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 THE  UNIVERSITY  OF  BRITISH  COLUMBIA
VOLUME  52   I  NUMBER  6      JUNE   1,2006
UBC REPORTS
Martha Piper
Random Thoughts on a Retiring President
There is a small and exclusive group of UBC employees who are
so close to the outgoing president that they actually refer to her as
"Dr. Piper, " "President Piper" or, reverentially, "The President. "
These are the staffers who are most directly responsible for
representing Martha Piper, for protecting the honour of her office
and the order of her calendar. But even these people relent when
she enters the room: the boss will tolerate only one title: "Martha. "
Now, as "The President" readies to step down from that lofty
position after nine packed years, a group of friends and colleagues,
mentors and proteges offer a reminiscence. You '11 notice, in every
reference, that the President has become precisely what she always
wanted to be: "Just Martha. "
INTERVIEWS BY RICHARD LITTLEMORE
BRAD BENNETT
Chair, UBC Board of Governors
"I was on the OUC (Okanagan
University College) board when I
first met Martha. There was a
forum on regional innovation and
economic development issues and
(then-OUC president) Katie
Bindon asked me to attend in her
place. It was fortuitous for me,
given what was to unfold later.
"I was immediately impressed
and moved at Martha's grasp of
the challenges that lay ahead for
the university and for advanced
education in general. I was also
impressed at her ability to engage
any audience — whether students,
the external community or heads
of state, it's always the same
Martha. She talks directly and in
a way that people can understand.
" One of her charms is that she
never loses sight of the goal —
getting to where she wants to be,
for the university and for
advanced ed. (In establishing UBC
Okanagan) there are a lot of eyes
on what we are trying to do here.
We're trying to build an intimate
campus with unique programming
and research, but with all the
benefits, the clout and leverage
of UBC — with that name
recognition and branding. We
want the best and the brightest
faculty and a good complement
of graduate students. And it's
working. We are attracting
top-ranked faculty — people who
want to come to a smaller, more
intimate campus. That's one of the
areas where UBC as a whole gets
the benefit (from UBC
Okanagan).
"UBC was clearly on a good
trajectory that started in (then-
President David) Strangway's
time. Martha seized upon that and
took the university to heights that
have left a lot of people in awe.
She recognized that you can't
make it in the international
rankings without research and
she moved the (UBC) research
agenda to new heights.
"I think we will continue on
that trajectory — that we will
be the best internationally ranked
research university that we can
be."
JEFFREY SIMPSON
Globe and Mail Columnist
"Martha Piper was one of three
or four university presidents (with
Robert Lacroix from the
University of Montreal and Robert
Pritchard from the University of
Toronto) who, during the Chretien
and Martin governments were
very, very instrumental in helping
to shape policies that produced a
great benefit for post-secondary
research infrastructure and therefore a great benefit to the country's economic future. ... She made
it her business to develop a network in Ottawa and she was
amazingly successful.
"Martha always had a national
vision and a universal or global
context. She realized that UBC
could only go to the next level if
she set her sights above being a
good university in B.C. That took
her to Ottawa and outside the
country and it made her one of
maybe a dozen people who were
key movers in the Chretien era."
DON AVISON
Former Deputy Minister of
Advanced Education and Current
President of the University
Presidents Council
"I only took this job because
Martha Piper (Simon Fraser
University President) Jack Blaney
and (University of Northern B.C.
President) Chuck Jago had such a
clear vision of where they wanted
to see post-secondary education go
in this province.
"Theirs was a common
enterprise and they acted with a
unity of purpose and interests that
transcended anything we had seen
before. Under Martha's leadership,
there was an approach to partnership (in B.C. universities) that
would have been unthinkable 10
years ago." Avison specifically
identified the expansion of B.C.'s
medical schools to encompass
three universities with a single
degree. "That was truly
revolutionary."
"Martha has a sense of vision of
continued on page 3 REPORTS       |      JUNE
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Highlights of UBC Media Coverage in May 2006. compiled by basil waugh
UBC Students Decode Essence
of Cool
According to research by two
UBC graduate students, kindness
is the new cool.
More than a dozen North
American media outlets, including
the Seattle Post-Intelligencer,
United Press International,
CanWest News Service, Canadian
Press, Global National News,
National Post and the Globe and
Mail, reported findings by Ilan
Dar-Nimrod and Ian Hansen of
the UBC Dept. of Psychology that
suggest qualities such as friendliness, egalitarianism, fairness, honesty, passion, and even niceness
are considered cool according to
the prevailing tastes.
"Parents will be relieved to
know that the popular understanding of cool suggests a
Hallmark greeting card more than
a gangster orgy," said Hansen.
The study presented 800 people
with a list of 90 personality characteristics — such as wealthy,
friendly and good-looking — and
asked them to rate them on a
scale of one to seven. About 60
per cent of respondents in the
study said classically socially-
desirable traits were "cool," while
15 per cent said "cool" was mysterious, tough, aloof and dangerous.
"We went looking for Marlon
Brando and ended up with Gene
Kelly," said Dar-Nimrod.
According to the team's findings, some of the cooler celebrities
today would be actor Johnny
Depp, a family man with an attitude, and Bono, a rocker who
cares for his community.
HIV/AIDS Conference Targets
Needs of First Nations in North
America
According to Elizabeth Saewyc,
UBC School of Nursing Assoc.
Prof, and keynote speaker at
North American First Nations'
first national conference on
HIV/AIDS, more research is needed on how the disease is affecting
native communities, native treatment models, and the effectiveness
of HIV/AIDS medication on
native peoples.
Norman B. Keevil, former president and CEO of Vancouver-based Teck
Cominco Ltd. announcing a $7.5-million gift to UBC's Mining Engineering
program.
Saewyc's comments at the
Native Peoples of North America
HIV/AIDS conference were reported by Associated Press, Canadian
Press, Washington Post, the New
York Times, ABC, CBS, and the
CBC
"This is where native people
can and should take the lead,"
said Saewyc. " Our very survival
depends on developing strategies
and working together on HIV."
Participants of the May 2-6
conference included physicians,
nurses, pharmacists, researchers,
and Aboriginal leaders from over
600 First Nations communities
from more than 40 states, Canada
and New Zealand.
UBC-led Project Maps Farthest
Reaches ofthe Known Universe
A Canadian-led group of scientists
has created the biggest ever representation of the heavens — a map
that depicts a million galaxies, the
farthest ones five billion light
years from Earth, report the U.K.'s
New Scientist, CanWest News
Service, National Post, and the
Vancouver Sun.
The team, led by UBC astrophysicist Chris Blake, has charted
much of the known cosmos with
supercomputers and complex data
sets that yield a three-dimensional
positioning of the stars.
"It's not the sort of thing you
could print on a piece of paper —
but it's exactly the same idea,"
says Blake, the Killam
Postdoctoral Fellow in Astronomy
and Astrophysics at UBC. "We're
trying to show the parameters of
the universe, trying to measure
what's out there and our place in
it."
UBC Receives Gifts for Mining
Engineering and Student
Residence
National and B.C. media covered
two major donations to UBC —
one from one of Canada's largest
mining companies and the other
from a Hong Kong philanthropist.
The Canadian Press, the Globe
and Mail, the Vancouver Sun, and
the Vancouver Province reported
on the $7.5-million boost to UBC's
Mining Engineering program from
a group led by Vancouver-based
Teck Cominco Ltd. The gift will be
used to create the Norman B.
Keevil Institute of Mining
Engineering (named after the
company's former president and
CEO), recruit faculty, and increase
the number of students in the
program.
The Globe and Mail, Channel
M, Fairchild TV, and the
Vancouver Sun reported on the
$4-million gift by shipping and real
estate magnate Simon Lee to create
a student residence and cultural
centre. To be completed by 2008,
the Simon K.Y. Lee University of
Hong Kong-UBC House will house
100 students from the University
of Hong Kong and an equal number from UBC. □
UBC REPORTS
Director, Public Affairs
Scott Macrae scott.macrae@ubc.ca
Editor
Randy Schmidt randy.schmidt@ubc.ca
Design Director
Chris Dahl chris.dahl@ubc.ca
Designer
Sharmini Thiagarajah sharmini@exchange.ubc.ca
Principal Photography
Martin Dee martin.dee@ubc.ca
Contributors
Lorraine Chan lorraine.chan@ubc.ca
Brian Lin brian.lin@ubc.ca
Bud Mortenson bud.mortenson@ubc.ca
Hilary Thomson hilary.thomson@ubc.ca
Basil Waugh basil.waugh@ubc.ca
Advertising
Sarah Walker public.affairs@ubc.ca
NEXT ISSUE: JULY 6, 2006
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2 0 0 6      I      3
Martha Piper
continued from page 1
what might be possible and an
equal ability to articulate that
vision and get others to help make
it happen. She makes me think of
Aretha Franklin: She's got a great
voice and one she really knows
how to use. It's always impressive
— and sometimes it's truly
magical."
STEPHEN TOOPE
UBC President-designate
"I have known Martha well
because she sat on the board of
the (Pierre Elliott) Trudeau
Foundation (of which Dr. Toope
has been the president). She has
shown real leadership at the
national level in so many
programs.
"When I look at UBC, it's very
strong, which is in large part due
to Martha. I recognize that it
takes a whole team, but the
leadership has obviously been
there. I think she really has to be
celebrated, and I am honoured to
follow her."
PETER MEEKISON
Former University of Alberta
Vice President Academic and
Public Administrator during the
establishment of UBC Okanagan
When Martha Piper first
approached the U of A to
investigate an opening as Dean
of Rehabilitative Medicine,
Dr. Meekison was her first point
of contact:
"There was something there,"
Meekison says, "a quality. Of six
excellent candidates, she was the
winner, hands down."
"She was a natural fundraiser
and a born leader. And as Vice
President Research, she found an
ability to coin a phrase," with the
fundraising slogan 'Research
Makes Sense.'
"In talking about research, she
de-mystified it. She connects with
people and doesn't talk down to
them. She has tremendous interpersonal and communication
skills. She's inclusive, she's a nurture r, and she's always got time to
stop and write a birthday card or
a little note. That's what sets her
apart."
The Martha Piper Years
1997-2006
MAY
• UBC receives $4 million from Hong Kong philanthropist
Simon K. Y. Lee for Hong Kong University-UBC House,
UBC's fourth international student residence.
APRIL
• UBC research funding reaches $466.5 million, up from
$138 million in 1997/98.
• Trek program of student volunteers now has 1,000
participants, up from 30 students in inaugural year 1999.
• UBC fund-raising reaches $ 100 million annually, putting
UBC's endowment fund in the top three among Canadian
universities.
MARCH
• Prof. Carl E. Wieman, Nobel Laureate in Physics, and
United States Professor ofthe Year in 2004, joins UBC.
Wieman will be only the second Nobel laureate working
at a Canadian university.
FEBRUARY
• UBC creates North America's first Buddhism and
Contemporary Society program.
• Opening of I
laboratory.
10-million Aquatic Ecosystems Research
Incoming UBC President Stephen Toope celebrates Piper's achievements.
ARTHUR CARTY
National Science Advisor
"I have a great deal of respect for
Martha. She is a woman of great
integrity: she won't back off on
principle and she is unfailingly
enthusiastic and persuasive.
"In the 10 years between 1995
and 2005, Martha was one ofthe
most influential and charismatic
leaders in the Canadian academic
community. Her influence over
government and the university
community helped to reinvigorate
research in universities across the
country. Martha was instrumental
in advocating for the Canada
Research Chairs, for new funding
for the three granting councils
and for CFI (the Canada
Foundation for Innovation). That
accounts for $ 14 billion in
research funding, which had a
dramatic impact right across the
country. She was also influential
as a member of the Prime
Minister's Advisory Council on
Science and Technology.
"Universities had taken a beating in the early '90s and Martha
was able to impress upon the
government the need to reinvest.
"I know that Martha also
continued on page 4
SEPTEMBER
• Opening of UBC Okanagan in Kelowna.
• Opening of Fred Kaiser Building, an advanced facility
for Engineering teaching and research.
JUNE
• UBC is only Canadian university listed among top 15
in the University Patent Powerhouse survey, published
in The Scientist.
MAY
• Opening of the Asia Pacific Regional Office
in Hong Kong.
MARCH
• Launch of Trek 2010 vision, focused on themes
of global citizenship, civil society and sustainability.
FEBRUARY
• UBC receives $ 10 million, the largest gift to mental
health in Canada, to establish the UBC Institute
of Mental Health.
LETTER TO EDITOR
The following is a summary of a response to
a previous article. Complete text of this letter
is available at www.publicaffairs.ubc.ca/ubcre-
ports/2006/06jun01/letter, html
Piqued By Peak Oil
In a recent commentary in UBC Reports (A Peek
Past Peak Oil, April 6, 2006), Professor Hadi
Dowlatabadi stated that peaking of conventional
oil production (Peak Oil) will simply mark
another energy crossroads that will be characterized by a seamless transition to non-conventional
oil sources. In my view, this prediction can be
readily refuted by simple "back-of-the-envelope"
analyses, and more likely, we will be  facing a
substantial shortfall in oil supply within a decade.
The model developed by geologist, Dr. M. King
Hubbert of Hubbert's Peak fame, (who  correctly
forecast in 1956 peaking of US oil production in
1972), indicates  that global conventional oil
production will likely peak around 2008. With
continued demand growth of two per cent per
year, we could be facing a global shortfall of
some 22 million barrels per day by 2015.
The forecast increase in Alberta oil sands
production over the next decade is for an
additional 1.7 million barrels per day, a fraction
of the projected shortfall. Despite vast coal
reserves, coal-to-liquids production in China
is projected to grow to only 600 thousand
barrels per day by 2020. It appears that these
non-conventional sources might yield perhaps
3 million barrels per day by 2015, leaving us
short by some 19 million barrels  per day.
This leaves me with the unavoidable conclusion
that should total global oil supply peak
sometime between now and 2010,
non-conventional sources will  not be sufficient
to offset future decline let alone continue
to grow supply.   I am betting that
we will probably see $ 100 per barrel oil well
before 2015,   and could well see that price
at anytime given even modest geopolitical
disruption to supply.
Dr. Rob Millar
Associate Professor
Department of Civil Engineering
2004
NOVEMBER
• Opening ofthe Life Sciences Centre, a $134-million
interdisciplinary teaching and research facility.
OCTOBER
• Donation of $10 million from UBC alumnus Irving K.
Barber, founding chairman of Slocan Forest Products Ltd.
establishes The Irving K. Barber School of Arts and
Sciences at UBC Okanagan and a permanent endowment
of $ 15 million to support both initiatives.
SEPTEMBER
• Opening of the $30-million Michael Smith Laboratories,
named for the late UBC Nobel Laureate.
APRIL
• UBC hosts three Nobel Laureates — His Holiness
the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu
and Dr. Shirin Ebadi.
FEBRUARY
• UBC now ranked 35th among the world's 500 top
universities, according to a study cited in the Jan. 24
issue of the Economist.
continued on page 4 4     I
REPORTS       |      JUNE
The Martha Piper Years
1997-2006
continued from page 3
2003
SEPTEMBER
• UBC opens Tec de Monterrey House where up to 100
students from Mexico's Tec de Monterrey University will
reside. In October 2002, students from Korea University
moved into a new integrated residence with 100 UBC
students.
JULY
• UBC chosen as site of 2010 Olympics ice hockey venue.
JUNE
• Dr.William L. Sauder and Mrs. Marjorie-Anne Sauder give
$20 million to UBC's Faculty of Commerce and Business
Administration — the largest private donation ever made
to a Canadian business school — to create the Sauder
School of Business.
MAY
• For the first time, almost 200 UBC grads sign sustainability pledges to be socially and environmentally responsible.
APRIL
• Marco Marra's research team complete DNA sequence of
SARS virus — a world first.
2002
OCTOBER
• Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and HRH Prince Philip,
Duke of Edinburgh, visited UBC as part of the Royal
Jubilee celebrations.
• Irving K. Barber Learning Centre created at UBC thanks
to $20-million gift from Irving K. Barber that transforms
Main Library. It is the largest donation for a single capital
project that UBC has ever received. The provincial
government contributed an additional $ 10 million and
UBC matched these funds with a further $30-million
investment.
SEPTEMBER
• Campus wireless roll-out UBC now has largest and most
advanced wireless network on any campus in the world.
JULY
• The vision for a distinctive "university town" community
at UBC announced at first meeting of the new University
Neighbourhoods Association.
APRIL
• Research funding reaches $376.8 million, an increase of
48 per cent over previous year. Indirect costs of research
now included in university research funding from federal
government.
JANUARY
• UBC and its affiliated teaching hospitals received almost
$76 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation
(CFI), placing us first in the country
NOVEMBER
• Finning International donates land near downtown
Vancouver valued at $33.8 million to UBC, Simon Fraser
University, Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design and the
B.C. Institute of Technology to create a hub high-tech
learning and research hub.
• UBC opens new downtown Vancouver campus,
UBC at Robson Square.
JANUARY
• The Provincial Medical Education Plan developed, to
increase education opportunities throughout the province
for students in Faculty of Medicine, to ease doctor
shortage in rural and northern areas of the province.
Martha Piper
continued from page 3
worked to strengthen the relations between Town
and Gown, between UBC and its community and, as
a result, UBC has emerged not just as a powerhouse
of research excellence, but also as a driver of economic growth and innovation in Vancouver and in
the whole of B.C."
BRIAN SULLIVAN
Vice President Students
"Martha has been unwavering in her support of
the students' voice. She is also an inspiring person:
disciplined: attentive to detail: concerned for
relationships and obsessed with follow-through.
"And corny as it is, her favourite slogan — 'I am
UBC — really resonated. When the students came
up with that t-shirt (as part of an Imagine UBC
program early in her first term), it really caught her.
She recognized that it really defined the hopes and
dreams of student life. She saw how important it
was that students identify with UBC as a whole,
not just with a degree program or a team. It was a
compelling update of (the UBC motto) Tuum est —
it's up to you. 'I am UBC said 'I am this thing and
this thing is me' — 'I am this place and this place
lives in me.'
"Martha also recognized that there were two
groups on campus who were underappreciated:
student athletes and alumni. Her understanding
of the contribution that student athletes make was
terrific. And she recognized that a great university
has to pay attention to its alumni. She always
backstopped me in doing work with the Alumni
Association (including in the hiring of Associate
Vice President Alumni Marie Earl) and I think that
work will continue.
"(As a manager), Martha always managed to keep
the personal and the professional connected. She
never imagined that we could divide our lives: she
honoured and valued both the personal and
professional and I always knew that I could count
on her support, whether the issue was professional
or personal. I always felt valued as a person."
CLAIRE MORRIS
Association of Universities and Colleges of
Canada President
"In 1999, I was Deputy Minister of HRDC (Human
Resources and Development Canada). I had been
around government for 28 years and I thought I had
seen effective advocacy and lobbying. Then I met
Martha.
"Martha was the first university president to
make a trip to Ottawa with the (university's) whole
senior management team — to introduce the team
to Ottawa and to introduce Ottawa to the team. It
became an event that many universities would copy.
" I always found striking her vision for the role of
social sciences. Her Killam speech (in 2002) was
really the starting point for the transformation of
SSHRC (the Social Sciences and Humanities
Research Council).
"She also took a tremendous leadership role in the
AUCC. She chaired the standing advisory committee
from 2002 to 2005 and she was a huge advocate,
not just for UBC but for universities across the
country.
"She's going to leave a big hole in the whole
community."
MOURA QUAYLE
Deputy Minister of Advanced Education (and
former UBC Dean of Land and Food Systems)
"Martha was a role model for the Deans, especially
for certain leadership behaviours." The most obvious
of these, was "tenacity. Martha always showed that
you just don't run at something once. Ifyou don't
succeed, you step back, check your strategy, re-check
your vision and go at it again."
"Martha was also so good (on the national scene)
talking about universities, not just about UBC. It
was strategic — and she always took it to the next
level — because she knew that if you could improve
the conditions for all universities, then UBC would
thrive."
As a communicator, "Martha is not afraid to talk
about her family — how they shaped her — and her
experiences. It makes her very human."
EDWARD GOLDENBERG
(Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Jean Chretien)
Asked about the rumour that Dr. Piper had a hot
line to the Prime Minister's office, and that the line
led directly to Goldenberg, he said:
"That's true. I wanted to see her as much as I
could. Everyone did. She was extremely welcome.
Apart from having a very warm personality, she
always had good ideas. She was relentlessly positive,
interesting, thoughtful, future-oriented and she
would put things into a perspective that went
beyond the perspective of UBC. She was innovative
and would identify possible solutions."
Martha was so popular in Ottawa that "I joked
recently that it sometimes worked to her disadvantage. When she was lobbying for funding for indirect
costs (of research), she said she would keep coming
to see us until the costs were approved. We would
have given her the money much more quickly if she
had threatened to stop coming, instead.
"Martha also sometimes said, thank you, which is
very rare in Ottawa."
ROBERT BIRGENAU
University of California at Berkeley Chancellor
"When I took the position of President at the
University of Toronto in 1999, Martha was one of
the first people to call and congratulate me. And
when I took my first trip to Ottawa, I discovered
continued on page 5 IC      REPORTS      |      JUNE
2 0 0 6      I      5
Martha Piper
continued from page 4
that she was the single most prominent university
president in Canada. She set the standard for how
to do federal relations properly.
"Now, looking at it from outside the country,
there are three great universities in Canada, UBC,
U of T and McGill, and my own view is that UBC
is pushing very hard on Toronto and on McGill as
to which is the pre-eminent university in Canada."
In addition to the advocacy role that she played
nationally, a role in which she was "passionate and
unrelenting," "Martha was also very effective in
enhancing UBC's position internationally, especially
through the Association of Pacific Rim Universities
and Universitas 21 — connecting UBC to Asia and,
especially, to China."
"Martha also had an eye for developing new
talent within UBC. For example, I tried hard to
recruit (UBC's VP Research) Indira Samarasekera
to U of T, unfortunately without success."
BRETT FINLAY
UBC Peter Wall Distinguished Professor
"When I came to UBC in 1989, (UBC Nobel
Laureate) Michael Smith promised me a new
building. He had the model on his desk, and I know
that 30 seconds after he had met Martha, he had the
blueprints out." But 15 years passed before that
vision was to be realized.
"Martha's success at CFI (the Canada Foundation
for Innovation) radically changed this university. It's
a different place. We are now competitive on the
national scene. We're doing much better with
(winning grant money from) all the research councils and we have lots of new buildings, including
Michael Smith's dream — a beautiful new building
instead of the slums we were in before.
"Martha really created a buzz. She put this
university on the map, and I attribute that to her
philosophy that research drives a university. If the
research is good, the university will be good — and
the students will be proud.
"She has been a wonderful cheerleader for UBC.
Of all the Canadian university presidents, she is the
one most listened to (in Ottawa). She has the ear of
the three granting council leaders — when she talks,
they listen.
"She also surrounded herself with excellent people
— excellent VPs. (Vice President Research) Indira
Samarasekera transformed that department. I can
speak for researchers in general in saying that she
(Martha) really put research back up there.
"I remember when Martha first arrived and she
put on that 'Think About It' hat during one of her
first speeches. She raised some eyebrows. Some
people were asking, 'What kind of a president are
we getting, here?'
"In retrospect: a very effective one."
ALLAN TUPPER
UBC Associate Vice President Government
Relations
"Without exaggeration, Martha is the foremost
(governmental) advocate of her era. She has set
forth a broad set of arguments about what
universities are about and how they fit with the role
of government.
"Martha's global citizenship argument has been
particularly influential in (affecting) government
thinking, which will be a challenge not just to the
next president, but to all the universities and
colleges of the country — how do we continue to
move this agenda forward, to articulate the role that
continued on page 6
The Martha Piper Years
1997-2006
continued from page 4
2000
SEPTEMBER
• Opening of the Liu Institute for Global Issues.
• UBC celebrates 75 years at the Point Grey campus.
JULY
• UBC's Learning Exchange, a new resource centre for the
Downtown Eastside community, is home base for UBC
student volunteers and a place where the community can
learn about and access UBC's resources.
MAY
• UBC to establish 160 research chairs as part of new
Canada Research Chairs program that will establish 2000
research professorships in universities across the country
by 2008.
FEBRUARY
• Alumni Office Opens in Hong Kong.
SEPTEMBER
• Launch of Trek program with 30 student volunteers
serving schools, non-profit organizations, and community
centres in inner-city neighborhoods of Vancouver.
MARCH
• Leon and Thea Koerner University Centre opened,
replacing the Faculty Club.
NOVEMBER
• Trek 2000 developed and launched.
OCTOBER
• UBC alumnus and diamond explorer Stewart Blusson and
wife Marilyn provide unprecedented $50-million donation
for research.
SEPTEMBER
• UBC creates Humanities 101 — the first program
of its kind in Canada — to give residents of Vancouver's
Downtown Eastside an opportunity to study
humanities-related courses free of charge.
1997
NOVEMBER
• The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders
Meeting brings heads of 18 leading economies around the
Pacific Rim to campus. Protests concerning human rights
violations in some member countries leads to significant
anti-APEC demonstration at the meeting, which RCMP
control with controversial force. A RCMP Public
Complaints Commission inquiry followed.
SEPTEMBER
• More than 5,000 first-year students participated in
IMAGINE UBC, UBCs first-ever orientation for new
students.
AUGUST
• UBC and the Greater Vancouver Regional District develop
an Official Community Plan for the university area.
• Canada's newest School of Journalism, and Western
Canada's first graduate journalism program, opens with
classes starting Fall 1998.
JULY
• Martha Piper becomes UBC's 11th president. □ 6       |       UBC      REPORTS      |      JUNE      I,     2006
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Martha Piper
continued from page 5
the federal government can play in universities and
the role that universities can play in the international arena?"
DAN MUZYKA
Sauder School of Business Dean
"Martha is an inspirational leader. She came to
UBC at a time when faculties had been suffering
budget cuts for the last eight or 10 years. There was
a pulling back, year after year, that had torn not
only into the hardware of the university, but heavily
into the software, as well — into the people. It had
an impact on the mood of the organization.
"Martha came in at the tail end of that period
and she helped the university believe in itself again
— helped believe in its role in the greater
international learning community and in the society
of the future.
"She was very strong at three levels. Number one
was the emotional level: she helped the university
believe in its own power. Number two was in
resources: she was able to bring in funds through
various initiatives and programs, getting governments to understand the need for increased contributions to research and working with the provincial
government to get sufficient operational funding.
Number three was getting people to look at different programs in terms of their different requirements
— in directing resources.
"She will leave a stronger university. And the
investments in post-secondary education will also
result in a stronger society and a stronger economy.
"For Martha, UBC was a mission and a cause,
not just an institution where she happened to be
president. She believed!"
INDIRA SAMARASEKERA
University of Alberta President (and former UBC
Vice President Research)
"Martha Piper is the best university president that
Canada has had in a long time. Look around the
country and she stands out, not just at UBC but
nationally. (Martha has) a superb intellect: she's an
eternal optimist and she has a joie de vivre that I
find very attractive. She also has the capacity to
look beyond the horizon, to connect disparate
events and pieces of information into a coherent and
powerful case."
The two Trek strategic plans were evidence of
that clarity of thinking: "Trek 2000 was brilliant —
inspiring for many and a model for how you craft a
strategic vision for a university: think big, and then
deliver on the resources.
"I also feel very privileged and grateful for the
interest she took in me personally. I would not be
the president of U of A today without her."
HEATHER MUNRO-BLUM
McGill University Principal
"Martha is a superb person. From the very begin
ning, I have had great admiration and affection for
her — she inspires both in just about everyone she
meets.
Among Canada's foremost university presidents,
"she was a leader among leaders in a big team effort
to create a national innovation agenda. She listens
hard, she learns well, she has a real ability to cut
through to the core of the matter and she is a compelling champion. And there has never been a university president from west of Ontario who had a
more dominant influence in Ottawa."
WALTER SUDMANT
Planning and Institutional Research Director
"Martha Piper has shifted the ground on the
function of a university, not just for UBC but for
all universities across the country. The university
mission is no longer about pursuing disciplines for
the sake of those disciplines. The university is now,
primarily, an agent for social change.
"The language of global citizenship — about civil
society — has become so common at UBC that we
have forgotten how radical it is. The link between
community service and learning has been out there
for a while, but UBC was the first university to put
it boldly into a strategic plan. It's very political, but
Martha has attracted people who were bold, who
were 'activist.'
Indira Samarasekera: Martha is the best university
president that Canada has had in a long time.
"Martha has never been afraid of controversy.
She has used negative results to her advantage." For
example, when UBC slipped in its Maclean s
magazine ranking, "Martha used it to raise the
consciousness of people on the state of
undergraduate education."
The President has also survived early criticisms
that she was not serious enough for the position:
"There are people who don't like unbridled enthusiasm, people who think that the president's speeches
should be quite dour and a little opaque. Martha (in
doing the opposite) has won a lot of cynics over.
"She has also been tremendously successful with
donors. You have to make donors feel that there is
stewardship, that they are putting their money in the
hands of people who know how to use it. At UBC
now, people have a sense now that if they leave
large chunks of money with the university, that's an
inspired choice."
SHIH CHOON FONG
President, National University of Singapore
"I would say that Martha's most significant legacy
will be her taking UBC from a top Canadian
university to a leading global university. With her
global outlook and network, she has been able to
ride the crest of an emerging Asia Pacific and seize
opportunities for UBC, British Columbia and
Canada. The active role that she has played in
university consortia like the Association of Pacific
Rim Universities (APRU) and Universitas 21 placed
UBC strategically on the global network of leading
universities. Martha has set UBC on the course
towards its vision of becoming one of the world's
best universities. I have no doubt that what Martha
put in place during her presidency will help UBC
realize this aspiration.
"People in UBC and Canada may not be aware of
how Martha has contributed to Singapore and to
the National University of Singapore (NUS). From
2000 to 2004, she served on the NUS Council ... the
only overseas university president to have served on
the NUS Council until then.
"Martha's commitment to nurturing global
citizenship will have enduring impact on education
and research at UBC. Under her leadership, UBC
has pursued internationalization strategies which
have leveraged Martha's knowledge and familiarity
with Asia, as well as her openness to seize
opportunities in the Asia Pacific. As a result, UBC
has strengthened overseas links, nurtured global
perspectives among students, and advanced global
scholarship and research.
"In the nine years that Martha has been at the
helm of UBC, she has been a visionary leader. Her
Trek 2000 initiative, which articulated lucidly the
university's mission and strategic plan for the
opening decade ofthe 21st century, was an
impressive effort that NUS is also learning from.
We have much to learn from Martha's success in
building up excellent support and a sense of
ownership among stakeholders, both on and
off the UBC campus and including those in Asia."
DENNIS PAVLICH
Vice President External and Legal Affairs
"Martha Piper inherited a university that was in
crisis. She turned it around and I think you could
say that it has enjoyed a golden era. (For example),
she inherited APEC (the controversial Asia Pacific
continued on page 7 UBC     REPORTS      |     JUNE     I,     2 O O 6      |      7
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David Strangway: She had the opportunity to really make things happen — and she did.
Martha Piper
continued from page 6
Economic Cooperation meeting
on UBC property), which was not
of her choosing. She inherited the
frustration of students at the
inadequacies of our infrastructure
— the dirty toilets and the
dilapidated buildings. And she
consistently put in place programs
for the renovation of those facilities and the erection of new ones.
"Martha also moved University
Town to a new level. She removed
the old method of announce and
defend: the process has been way
more consultative and community
led.
"Martha is congenitally
congenial. She likes input and
discussion and she thrives on
getting the best advice. (As a
result), she was very strategic
about getting the most out of the
Board (of Governors). Rather
than try to manage or avoid the
Board — rather than worrying
about 'how are we going to get
this through the board,' she was
always more concerned with how
we could get the Board to help us
— with who on the Board has the
knowledge and the expertise we
need. We had great debates from
which the executive and the
university benefited enormously.
"On a personal level, she was
incredibly supportive. I could take
problems or issues to her and she
was uncanny in terms of her
ability to find the right solution."
MARGO FRYER
Director, UBC Learning
Exchange
"It is totally amazing that UBC
made a commitment to the
Downtown Eastside and sustained
it over time, especially in the face
of skepticism and resistance.
" Lots of people were adamantly
opposed to (UBC starting) the
Learning Exchange because they
had been burned in the past when
other organizations made big
announcements but didn't follow
through. They assumed the
commitment was not authentic.
"But when we went to meet
out community partners right at
the beginning, Martha was right
in there — she totally understood
the issues that people were facing.
It was obvious that she had a
very strong personal commitment
to the idea that the university
had a role to play in dealing with
those issues. That really impressed
me."
In developing the Learning
Exchange from a volunteer project
for 30 students in 1999 to a
burgeoning community service
— and community service learning
— opportunity involving nearly
1,000 students, "there has never
been a time when I have not felt
completely confident on the
support of the president. That's a
pretty amazing statement to make
about a leader in an organization
over a nine-year period."
DAVID STRANGWAY
Former UBC President
"It's difficult for the old guy to
say, 'She really took UBC to great
places,' but she did. I had an
opportunity (during my tenure) to
set some things in motion, but she
had the opportunity to really
make things happen —  and she
did."
Dr. Strangway, who having left
UBC became president of the
Canada Foundation for
Innovation, praised Dr. Piper for
UBC's success in attracting
research funding, but said he was
particularly pleased with the
profit-making market housing
developments — which he began
and which have continued on
and around campus.
"This will build an enormous
endowment for UBC. In the next
10 to 15 years, this is going to
be a massive shot in the arm. It
will help make UBC much more
independent." □
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Multicultural ensemble, Jou Tou
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Email: pi ograms@moa.ubc.ca
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