As we said at the outset. managing human
resources on this Campus is a complex undertaking. We hope that the communication of our
observations, insights and recommendations will prove helpful to the HR Department and to the
University community in general. We close this report with a final recommendation:
RECOMMENDATION: That review of the HR Department be established as a regular process
at UBC. This may take the form of internal reviews every three years and an external review within
a longer time frame. It may also include the establishment of an Advisory Board to the HR
Department which can provide ongoing advice and support to the Department.
It is the Committee's belief, that such steps would prove helpful to the Associate VP of Human
Resources and to the professionals within the HR Department as they continue to strive to
improve their service and the quality of the human experience on this Campus. 10 UBC Reports • October 17, 1996
walking through the forest after a spring rain
playing a round of golf on your local course
cantering along the trails on horseback
a game of racquetball or tennis on campus
picking blackberries for this evenings dessert
planting daffodils and crocus bulbs on your patio
upping your pulse rate on a mountain bike trail
on a Sunday afternoon
an afternoon matinee at the Varsity
meet friends at the beach for a sunset barbecue
lazy Sunday shopping on 10th avenue
curl up on the couch with a good book
Coming very soon ~ a special
collection of charming flats and courtyard
townhomes bordering Pacific Spirit Park on the
UBC Endowment Lands.
For Priority Registration call 681-4636
Another Community by the
Group of Companies
This is not an offering for sale. UBC Reports ■ October 17, 1996 11
The classified advertising rate is $15.75 for 35 words or less. Each additional word
is 50 cents. Rate includes GST. Ads must be submitted in writing 10 days before
publication date to the UBC Public Affairs Office, 310 - 6251 Cecil Green Park Road,
Vancouver B.C., V6T 1Z1, accompanied by payment in cash, cheque (made out to UBC
Reports) or internal requisition. Advertising enquiries: 822-3131.
The deadline for the October 31, 1996 issue of UBC Reports is noon, October 22.
perfect spot to reserve
accommodation for guest
lecturers or other university
members who visit throughout
the year. Close to UBC and other
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UBC. 4103 W. 10th Ave.,
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or fax (604)222-4104.
accom. inPt. Grey area. Minutesto
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and breakfast. Warm hospitality
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BREAKFAST. Close to UBC. Close
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Smoke-free environment, en suite
bathroom. Weekly rates
available. Call 734-2921.
Five suites available for
academic visitors to UBC only.
Guests dine with residents and
enjoy college life. Daily rate $50,
plus $13/day for meals Sun.-Thurs.
Call 822-8660 for more
information and availability.
BROWN'S      BY      UBC      B&B
Comfortable and relaxing
accom. close toUBC in quietarea.
Quality breakfasts, queen-sized
beds, private bath available.
Satisfaction is assured for your
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Reasonable rates. 222-8073.
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Hardwood throughout. Brand
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$2300/month plus utilities. Refs.
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suite in Point Grey house.
Spacious, modern. Private
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(604) 374-6215 collect.
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preferred). Jan. and Feb, maybe
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Mature professional N/S couple, N/
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house/low-rise required by retired
couple with clean, mature
Labrador. Guarantee no damage.
Jan/Feb to April/May/June /97.
Dates flexible. (604) 932-6478.
For Sale
"UBC LANDMARKS" - Buchanan
Bldg., Sedgewick Library, Main
Library, Museum of Anthropology
- set of 4 limited edition prints.
Artist: Calum lanSrigley. Framed.
Offers. 536-7930.
need independent assistance in
selecting the most appropriate
UBC Faculty pension or
retirement options call Don
Proteau, RFP or Doug Hodgins,
RFP at 687-7526 for more
information. Independent
financial advice for faculty
members since 1982.
offers in Vancouver a 1 wk (Nov.
13-17) eve/wkend intensive
course to certify you as a Teacher
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tube audio parts and repairs,
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turntables, miscellaneous for sale,
Ye Olde Tube Shoppe, 737-8065.
people interested in science or
nature are meeting through a
nationwide network. Contact us
for info: Science Connection,
P.O. Box 389, Port Dover, ON
N0A 1N0; e-mail
I Next ad
Tuesday, Oct. 22, noon
News Digest
Michael Lesk, who helped create the Unix computer operating
system, will deliver the 1996 UBC Library Lecture.
Focusing on the future of the digital library, Lesk, head of the
Computer Science Research Dept., Bellcore, Morristown, JM.J., will
discuss how to develop practical digital libraries, their economic
advantages and whether or not Net surfing will replace reading
He will also address issues concerning searching and navigating
the Net, the future of publishing and scholarly communication,
royalties, student access to education through digital communications and how universities can prepare to meet the challenges
presented by the Web.
Digital Libraries and their Future, or. Outsourcing the University: Threat or Boon? takes place on Thursday, Oct. 24at 12:30p.m.
in room 110 ofthe Henry Angus Building. For more information, call
822-3310. "•••••"
The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
(SSHRC) recently announced the post-doctoral and doctoral fellowships for 1996/97.
Of 419 doctoral fellowships across Canada, UBC awarded 41
In the post doctoral category, seven out of 100 fellowship holders
will pursue their studies at UBC.
This year the SSHRC will invest approximately $79 million in
basic and strategic research, graduate student training, and the
communication of research findings in the human sciences.
Political Science student Stanley Tromp and Science student Shirley
Chin are the winners ofthe first annual Use of Freedom Essay Contest.
Tromp, whose essay explored answers to philosophical questions
about the nature of freedom, took first prize. Chin's analysis of how
Canadians use their freedom garnered second prize.
All UBC third- and fourth-year undergraduate and graduate
students are eligible to enter the contest which awards a cash prize
to the winner. The 1997 submission deadline is May 30. For details
and application forms, write to M.C. Harrison, 1509-1450 Chestnut
Street. Vancouver, B.C. V6J 3K3. Applications are also available on
campus at St. Mark's College, 5939 Iona Drive.
Alan Donald, Ph.D.
Biostatistical Consultant
Medicine, dentistry, biosciences, aquaculture
101-5805 Balsam Street, Vancouver, V6M 4B9
264 -9918 donald@portal.ca
Please fax or send your application
letter, curriculum vitae and the
names and addresses of three
references before October 30 to:
Staff Relations
Chromos Molecular Systems Inc.
2020 - 1055 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC V6E 2E9 Canada
604.681.6985 Telephone
604.681.5648 Facsimile
http://www.chromos.com for information
on the company
Chromos Molecular Systems Inc. is an
innovative, international applied biosciences company whose business is the
commercial application of a unique proprietary mammalian artificial chromosome
technology for use in the fields of gene
therapy, transgenics, and cellular production systems. The company will open its
Vancouver laboratories in December and
invites applications for the following
• Vice President, Research and Development. M.D. or Ph.D., with experience in
the commercial sector.
• Chromosome Engineering. Research
scientists positions: Ph.D. in molecular
biology, experience with gene transfer
(targeting) in mammalian systems, including vector design.
• Technologists/Technicians. M.Sc. or
equivalent degree in biological sciences,
minimum 2 - 3 years working experience
in at least two of the following specialties:
recombinant DNA, PCR, DNA sequencing
methods, in situ hybridization methods,
mammalian cell and embryo culture
methods and immunological detection of
• Transgenics Program. Research scientist
positions; Ph.D. in molecular/cell biology,
experience with DNA transfer into mammalian cells, embryos and embryonic stem
cells, and microinjection techniques.
• Cell Sorting. Senior cell sorting specialist
position; Ph.D. or M.Sc. in biological
sciences, work experience with mammalian cell cultures and 3-5 years of experience in working with FACS Vantage. 12 UBC Reports • October 17, 1996
By M. Patricia Marchak
Patricia Marchak is former clean of Arts
and a professor in the Dept of Anthropology
and Sociology. Thefollowing is taken from
remarks made to the Vancouver Institute.
Universities are under fire everywhere
these days. They are accused of failing to
teach well, or of failing to teach the right
subjects, of being elitist or of being too
democratic. They are accused of being too
Western in orientation or of failing to respect the Western tradition. The technological revolution, demographic change,
and globalization are all having an impact
on universities, and everywhere they are
struggling with declining funds and many
expensive demands.
A technological revolution is underway
and it has the potential to provide high-
quality interactive computer education to
a mobile, multilingual, highly diverse global population, and to do this with minimal professorial support staff and low
space demands. This form of education
can be and already is being produced by
private companies.
In some fields, the traditional format of
lectures, seminars, labs and tutorials was
already outflanked by television three decades ago. Students could leam about lost
civilizations or the habits of field mice
without introductory university lectures.
Traditional undergraduate structures were
not immediately threatened because television stations could not give credits for
courses and viewers had no control over
viewing schedules. Now with both video
and interactive computer technologies,
where students control the timing and the
computer itself can provide the testing,
traditional classrooms are obsolete in fields
where close personal supervision or intense interaction are not essential.
Established universities and upstart private companies are now competing for a
market that is sure to expand. Institutions
based anywhere in the world can provide
degree programs on the World Wide Web or
by distance education in competition with
existing programs at local universities. As
more and more of what is called education
becomes a commodity in privatized global
markets, such competition will become ever
more fierce. Up-front costs are heavy. But
the saving will be on professorial faculty
numbers as programs displace them. Survival for faculty members will depend on
ability to do the research and development
for new programs, and there will be competition for contracts.
Credentials will follow the technological
possibilities. If students can learn a course
at home via computer and video technologies, the university need only devise testing methods. The assumption that learning requires so many credit hours of class
time is already passe.
A likely outcome of technological change
in any event is de-emphasis on the kinds
of credits, diplomas, and degrees of the
past. New situations tend to oblige us to
recreate accreditation systems, just as
occurred when the crafts system gave way
to industrial capitalism in other fields. In
fact the university is the last of the crafts
guilds to face change. With its student
apprentices, graduate student
joumeypersons, masters and doctors, its
organization could only survive as long as
the students needed the faculty.
Such sweeping changes as these will
not occur gently. Faculties everywhere are
organized, articulate, increasingly litigious,
and militantly opposed to downsizing of
either their salaries or their numbers.
Faculty members will argue that a major
part of the learning process is embedded in
the interactions between teachers and students in classroom and informal settings;
that education does not consist simply of
mastering grammar rules or the basic principles of economics. And they are right.
But the contest is not between the ideal
they describe and the computerized alternative. The ideal is already gone, buried in large
class sizes and stretched out teachers. Students are no longer a homogeneous group of
Whither or Wither?
Universities after a
young people just out of high school. They
are all ages, both sexes, often have families
and paid work, and they have very little time
to interact on the models of an earlier era. For
them, interaction with computers, supplemented by occasional discussions with faculty or meetings with other students, is a
means of acquiring an
education that would
be otherwise inaccessible. For the society, an
end result is achieved
at an affordable price,
though its quality may
be dubious.
The atmosphere of
the marketplace pervades the university today, and arguments on
behalf of quality education, the kind that is
supposed to inculcate
skepticism and encourage wisdom, are not
high on many business
agendas. No longer education for its own sake,
or the cultivation ofthe
mind, the search for truth, the love of perfection, sweetness and light. When education is
a commodity, those who can provide a competitive product for a demanding market will
survive; the others will go to the wall. There
is no measure of quality beyond the market.
As is so often the case, the problems of one
era grow out ofthe benefits of a previous one.
There is no doubt that democratization of
higher education over the past half-century
has been a great boon to both individuals
and society. The expansion of intellectual
skills has benefited everyone, but it brought
with it some unintended costs. One was that
as more people ob- g,,^^^^
tained bachelor degrees, the market
value of the degrees
declined. Then the
push was on to increase access to
graduate programs,
but again, the market value of degrees
diminished. Then as
chance had it, the economy ceased to grow at
its 1970s rate, and universities lost their
expansionary movement. By the mid-1990s,
there are large and numerous undergraduate and graduate programs, insufficient funds
to maintain them, and the academic job
market is shrinking. Because we allowed
growth to occur without imposing academic
criteria, we are unable to make decisions
about what to keep, what to cut. what
matters most and what matters less.
Decisions at this stage must take into
account the demographic changes of the
past few decades. The university for most
of its long history was a male preserve. The
democratization of the post-war period
included equal entry for female students.
By the mid-1990s three quarters of undergraduate students in arts and education
faculties, half in law. medicine and science
are women. In the humanities and social
sciences, half of master's students and a
third of PhD students are now women. The
trend clearly is toward continuing
feminization of universit ies and their numbers are increasing most rapidly in the
liberal arts. Though senior faculty are still
predominantly male, a third of faculty
recruited in the last half dozen years in the
"The ideal is already gone,
buried in large class sizes
and stretched out
-Prof. Patricia Marchak
humanities and social sciences are women,
consistent with their proportions in the
PhD recruitment pool.
Ethnic heterogeneity is more difficult to
measure, but certainly students at this
and other Canadian universities are increasingly  multicultural  populations.   I
doubt if there is one
dominant      ethnic-
group at UBC in the
A changing gender
ratio and ethnic heterogeneity of the student body have brought
about some changes in
what is called the canon
of the liberal arts. The
heterogeneous population now studying at
universities in Canada
may have a reasonable
complaint when it
comes to the curriculum's emphasis on the
Western scientific tradition, literature, philosophy, and social sciences. Only two decades ago, when asked
what is the function of a university, I and
many others would have included in our
response 'To transmit our cultural heritage
to another generation." Obviously the cultural heritage is much more complex now
than it was when Canadians were predominantly of European descent.
But while the discovery of women's
literature and translated versions of work
by writers outside the European tradition
has changed the curriculum, the questioning of what used to be the canon has
now become a more general questioning
^^^^^^^ about how great
works are identified, who chooses
them, and forwhat
The debate on
the canon rages in
the humanities
and has deeply
penetrated the so-
cial sciences. It
has had little perceptible effect on the
sciences where another tradition, realism
or Western rationalism, has long organized knowledge and the pursuit of it. This
tradition embeds two basic ideas of the
university. One is that truth exists independent of human perceptions of it. The
second is that in seeking truth, the personal characteristics of the seeker are
irrelevant. These two ideas gave the stamp
to the university as a unique institution.
Unlike religious institutions, the university did not seek knowledge through revelation, and was not dependent on guru-
like transmissions of insight. Empirical
science imposes strict demands on those
who seek truth. The rules of inquiry are
explicit and objective.
I personally take the view that reality
does exist beyond human perceptions,
thus for me. the seeking of a correspondence to tnith and the sober attempt to be
objective make sense. One who takes the
rationalist position however, cannot ignore the legacies of history in the European and also many other cultures. Sexism and racism appear to be universal
issues, and every contemporary society in
a globalized economy is struggling with
problems of gender inequities and ethnic
conflict. That universities have discriminated against women, aboriginal peoples,
and non-Europeans is undeniable though
the discrimination was systemic and rooted
in their larger cultures. That the curriculum reflected and no doubt still reflects
human prejudices is obvious. Certainly
our universities have to grapple with these
moral and intellectual issues.
In taking the position of the realist
rather than the idealist, I do not imply
disbelief in the reality of discrimination.
But for universities the question at the
base of all this is: is there a common
purpose in this institution, can we sustain
the Western rationalist tradition more particularly, and still ensure that all peoples,
both genders, and persons of numerous
philosophical and religious traditions, feel
comfortable in the university?
I actually think not. If the university is
maintained as a secular institution, then
many of its teachings will offend one group
or another.
So this debate over reality is not merely
academic. As a society we do have to decide
whether all versions of everything are equal,
whether anything is more true or more
important than any otherthings, and whether
there is an intellectual direction to our academic institutions. If we cannot make those
decisions and stick with them, then perhaps
it is time to replace expensive universities
with alternative institutions that cater to
selected populations or. as profit seekers call
them, niche markets.
A burgeoning literature decries the decline ofthe university on the grounds that the
curriculum has lost its bite, that what now
passes for an education in the humanities is
pablum, served cafeteria-style. Intellectual
rigour, academic standards, uncomfortable
demands for genuine learning have been
replaced, say the critics, by fear of offending
anyone, zero tolerance, and incapacity to
distinguish between — to quote Howard
Bloom—Chaucer and Batman comics. It is
not that the Western canon has been replaced by an equally demanding other cultural heritage, but that it has been replaced
by paralysis of the spirit. That is what is
causing the death ofthe university, according to these critics.
A measure of this paralysis might be
noted in contemporary mission statements.
Universities of the past had their latin
mottoes. But their governors felt no need
to enunciate mission statements. Over the
last decade, facing declining public funds
and increasing public demands, mission
statements have proliferated. The one at
UBC is typically superficial: "to be world
renowned." Another phrasing of it is, "to be
second to none." These vapid statements
epitomise the dilemma ofthe modern—or
perhaps post-modern—university.
Universities did once have a mission,
unstated because it was self-evident and
unambiguous. The mission was, as the
sciences continue to believe it is now, to
seek truth and to impart such truths as
were found to another generation.
Ixist missions imply a loss of identity, and
some writers argue that universities have,
indeed, lost their bearings. Whetherwe think
the changes are good or bad, there is little
doubt that universities are not what they
used to be nor are they likely to persist in a
recognizable form in the future.
Technology, globalization, and the pressures of the marketplace are all pushing
toward a dismantling ofthe large university.
In its place institutions will become established for niche markets, providing their
wares in various languages and training
their students for a global marketplace. Science, as long as it is useful, will continue to
receive funds either from private or public
sources, but even science faculties will have
to compete for students with private institutes and global invaders.
If alternative research and educational
institutions can perform many ofthe functions now undertaken in universities, and
do it at lower cost to the public purse, do
we still need these expensive institutions?


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