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UBC Reports Dec 7, 2006

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VOLUME   52   I   NUMBER   12   I   DECEMBER   7,   200
Christmas Clerks Beware:
Flattery Ploy Won't Work
"You look great in thatjacket!"
"Fuchsia is really your colour."
"I bought that exact pair of
shoes myself."
Sales pitches like these will be
flying fast and furious as retailers
ramp up for the year's busiest
shopping season.
However, these ploys do
little to clinch a sale and may
confirm shoppers' negative
views of the sales game, says
Assoc. Prof. Darren Dahl, who
teaches marketing and consumer
behaviour at UBC's Sauder
School of Business.
"Consumers today are
enormously wary of marketing
tactics and have an automatic
mistrust of flattery from a
salesperson," says Dahl.
He says according to a 2003
Ipsos-Reid survey, only 10 per
cent of consumers expressed any
degree of trust in sales agents. In
comparison, national politicians
came in at nine per cent, while
Assoc. Prof. Darren Dahl turns a keen eye on marketplace behaviour and consumer patterns.
reporters earned 27 per cent,
lawyers 29 per cent and auto
mechanics 33 per cent.
Dahl recently published
Deliberative and Automatic
Bases of Suspicion: Empirical
Evidence of the Sinister
Attribution Error in the Journal
of Consumer Psychology. His
study looks at the reaction of
consumers to flattery from store
clerks. Along with co-authors
Kelley Main at York University
and Peter Darke at Florida
State University, Dahl explores
whether consumers decide a
salesperson is untrustworthy
continued on page 3
Campus Station an Incubator of Ideas, Talent
A campus radio station that has
launched some of the brightest
talents in independent music is
ready to rock an iPod near you.
For 25 years, the University
of British Columbia's student-
run CiTR 101.9 FM has
nurtured local passions for
music and radio - and in the
process, helped to launch some
of the biggest names in the
Canadian independent music
scene, including alt-country
crooner Neko Case, MuchMusic
"guerilla" interviewer Nardwuar
The Human Serviette and CBC
Radio 3 personality Grant
With the introduction of a
new podcasting service, CiTR
on Demand, music fans can now
fill their portable MP3 players
with CiTR's eclectic mix of
music, talk, sports and news,
including such shows as Cute
Band Alert (pop/rock), These are
the Breaks (hip hop), Live from
Thunderbird Hell (live bands),
Juicebox (sex/relationships),
Democracy Now (news), Queer
FM (talk) and Let's Get Baked
CiTR 101.9 FM's Nardwuar the Human Serviette (left) and Alison Benjamin (right) are ready to rock MP3
players around the globe with a new podcasting service.
The station's expansion into
podcasting comes at a time
when digital technology has
given music fans unprecedented
control over how and when
they consume music, says CiTR
president Alison Benjamin.
"Up until recently, radio and
record companies controlled
access to music," says Benjamin,
a fourth-year student in the
Faculty of Arts. "But the
digitization of music has really
given that power back to
individuals. More and more,
people are finding their music
online and listening to it when
and where it is convenient for
"We want to give UBC
students and others better access
to CiTR, and podcasting does
that," adds Benjamin, 22. "Now
no one needs to miss class to
catch to their favourite show
- they can simply go to our
website and subscribe to the
CiTR's podcasts join a series
of initiatives that have made
the station synonymous with
independent music and art in
Vancouver, including the award-
winning Discorder magazine,
for which music fans with a
literary bent can write reviews
and interview bands. (The CBC's
Grant Lawrence is a former
Discorder feature writer). The
station also promotes concerts
by local and traveling artists,
and has presented gigs by The
Ramones, Nirvana, Public
Enemy, DOA and Iggy Pop.
continued on page 3 2 |  UBC REPORTS  |  DECEMBER 7, 2006
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Highlights of UBC Media Coverage in November 2006. compiled by basil waugh
Just Thinking About Money Can Turn the
Mind Stingy
Scores of international media, including the New
York Times, ran an Associated Press report on
UBC research that found that merely showing
money to people can change their behaviour.
In a series of experiments, Miranda Good, a
graduate student in marketing at UBC and coauthor of a study published in the journal Science,
found that subconscious reminders of money
prompted people to become more independent
in their work, and less likely to seek help from
others or to provide it. They became reluctant
to volunteer their time and stingy when asked to
donate to a worthy cause.
O.J. Outrage
UBC Psychology Prof. Don Dutton appeared in
interviews on CNN and CNN Headline News
about public outrage over O.J. Simpson's now-
cancelled book and TV special, which explore how
- hypothetically - Simpson would have committed
the 1994 slayings of his wife Nicole and waiter
Ron Goldman.
Dutton has served as an expert witness in
criminal trials involving family violence, including
Simpson's pre-trial, where he testified for the
prosecution, and the subsequent civil trial, where
Dutton acted as a consultant.
Still Time to Donate!
As the 2006 UBC United Way
Campaign draws to a close this
month, donors and volunteers
are continuing their support for
this expression of Trek 20i0's
commitment to global citizenship and
building a sustainable and civil society.
"With over $318,000 raised, we UfllbGd
have achieved 83 per cent of our
fundraising goal to support social programs and
services," says Andrew Parr, Director of Food
Services and UBC Vancouver campaign chair.
"With the support of staff, faculty and students,
we are optimistic that we will reach or exceed
our target. We also hope to increase campus
participation by 100 new donors."
UBC Okanagan's campaign, chaired by Terry
Flannigan, has raised more than 90 per cent of its
$30,000 goal.
With 54 presentations under his belt, Loaned
Representative Andy Carr, UBC Plant Operations,
"Simpson's not doing it out of guilt because he
was quite capable at rationalizing - from cheating
at golf to up to a double homicide," said Dutton.
"I think he's much more likely doing it because of
his narcissistic personality, a sense of entitlement
and his desire to be in the limelight - having a
little bit of money on the side probably doesn't
hurt either."
Teens Online up to 8 Hours a Day
Media across Canada, including the Globe and
Mail, the National Post and City TV reported on
studies on teen Internet use by Jennifer Shapka,
UBC Professor of Educational and Counselling
Psychology and Special Education.
In the first study in Canada to directly monitor
the online activities of young teens, Shapka
found that some spend up to eight hours per day
online. She will be tracking 500 young people in
400 households through 2009 to determine how
Internet use affects cognitive development, social
skills and obesity rates.
Shapka wants to study whether the Internet
helps or hinders children's social development,
and if children who spend a lot of time online
are lonely, depressed or shy. She will also explore
whether children who use online instant messaging
are safer than those who visit social-networking
sites. 13
has been busy spreading awareness
about United Way and its many
connections to UBC.
"For more than 75 years United
Way have been shepherds in our
community, working to identify its
social needs and helping to address
them through fundraising and other
initiatives," says Carr. "Eighty-nine
cents of every dollar raised goes directly to
programs in over 400 local agencies."
Donation pledge forms will be accepted until
the end of the tax year, Dec. 31, but only those
received before Dec. 13 will be eligible for the
grand prize draw of two Air Canada tickets to
anywhere in North America, plus other great
For more information on the campaign, visit
www.unitedway.ubc.ca or call Kate Petrusa at
604.822.8929 (UBC Vancouver) or Elizabeth
Kershaw at 250.807.8436 (UBC Okanagan).
Director, Public Affairs
Scott Macrae scott.macrae@ubc.ca
Randy Schmidt randy.schmidt@ubc.ca
Design Director
Chris Dahl chris.dahl@ubc.ca
Ann Goncalves ann.goncalves@ubc.ca
Principal Photography
Martin Dee martin.dee@ubc.ca
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
Sarah Walker public.affairs@ubc.ca
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CiTR continued from page 1
Another major community
initiative is SHiNDiG, CiTR's
13-week annual battle-of-the-
bands competition, in which
hundreds of Vancouver bands
- including former winner Maow
(featuring Neko Case on drums),
The Organ, Three Inches of
Blood and The Nasty On - have
vied for recording, mastering
and promotion prizes during the
contest's 20-year history. Twenty-
seven bands duked it out this
year, with the winner crowned
Dec. 5 at the Railway Club. (The
winner had not been announced
by the time of UBC Report's
print deadlines.)
In addition to receiving a
portion of funding from UBC's
Alma Mater Society's $4
student levy, CiTR operates on
annual membership fees ($20
for students, $35 for others),
which give members access to
production and programming
training, and CiTR's two
massive libraries of more than
40,000 CDs and records, which
are topped up weekly with
shipments from record labels and
artists from around the world.
However, to upgrade and
maintain equipment used by
over 300 volunteers members -
including 100 programmers - the
station has introduced several so
called "fun-draising" initiatives:
its first on-air funding drive,
which raised over $10,000
between Nov. 10-24, and the
introduction of a Friends of CiTR
card ($5 for members, $15 for
others) gets holders discounts
at 20 local restaurants, clothing
stores and music and book shops.
The community response to
these two initiatives has been
overwhelming, says Benjamin.
"Although fundraising is
standard in our sector, we really
didn't know what to expect
because this was our first time,"
she says. "We realize now that
a lot of individuals and small
merchants have been waiting for
opportunities like these to thank
the station for its support of the
local music scene for all these
CiTR supports student
events with public service
announcements and in-depth
news and sports coverage, but
Benjamin says the station is
working to take advantage of
its position as a campus radio
station. Some recent successes
UB C's student-run radio station has launched some of the biggest names in Canada's in.
including MuchMusic "guerilla interviewer" Nardwuar the Human Serviette (left).
music scene,
include a new free legal advice
show by UBC's student Pro Bono
Law Society; the student science
show My Science Project; and
last year, a partnership with
UBC's First Nations House of
Learning, in which a group of
20 Aboriginal students learned
production skills and created
a radio project on media
representation of indigenous
"CiTR is a great complement
to student life," says Benjamin.
"It's full of cool, intrepid
journalist-types, great volunteers
with big personalities, who are
passionate about cutting-edge
alternative and under-represented
music and ideas. We are not all
music snobs like Jack Black's
character in High Fidelity," she
says. "Okay, some of us are."
Benjamin says student
involvement is the key to CiTR's
unique sound and its success at
launching careers in music and
media. "Young minds - excited
by new music and ideas, willing
to try new things - make for
great radio," she says. "With new
students joining CiTR every year
and setting its direction, it keeps
the station fresh."
In honour of its 25th year
on the FM dial, in June 2007
CiTR will host the National
Campus and Community
Radio Association conference,
an annual national gathering
of more than 40 community-
oriented radio broadcasters.
For more information on
CiTR, and to subscribe to
podcasts, visit www.citr.ca. 13
Serviette, Please
researched interviews of celebrities,
success that has come to me is
the press pass that got me the
founders of Mint Records, home
including Canadian politicians
100 per cent thanks to CiTR," says
interviews, and exposed me to all
ofjuno-winning artists The New
One person who has seen CiTR's
Jean Chretien, Paul Martin and
Nardwuar, who also fronts his
these great bands 1 would have
Pornographers; former prime
impact on Vancouver's music scene
Jack Layton, former Soviet Union
band The Evaporators, as well as
never known about otherwise."
ministerjohn Turner; the late
is MuchMusic's Nardwuar the
leader Mikhail Gorbachev, and
presenting local all-ages concerts,
Other former CiTR/UBC Radio
historian Pierre Berton; B.C.
Human Serviette, whose variety
pop culture stars Kurt Cobain,
and running Nardwuar Records,
Society members include: Terry
Entertainment Hall-of-Famer
show has been running on UBC's
Courtney Love, Snoop Doggy
which releases music and special
McBride, former CiTR DJ and
Dave McCormick; CTV's Chris
campus radio station every Friday
Dogg, Destiny's Child, Marilyn
projects like his 2007 Punk Rock
founder of Nettwerk Records,
Olsen; The Vancouver Province's
since 1987.
Manson, and Michael Moore.
home of Sarah McLachlan, Avril
Tom Harrison; and CBC radio
Nardwuar, a UBC alumnus, is
"CiTR is the best radio station
"CiTR taught me how to put
Lavigne, and Barenaked Ladies;
personalities Wilson Wong,
best known for his energetic, hyper-
in the world - and any so-called
together a radio show, gave me
Bill Baker and Randy Iwata,
Lauren Burrows, and Sarah Effron.
FLATTERY continued from page 1
through a deliberate or
automatic decision-making
To gather data, the researchers
ran three experiments that
involved consumers buying
sunglasses at a sales kiosk in
UBC's Student Union Building.
The 102 study participants were
all university students: 37 males
and 65 females.
In the first experiment, sales
clerks flattered consumers
before their purchase. During
the second, sales clerks flattered
consumers after their purchase.
In both instances, they used three
statements, "That's a great pair
of sunglasses. I think they look
good on you. They really suit
you." With the third experiment
- which acted as a control - sales
clerks chatted with consumers
but didn't proffer any flattery.
After buying a pair of
sunglasses, participants then
completed a questionnaire that
asked whether they received
any flattery from the sales clerk,
when the flattery occurred and
how trustworthy they found the
"Our findings show that
even when it was obvious the
compliment didn't serve any
underlying sales motive, the
participants didn't trust what
the sales agent had to say," says
"In a way it's sad that the
marketplace has become so
suspicious," adds Dahl, "but it
seems that when someone flatters
us, we get our back up even if it's
not called for. It's the consumers'
default position to react
negatively to what is perceived as
an attempt to manipulate them."
However, it doesn't mean
that businesses can't be nice
to customers - they have to
really mean it, and be more
continued on page 4
Are you a Market Maven or a Bargain Hunter?
Before setting off to the mall with their Christmas shopping list, people may want to pay attention to what
psychologists term "heuristic" behaviour.
"Heuristics are the simple rules of thumb that we use to make shopping or other tasks easier," says
SauderSchool of Business Prof. Darren Dahl. "It's the path of least resistance."
Businesses tailor their storefronts, products and marketing campaigns to tap these entrenched shopping
patterns. What are they?
Dahl says a common heuristic for many shoppers is the price. "If it's expensive, we believe it's good
quality, which may or may not be true."
And obviously, the power ofthe brand plays a huge part. "We choose what's representative ofthe
prototype," says Dahl. "We want something that's recognizable, a name we can trust."
Or there's the heuristic of guilt. The shoe store clerk trots back and forth, bringing you pair after pair.
Aftertrying on about 40 different styles and sizes, you end up not buying a single pair and leave feeling quite
"Why?" asks Dahl. "After all, that's what the clerk is there to do."
But often shoppers do feel guilty because ofthe "reciprocity norm," explains Dahl. "When someone does
something for us, we feel a need to reciprocate - in this case by buying those shoes."
"Market mavens" are people who religiously clip coupons. "It doesn't make sense really when you think of
how much effort it takes to clip the coupons, organize them and make sure you take them to the store. But
coupons appeal to consumers who love the thrill ofthe hunt."
In a similar category are bargain hunters who'll drive across town if it means savings. "It's irrational the
lengths some people will go to: they'll burn $2 to $3 gasoline just to save 50 cents."
Jurassic Relic Offers Clues
to Climate Change Survival
Learning secrets of conifer evolution could benefit forestry in a time of global warming
A long-lost tree species will
soon begin to tell its 200-
million-year-old story at UBC
Okanagan, where Prof. Susan
Murch, Canada Research Chair
in Natural Products Chemistry,
is nurturing a grove of baby
Wollemi pines (Wollemi nobilis)
in her office.
"In ancient times, the Wollemi
was found across Australia,"
says Murch. "But in modern
times, the Wollemi occupies only
one tiny habitat in the wild."
The Wollemi dates back to
the Jurassic era - outlasting
dinosaurs, enduring 17 ice ages,
long droughts and other climate
catastrophes. The Wollemi are
conifers with unique bubbly
"popcorn" bark and tall,
multiple trunks. Their distinctive
swooping branches make the
mature trees look a bit like
chimney brushes, densely packed
with attractive, unusual dark
green foliage that's flat-bladed,
not needle-like.
An Australian park naturalist
discovered a single mature
Susan Murch is nurturing 50 small Wollemi pines in her UBC Okanagan office, where research is underway to
discover this extremely rare conifer's chemical and evolutionary secrets.
"No one could possibly have
foreseen this opportunity. I
thought I might get one plant
and with that I'd be able to
beginning to put the small plants
through several experiments to
measure growth rates, reactions
to environmental stress such
dioxide (C02).
"C02 levels today may
actually be too low for the
Wollemi to thrive," says Murch.
have evolved. Today's ponderosa
or lodgepole pines might drop a
few needles now and then, but
that's highly evolved behaviour
compared to the much more
ancient Wollemi - instead of
dropping needles, they drop
entire branches.
"You could get hurt walking
under these trees," she says,
noting that the Monkey Puzzle
tree closely related to the
Wollemi has indeed hurt people
with falling boughs.
Murch is actively campaigning
for greenhouse facilities at UBC
Okanagan, explaining that
greenhouse space would benefit
her research with plants that
might have medicinal uses, and
also the research of colleagues
investigating chemical cross-talk
between the roots of trees and
beneficial microbes that help
plants grow.
These areas of research can
have far-reaching impacts on
timber and food production,
she says, pointing out that the
B.C. economy continues to lean
heavily on the success of our
conifer forests.
CO2 levels today may actually be too low for the Wollemi to thrive," says Murch. "It's a fascinating idea.
In understanding the chemistry of that, we can learn a lot about how to help other species survive."
Wollemi in the Blue Mountains
200 km northwest of Sydney
in 1994. A grove of mature
trees was later found nearby
in a rocky canyon. Since then,
botanists at Wollemi Pine
International - an organization
determined to conserve the
Wollemi for future generations
- have been attempting to
propagate plants from the
remaining trees.
"Most of the seeds do not
germinate but the Australian
team has successfully produced
Wollemi for the horticultural
industry through rooted
cuttings," says Murch. "We
know very little about the
Wollemi growth, development or
reproduction. There's so much
we can learn here."
Earlier this year, a selection
of the first-release Wollemi was
offered for sale through the
auction house Sotheby's. Nearly
300 trees were sold, raising more
than $1 million. Intrigued by the
opportunity to study the species,
Murch asked for a tree "if there
were any leftovers." She received
50 small Wollemi.
do something little. But with
this many plants I can actually
do science. It's an amazing
opportunity," says Murch.
Though they're mere seedlings
right now, in their natural
Australian habitat they can grow
up to 40 metres (131 feet) tall.
She is investigating the chemistry
of this unique species, looking
for clues to help understand
why so few Wollemi survived
into modern times, how the
Wollemi adapted to changing
environments, and how it may be
related to more modern conifers.
For a brief moment after
its discovery, the Wollemi's
distinctive flat needles were
mistaken for fern fronds. But
botanists now classify the
unusual growth pattern as
a "modified Cook model,"
says Christina Salvadore, a
recent graduate from Stanford
University visiting Murch's labs
at UBC Okanagan to work on
the Wollemis. It's another clue
to the mystery of where the
Wollemi fits into pine evolution.
With Murch, Salvadore and
fellow grad student Ian Cole are
as hot and cold temperatures,
and they're already looking at
the chemical compounds in the
pine's tissues. Eventually, they'll
be able to compare the Wollemi's
chemical profile with related
"Rare species are particularly
interesting as they provide a
snapshot into the chemistry
that must occur for a species
to survive as climates change,"
Murch says.
"Most people have heard
of climate change and global
warming and the effects of
greenhouse gasses. One of
the things that interests me is
human adaptation versus plant
adaptation. With the Wollemi,
here is a species that has adapted
very well even through changing
The Wollemi might be a
survivor, but one of the mysteries
locked in its past is why it has
been reduced to a few dozen
wild trees. Murch says Earth's
atmosphere may hold the key.
The Wollemi dates back to a
time when the atmosphere had
much higher levels of carbon
"It's a fascinating idea. In
understanding the chemistry of
that, we can learn a lot about
how to help other species
Old genes are valuable in
other ways, too. They can show
us the paths along which species
"These Wollemi are conifers
and most of British Columbia
relies on conifer trees for
economic benefit," she says. "The
Wollemi can teach us about how
conifers evolved. We will learn a
lot from a better understanding
of ancient but related species." 13
A Gift for the Person Who has Everything
Looking for an extraordinarily rare gift for someone on your holiday
shopping list? Considerthe Wollemi pine. Adult population in the
wild: fewer than 100.
A new program by Wollemi Pine International and the National
Geographic Society hopes to place propagated Wollemi in countries
around the world - including Canada. Proceeds from the sale of
small seedlings will fund conservation of endangered plant species.
Widespread distribution ofthe plants ensures that the rare Wollemi
are never again limited to a potentially vulnerable single spot on Earth.
Making Wollemi available for purchase is also expected to relieve
pressure from visitors to the Blue Mountains in Australia seeking up-
close encounters with a plant that until recently was known to science
only through fossil records.
Wollemi pines are suitable for growing indoors as ornamental trees,
and outdoors where temperatures stay above -12 Celsius. Sales through
Canadian garden centres are planned for 2007 but until then, Wollemi-
seekers can follow their availability in Canada through the Wollemi
Pine International website www.wollemipine.com.
FLATTERY continued from page 3
"A lot of consumers appreciate
good customer service, but it
becomes negative if businesses
cross the line."
Dahl says when cashiers at
Safeway address you by name
after each transaction, that's one
approach. Or companies will
segment their brand to capture
different markets.
"The same company owns
Best Buy and Future Shop. You'll
notice Best Buy TV ads stress,
'No commissions, no hassles.'
So the company is aware that
a lot of consumers don't want
salespeople all over them, but
they're offering a choice for
those who don't mind that and
may see it as a level of service
they want."
He says an example of real
trailblazing would be online
bookseller Amazon, which was
one of the first websites to build
customer profiles, whose pop-
ups for suggested books give
shoppers a sense their tastes are
Dahl says with the Internet
being used for shopping and
researching product information,
consumers hold the upper hand.
Further, consumers are taking the
control away from companies.
"They can create their own
markets for products as we're
seeing with YouTube. If they like
your product, they'll make their
own commercials about it and
put it on the Internet. The power
lies with consumers."
By documenting these
trends, Dahl says he and other
researchers provide valuable
insights for policy makers,
government, consumers and
"We're chronicling major
aspects of society. That's the fun
part of my job as an academic. I
can see something interesting at
the store that piques my interest
and I get to research it." 13 UBC REPORTS  |  DECEMBER 7, 2006 | 5
Jaws Under Ice:
Mysterious Arctic sharks found in Quebec
Marine Biologist Chris Harvey-Clark (right) took the first videos of Greenland sharks in shallow water.
In the frigid, murky waters
of the St. Lawrence River in
Quebec, UBC marine biologist
and veterinarian Chris Harvey-
Clark is painting a clearer
picture of a mysterious predator
that could be the longest-lived
vertebrate on the planet.
The Greenland shark typically
inhabits the deep, dark waters
between Greenland and the
polar ice cap. At over six metres
"All the questions a Grade two
class would ask - where do they
go, what do they eat, how do
they breed, how big do they get
or even how long they live - we
can't say for sure."
Various historic accounts and
anecdotes portray the Greenland
shark as a scavenger that dwells
in extremely deep water - one
was spotted at a depth of more
than 2,100 metres. They favour
seal carcasses but will eat almost
anything - one was found with
Since then, Harvey-Clark and
Gallant, a regional director of
the Shark Research Institute,
based in Drummondville, QC,
have organized a group of local
volunteer divers who help them
survey the region every summer.
The team has uncovered new
information about Greenland
sharks, raising even more
"They seem to hang around
for the summer months, then
disappear completely," says
By tagging the sharks and
tracking them in real time, the
team has learned that some
females remain in the area, in
extreme depths, while males
travel up-river towards Quebec
City, where marine mammals are
"We've seen one female at
the same location, around the
same date, three years in a row.
It's exciting because this kind of
behaviour, termed philopatry, has
been documented in migratory
the works, Harvey-Clark has
organized an interdisciplinary
team for next summer's
expedition - funding it with
equipment donations and out of
his own pocket. He has designed
field experiments to find out
how the sharks use various
sensory modalities to find their
next major meal, which could be
months or even years apart.
"My take on the Greenland
sharks is that they're probably
like hyenas, capable of both
"The sharks in the St. Lawrence have beautiful, crystal clear eyes and are quite visual.
As you swim by, their eyes swivel and follow you, which sets them apart from the population in the Arctic."
long and weighing up to 2,000
kilograms, it is the largest shark
in the North Atlantic and the
only shark in the world that lives
under Arctic ice. Once heavily
harvested for its vitamin A-rich
oil - as many as 50,000 were
caught annually according to a
1948 estimate - little is known
about the animal.
"All the papers published on
the species, including magazine
articles, can barely fill two
shoeboxes," says Harvey-Clark,
who became fascinated by
sharks at age 12 after seeing
a photograph in the Ottawa
Citizen that depicted an ice
fisherman and what he now
knows was a Greenland shark.
an entire caribou in its stomach.
The only age analysis to date,
by Norwegian researchers, pegs
them growing about half a
centimetre a year, which would
put a seven metre adult at several
hundred years old, easily beating
the giant tortoise by decades,
even centuries.
In 2003, after tracking the
enigmatic animal for five years,
Harvey-Clark and fellow diving
enthusiast Jeffrey Gallant
followed leads to Baie-Comeau,
a small town about 400
kilometres northeast of Quebec
City. There, the pair documented
- for the first time under natural
conditions - Greenland sharks
reveling in shallow water.
Quebec City
Baie-Comeau, where Greenland sharks were discovered reveling in
shallow water, is 400 km northeast of Quebec City.
Harvey-Clark, who treats every
encounter with the sharks - the
team has seen 85 in total, and
as many as 11 in one dive - as
possibly the last.
"We really have no idea why
they come to waters as shallow
as 10 metres deep, why they
return every summer so far, or
what brought them here three
years ago in the first place," says
"Prey abundance is poor here
and certainly not enough to
justify so many large predators
in one small area. We think it
may have something to do with
ecological shifts taking place in
the St. Lawrence right now, or
it could just be a sunken whale
carcass nearby on the ocean
floor that is attracting them."
Finding these rare, deep
sea animals in shallow
water is unique. The Gulf
of St. Lawrence, with water
temperature hovering around
two degrees Celsius, had been
a scuba diving training ground
for decades without notable
Greenland shark sightings.
"Now it's the only place on
the planet where people can
see this species on any kind of
predictable basis, behaving in a
natural fashion," says Harvey-
birds, but rarely in sharks," says
"We've also found that the
sharks are active in what we call
a diel pattern. Essentially they
stay in deep water during the day
but from dusk till dawn, they
rise up from 60 metres and begin
a cycle of swimming vertically to
the surface every 20 minutes, all
night long," says Harvey-Clark.
"We think they may be either
hunting seals, or it's social."
Another major finding is
that almost none of the sharks
observed in this area have
parasites on their eyes, a disease
that affects 98.9 per cent of
Arctic sharks and severely affects
their vision, virtually blinding
"The sharks in the St.
Lawrence have beautiful, crystal
clear eyes and are quite visual.
As you swim by, their eyes swivel
and follow you, which sets them
apart from the population in the
Arctic," says Harvey-Clark.
"They probably don't see very
well but using a variety of other
sensory modalities, they are very
effective, stealthy predators and
could take out an agile seal in
zero visibility without alerting
With a number of journal
papers published and more in
predating and scavenging. They
have lower teeth like an old-
fashioned straight razor that take
a five kilogram chunk out of a
whale like an ice cream scoop.
But they can also suck up a large
flounder like a vacuum cleaner.
It gives you pause when you are
diving with them."
For more information on the
Greenland shark and Harvey-
Clark's research, visit www.
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Beauty Interventions for Boomers
Is our youth-obsessed society putting the pressure on older women to halt the hands of time?
There was a time when a
grandmother could look like a
grandmother. No longer.
Not when Sophia Loren, at
72, still holds her voluptuous
allure, and fellow actress Susan
Sarandon demonstrates that 60 is
indeed the new 50.
"It's becoming socially
unacceptable to look old," says
School of Human Kinetics'
Laura Hurd Clarke. "We live
in a culture that denigrates old
bodies and equates the physical
signs of aging with moral decay
and the loss of social and sexual
Since 1996, Asst. Prof. Hurd
Clarke has been studying women
aged 50-70 and their complex
relationship with body image
and aging. She says while much
has been written about body
image, cosmetic procedures and
younger women, her research is
among the first to delve into the
experiences of boomers and pre-
Her current study investigates
older women and non-surgical
cosmetic procedures (NSCP)
such as chemical peels, Botox
injections, injectable fillers,
laser hair removal, laser skin
treatments, and sclerotherapy
(a treatment to remove varicose
Hurd Clarke says there has
been astronomic growth in
cosmetic procedures over the
past nine years. While there are
no reliable data for Canada, the
American Society for Aesthetic
Plastic Surgery registered 11.5
Why do we place so
Why do we fear
million cosmetic procedures
in 2005, of which 81 per cent
were non-surgical procedures.
Ninety per cent of surgical and
non-surgical procedures were
performed on women. About a
quarter of these procedures were
performed on 55- to 64-year-olds.
"There's more pressure
on people to have beauty
interventions, such that it has
become normalized and socially
sanctioned," says Hurd Clarke.
"I want women to sit and
think about why we've decided
that beautiful looks a certain
way. What is that we value
and why? Why do we place so
much emphasis on women's
appearances? Why do we fear
looking older, let alone getting
foreign substances under the
skin. For example, most of the
women were leery of Botox
and other injections, but were
open to microdermabrasion or
chemical peels, for example."
Women who had work done
felt the need to keep it secret.
"Women talked about feeling
how it should look natural,
and not as if they had to work
really hard at it or spend a lot of
She says two women even
kept their beauty work hidden
from their partners. "They were
afraid of being seen as vain
and shallow, but they were also
much emphasis on women's appearances?
looking older, let alone gettingo\der?"
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For her study, Hurd Clarke
conducted in-depth interviews
with 44 women, volunteers
aged 50-70. Half of them
had purchased some form of
cosmetic procedures, while the
other half hadn't.
Her research data didn't
yield a definitive trend or linear
findings, but pointed to what
Hurd Clarke calls the "beauty
work continuum," a term she
coined for how women tend to
rank their choices - as necessary,
too dangerous or a possible
future option - each according
to their upbringing and ideals of
feminine beauty.
"If anything, the data
confirmed the contradictions
and tensions women feel toward
self enhancement," she explains.
"Women who never work
out and don't even dye their
hair were okay about getting
injectable fillers. Other women
who wax everything that can
be waxed, were really opposed
to anything like Botox or
One constant did emerge.
"There's a distinction between
surface treatments and injecting
afraid if they didn't do it, their
partners would leave them."
These kinds of insecurities,
along with the desire to remain
competitive on the job market
or dating scene were among the
main reasons women gave for
beauty interventions. In some
cases, it was simply having the
means, says Hurd Clarke. "Their
children have left home. They
have the cash and they want to
invest in themselves. They want
to look more youthful because
they feel youthful on the inside."
She adds that women
who have been valued for
their appearance their whole
lives would certainly view
beauty work as a worthwhile
investment. "This is their social
currency. In some cases it
becomes a priority. For example,
one woman was cleaning houses
and using that money to pay for
Hurd Clarke says one in
three of the study participants
disclosed heart-rending stories.
"I was really surprised by
the amount of trauma I heard,"
recalls Hurd Clark. "Many of
the women talked about growing
up in poverty, experiencing rape,
being assaulted by husbands,
being verbally abused by parents.
One woman said, T have to
do something because I see my
mother's face every time I look in
the mirror. I hated her, she was
so mean to me."
Hurd Clarke says that she's
not suggesting that women
undergo NSCP solely because
of trauma. "But these brutal
experiences have shaped how
they perceive their bodies, their
appearances and growing older.
Especially for 50- to 70-year-
olds who carried this around
with them since it was socially
unacceptable to talk about
these traumas and they often
had no one to turn to for help
or affirmation when they were
young children."
Hurd Clarke says those who
expressed no interest in halting
the hands of time were usually
women who enjoy supportive,
loving relationships. "They were
often women who were happy
with life, who viewed their
bodies as instruments for action
rather than objects for people to
look at. They derived their sense
of identity from something other
than their appearances and had
supportive social networks."
Asst. Prof. Laura Hurd Clarke
For more information about
Asst. Prof. Hurd Clarke, visit:
faculty/clarkel/clarkel.htm# 13 UBC    REPORTS     |     DECEMBER    7,    2006     |     7
Health Sciences
Building a Global Virtual
Learning Centre
What would happen if health
professionals and students
around the globe had access to
free, comprehensive learning
resources - provided by some
of the world's most prestigious
institutions - just by clicking a
Dr. Erica Frank has the
answer. "It would fix the world."
A UBC professor of Health
Care and Epidemiology, Frank
is heading a complex and
ambitious international project
- to create a global virtual
health science learning centre
where health professionals in
training and practice can access
high-quality, current courses,
reference libraries and other
learning resources to improve
global health.
The only project of its kind
in the world, Health Sciences
Online (HSO) is scheduled to
launch next summer and will
include comprehensive resources
in medicine, nursing and public
With a background in
preventive medicine and a
passion for disseminating
health information, Frank says
this project - budgeted at $2.5
million over three years - will
democratize health science
knowledge around the world.
Her vision includes users
ranging from a village healer in
a developing country to a senior
clinician in the U.S. or Canada.
"Our special interest is
preventable chronic and
infectious diseases like
of Technology, Columbia
Universiry; Johns Hopkins; and
the Association of American
Medical Colleges. (UBC and the
World Bank are also founding
A pilot, focused on HIV/AIDS
education, is being launched in
January 2007. There are 13 pilot
locations and audiences include
clinicians, medical residents,
nursing students, public health
workers, and faculty members
at clinics, medical schools and
universities in countries ranging
from the U.S. to Sri Lanka,
Armenia, Nigeria, China and
Participants will be able to
search using any HIV/AIDS-
related key word and HSO
will produce a list of links to
research articles, reports, clinical
case studies and other learning
In Canada, groups from
UBC graduate students to the
Cowichan Band are interested in
participating in the pilot.
"We do have access to some
continuing health education, but
it's never enough," says Fairlie
Mendoza, community health
nurse at the Tsewulhtun Health
Centre of the Cowichan Tribes,
in Duncan on Vancouver Island.
"Also, meeting travel expenses is
a challenge - a virtual learning
centre could supplement what
we're doing with no additional
A portal with browse and
search functions, HSO will link
to material that will usually
be e-texts and stand-alone
courses that can be used without
Erica Frank is taking health sciences education beyond the boundaries of books.
computer skills to participate in
Frank has a core team of
only three other people, but a
large cadre of volunteers. She is
currently gathering additional
volunteers and seeking funding.
She has set out what she calls
This project harnesses the power ofthe Internet to
the best health education materials available.
It's a free, world-class education.
cardiovascular diseases, cancer
and HIV, although prevention
and treatment of all types
will be covered," says Frank,
who is Canada Research
Chair in Preventive Medicine
and Population Health. "Our
primary target audience is health
professionals in developing
countries, but we anticipate the
resource will be widely used."
Frank conceived the idea of
HSO about six years ago and
has since established a volunteer
advisory committee that reads
like a Who's Who of distance
and world health education.
Her own volunteering work has
given her a broad network of
colleagues - committee members
include representatives from
the founding collaborators:
the American College of
Preventive Medicine; the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention; and the World
Health Organization as well as
from Massachusetts Institute
additional instruction. Although
the primary language is currently
English, quality materials in
other languages will also be
linked and a translation function
will allow access to all materials.
Prestigious institutions such
as Harvard Universiry, the
U.S. National Institutes of
Health, Cornell Universiry and
Emory University have already
committed courseware and
A needs assessment surveyed
researchers, policy-makers,
and health professionals in
India, Africa, Europe and the
Caribbean and found that
reliable information and learning
resources, such as textbooks,
are often inaccessible, both
in developing countries and
in industrialized nations. By
working with organizations
such as the World Bank's Global
Development Learning Network,
users will also gain the necessary
hardware, connectivity and
a "huge dragnet" to define,
identify and obtain web content
from reputable sources, such as
universities, specialty societies
and government organizations.
"The number of websites is
big, but it is finite," she says,
explaining that the team will
likely access tens of thousands of
The content team is evaluating
all resources against a content
criteria checklist that looks
at quality, depth, credibility,
design and updating capacity.
All content is donated, hosted
and maintained by the content
partners and is provided free and
without passwords to whomever
wants to learn.
"This project harnesses the
power of the Internet to the
best health education materials
available. It's a free, world-class
For more information about
Health Sciences Online, contact
Frank at Erica.Frank@ubc.ca. 13
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New Tools Help Preserve Old Ways
Remote, marginalized peoples use high-tech to record and share culture and knowledge
In 1962, residents of remote
Turner Island near the north
end of Vancouver Island were
relocated, ostensibly to provide
them with better access to
government services. The people
of the Tlowitsis nation found
themselves in Nanaimo, Victoria,
the Lower Mainland and as far
afield as Manitoba. Over time,
relocation had a devastating
impact on the community's
knowledge of their traditional
"They needed to do something
to re-engage in the relationship
between themselves and the
land," says UBC Okanagan
Geography Prof. Jon Corbett.
He received a Social Sciences
and Humanities Research
Council (SHRCC) grant to work
with the Tlowitsis community,
providing them with cameras
and training to video record
elders as they revisited Turner
Island more than four decades
after leaving.
"We wanted to look at
how technologies like these
can be used from a cultural
and participatory perspective
- how they can contribute to
nation-building," he says. "It
was amazing to see people in
Video recording and digital mapping tools are being used by many indigenous communities around the world to
help express their relationship to and knowledge of their traditional territories.
their 60s and 70s going back to
Turner Island for the first time
since they left in 1962. The elders
were sharing wonderful stories
with young people who really
had no connection with this
place. It was helping them build
a sense of national identity."
Community members
developed a DVD of the
nation's culture and heritage
and presented it at the Tlowistis
annual general meeting. "Many
in the audience had never been
to Turner Island because it's so
hard to get to," he recalls. "They
were overwhelmed."
His research has taken him
to many remote indigenous
communities - from Indonesia,
the Philippines, the Australian
outback, and more recently on
Vancouver Island.
"One of the great joys of
geography is the scope you have
to explore things," says Corbett,
who once spent two years
living in a Borneo longhouse as
part of his research. "I engage
in research with people in
the community, and they are
co-researchers. It's all done
collaboratively, the research
process itself can become a form
of emancipation."
Every community uses and
responds to the technology
differently. In one Indonesian
village, the women described
where they drew their water
and how they carried it home.
"In another community, illegal
logging was taking place on their
land and using a camera they
were able to record video to use
as evidence.
"We went back to one
community 18 months later and
found that they had become so
skilled with the video camera
that other people came to
them and asked, 'Do you think
you could make us a video?'
In another community we
found them recording wedding
ceremonies - their video camera
had broken and they raised the
$250 to fix it straight away.
It had become an economic
resource for them."
Gathering histories on tape
and connecting maps with
information about people and
culture is important, but it's not
the whole point, he cautions.
continued on page 11
/ ^
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STIs up in Boomtown:
Changes needed to education and treatment
When the oil and gas boom
came to the northeastern town
of Ft. St. John, an unwanted
visitor came along with it.
Sexually transmitted infections
(STIs) among youth 19-24 are
spreading in this and other oil
and gas communities at rates
that far outstrip provincial
averages. Chlamydia incidence
in the region is 30 per cent
higher, but youth seeking testing
and treatment are encountering
significant obstacles, according
to UBC grad student Shira
A master's student in the
Dept. of Health Care and
Epidemiology, Goldenberg is
looking at the socio-cultural
serious concerns about health and
social service provision, including
STI testing," says Goldenberg.
She says many youth are
unaware of the consequences
of STIs, which for women can
include pelvic inflammatory
disease as well as risk for cervical
cancer. Chlamydia, one of the
most common STIs, is one of the
primary health concerns because
individuals can carry the infection
but have no symptoms to alert
them to seek treatment.
Ft. St. John has a population
of 18-25,000 depending on time
of year. A migrant community
has developed consisting almost
entirely of young men who work
in high-paying jobs in remote
areas with virtually no access to
health services. The men come
behaviour. Working away from
home for weeks or months at a
time can mean family breakdown
and change in sexual habits.
The system is pushed
beyond maximum capacity
and is not well designed for
youth, says Assoc. Prof. Jean
Shoveller, Goldenberg's thesis
supervisor. "There needs to be an
investment to respond quickly
and responsibly."
"The fast growing population
in the city of Fort St. John has
created some challenges and
community dynamics that
may have impacted sexual
health and attitudes on testing
and treatment," says Penny
Gagnon, Regional Manager
of Preventive Public Health at
Northern Health. "Next year
Chlamydia incidence in the region is 30 per cent higher, but youth
seeking testing and treatment are encountering significant obstacles.
and structural forces that
limit youth's ability to stay
healthy. Her findings and
recommendations will help tailor
and target STI testing services
for youth living in northeastern
"In addition to resources,
there are real and complex
concerns around trust,
confidentiality, and gender
dynamics," says Goldenberg.
"The gap between services and
the needs of youth is large."
In the only such study
in Canada, Goldenberg is
examining factors ranging from
structural issues, such as testing
clinic location and layout, to
socio-cultural forces such as bar
culture and how high wages
influence sexual behaviours.
Since May, Goldenberg has
spent time in Ft. St. John to
recruit 25 youth, aged 15-24
years, and 15 service providers,
including public health nurses,
community outreach workers
and other adults who work with
"The rapid growth of the city
as a result of the "boom" raises
into town on days off, but testing
services may not be available.
Taking a day off to come into
town for testing at the public
health clinic would mean a
significant loss of wages.
Additional practical barriers
to getting tested include lack of
awareness of the location of the
public health centre, no public
transit to get there and only four
testing appointments offered each
week, all during school or work
hours. Also, anonymity is an issue
for many youth who seek testing
at local clinics because waiting
rooms are busy with patients
there for other services.
Physicians' offices, walk-in
clinics and the emergency room
offer STI testing but often do not
have time to provide important
detailed educational information
and counseling.
While an oil and gas boom is
good for business, it has complex
social and sexual impacts, says
Goldenberg. Labels like "rig pig"
and "gold digger" emerge to
describe sexual behaviour, related
to perceptions about wages and
work schedules affecting sexual
will show some very concrete
and appropriate changes to our
sexual health services."
Goldenberg recommends
STI testing and treatment
services be adapted to serve
boom communities as well as
specific risk groups such as
youth. Strategies might include
increasing hours and available
appointments at the health
clinic, drop-in testing services,
advertisement of testing sites
and services, and possibly even a
traveling clinic to improve access
to testing at rig sites.
The study is funded by
the B.C. Medical Services
Foundation. Results from the
study will be linked with studies
that are part of a five-year
CIHR Interdisciplinary Capacity
Enhancement Team led by
Shoveller, which investigates how
gender, place and culture affect
youth sexual health disparities.
Other members of the research
team are Asst. Prof. Mieke
Koehoorn and Assoc. Prof. Aleck
Ostry of the Dept. of Health
Care and Epidemiology. 13
NEW TOOLS continued from page 10
"This is a lot more complex
than just creating a digital
repository of information. The
key is the process - it's about
young people learning new skills
and learning from elders, and
learning more about themselves."
A larger project through the
SHRCC-funded Community-
University Research Alliance has
Corbett working with several
First Nations on Vancouver
Island to record their languages.
An interactive DVD with
clickable maps allows viewers to
choose from among Vancouver
Island's 14 long houses. Selecting
a site on the map presents a
video of elders speaking in their
native language with English
subtitles, and in English with the
native language subtitles.
His work has the attention
of the European Union-funded
and French-administered
Technical Centre for Agricultural
and Rural Cooperation
(CTA). Corbett is now on the
steering committee for a major
international conference in
Rome in September 2007 and
is exploring several near-term
research projects with CTA.
"They're looking at how social
computing - things like YouTube
and virtual communities - can
be used in a developing world
context. I'm hoping this is
something we'll build on with
projects at UBC Okanagan
around the power of maps
and the web, looking at how
we manage information and
whether the medium of a map
can be an effective way to do
that," he says.
One of his next projects
is to create a system using
GoogleMaps technology to
help people organize their car-
pooling requirements. "It's not
necessarily the technology that
will make car pooling work, but
it would make car pooling much
easier to organize."
A car-pooling helper could
take your postal code and
quickly look at all the options,
produce a map of the best routes
and even reserve your spot in a
car. Simplifying the task could
make community programs more
successful here at home and in
developing countries.
"I really enjoy what I do,"
Corbett says. "Ultimately,
I'm fascinated with how we
can use technology to benefit
marginalized people in society
- and bring about positive
change." 13 UBC REPORTS  |  DECEMBER 7, 2006 |
UBC Okanagan and the Vancouver Senate
The Vancouver Senate conducted a review of its activities during the 2004/2005 academic
year. In its May 2005 report, the ad hoc Senate Committee that undertook the review
observed a need to raise awareness of the Senate's role and activities within the University.
To help address this need, the Senate Secretariat and the Senate Agenda Committee
were asked to compile an annual report on the activities of the Vancouver Senate for the
information of the University community. This first such annual report covers the period
from September 1, 2005 to August 31, 2006.
A number of activities of the Vancouver Senate during 2005/2006 were related to the
creation of UBC Okanagan and the resulting establishment of the Okanagan Senate and
the Council of Senates.
During the 2004/2005 academic year, the Vancouver Senate had established an ad hoc
committee to serve as the Interim Academic Governing Body (IAGB) for UBC Okanagan,
until such time that the Okanagan Senate was established. The Okanagan Senate was
established in the fall of 2005, and held its first meeting in December 2005. Accordingly,
the Vancouver Senate dissolved the IAGB at its December meeting.
The Vancouver Senate is established and vested responsibilities related to the academic
governance of the University under the University Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 468. The Senate
has 85 members, including faculty members, student senators, convocation senators,
representatives of affiliated theological colleges, and senior administrators of the University,
including the President as Chair of the Senate, the Chancellor, the Vice-President-
Academic, the University Librarian, 12 Deans and one Principal. The Senate has 12
standing committees that perform much of the Senate's work. Committees deliver reports
for consideration at Senate meetings for information, discussion and/or approval. Some
of these reports are annual reports on committee activities, some present routine matters
for the approval of Senate, while others address more ad hoc matters for particular
consideration or decision. The Senate schedules nine meetings per academic year. During
2005/06, the Senate met eight times from September 2005 through May 2006. Meetings of
the Senate are generally open to the public, with a few matters being considered in closed
session. The 2005/2006 year was the first year of a three-year Senate electoral term.
Regular Activities of Senate
Matters brought forward during the 2005/06 year included the following:
The Curriculum Committee and/or Admissions Committees brought forward matters
relating to admissions policy and over 870 curriculum changes, including new and revised
degree and diploma programs and their related courses. The Student Awards Committee
recommended for approval over 100 new student awards. The Nominating Committee
brought forward revisions to the terms of reference and composition of Senate committees
and recommended committee assignments for new members.
Based on recommendations from the Vice-President Academic & Provost, the Senate:
1. Revised the voting membership of the Faculty of Medicine
2. Approved and recommended for approval by the Board of Governors the establishment
of two departments and two centres, as well as two departmental mergers
3. Approved and recommended for approval by the Board of Governors the establishment
of seven Chairs
At the November and May meetings, the Associate Vice-President, Enrolment Services
& Registrar presented for approval lists of candidates for degrees and diplomas . The
Vancouver Senate granted a total of over 8800 degrees and diplomas. The Associate Vice-
President Enrolment Services & Registrar also submitted for information dates relating to
the 2006/2007 Academic Year (January meeting).
Secondly, a joint committee of the Vancouver Senate and the IAGB made recommendations
relating to the composition of the Council of Senates, consistent with the provisions of
University Act. Although the recommendations of this joint report were accepted by
the Vancouver Senate at its November meeting, they were rejected by the IAGB, largely
because the IAGB would have preferred equal representation of the two campuses on the
Council of Senates. In light of these circumstances, the President opted to initially establish
the Council with three Committee Chairs from each Senate, and requested that the Council
consider its own future composition. This process has unfolded, and at its June 2006
meeting the Council of Senates approved its permanent membership structure.
Thirdly, guidelines were established on how the two Senates communicate with one
another and collaborate to approve routine matters affecting both campuses without
creating unnecessary business for the Council of Senates. These were approved at the
March meeting.
Fourthly, the Okanagan Senate had approved the granted of UBC degrees to a group of
alumni of the former Okanagan University College. This arrangement was challenged by
some members of the Vancouver Senate who felt that it was important to consider the
input of both campuses. President Martha Piper then referred this matter to the Council of
Senates for final disposition. The Council considered the matter at its June 2006 meeting
and approved a framework for the granting of these degrees by the Okanagan Senate.
Other Topics
Finally, a number of other non-routine items were considered by the Senate over the past
year. These included the following:
The Chancellor provided an update on the status of the Presidential Search Committee that
included a number of Senators among its members.
The Director of UBC International delivered status reports on the activities of
Universitas21, and U21 Global. The Senate then established an ad hoc Committee of
Senate to review U21 Global; that Committee is expected to deliver its report early in the
2006/2007 academic year.
The Tributes Committee presented a revised policy on the Emeritus/Emerita status for
retiring and resigned faculty members. The revised policy included, for the first time, a
mechanism to revoke emeritus status of an individual. Senate approved the new policy.
In closed session, the Tributes Committee recommended a list of candidates for honorary
degrees, which the Senate discussed and approved. The Tributes Committee also
recommended 77 individuals for emeritus status and prepared short tributes known as
"memorial minutes" for two former Senators who had recently passed away.
Annual reports were presented by the Committee on Student Appeals on Academic
Discipline, the Committee on Appeals on Academic Standing, the Interim Budget
Committee and the University Librarian. At the November meeting, the Vice President
Administration and Finance presented for information the University's financial statements
for the 2004/2005 fiscal year.
Review of Senate
An Ad Hoc committee to Review Senate delivered its report to Senate at the May 2005
meeting. The review arose largely because of a sense that the levels of responsibility
of the Senate and the extent and nature of its debate had diminished in recent years.
Subsequently, the Agenda Committee has been engaged in following up on the Review
Report's various recommendations, and otherwise attempting to enhance Senate's overall
role in various ways. The Review recommendations included:
1. Adjustments to the terms of reference and operating procedures for Senate standing
committees, including a streamlining of the presentation of routine matters by the
Curriculum and Admissions Committees;
2. Prospective changes to the University Act, including a recommendation that the Senate
elect its own Chair rather than having the President serve ex officio in this role; and
3. Changes to Senate meeting agenda preparation. These included provisions for
substantive debate on academic issues from time to time; a suitable orientation of Senators;
regular reports to Senate from the Vice- President Academic & Provost; an increased use
of electronic meeting materials; the preparation of an annual report; and modifications
to the Rules and Procedures of Senate. Many of the recommendations have already been
implemented, with a few still in the final stages of consideration for implementation.
The Admissions Committee made recommendations about the University's use of third
party agencies in student recruitment, and the Senate accepted those recommendations at
its May meeting. The Admissions Committee also considered issues related to institutional
membership in the Association of Universities and Colleges in Canada (AUCC) and
delivered a report to the Senate.
The Academic Policy Committee presented a proposal to use First Nations names for
languages in the University calendar; the Senate requested more information about
implications and costs, and the Admissions Committee is due to report once again on this
matter during the 2006/2007 year.
At the April meeting, the Vice-President Academic & Provost presented for discussion a
report entitled "Optimizing Interdisciplinarity at UBC." Discussion about interdisciplinarity
and the future of the Faculty of Graduate Studies will continue in 2006/2007.
At the May meeting, Senate accepted a number of recommendations from the Teaching and
Learning Committee regarding student evaluation of learning experiences.
The Senate approved University-wide Enrolment Targets for the 2006/2007 cycle at the
May meeting, and requested additional data about enrolment targets by Faculty and
Finally, at the May meeting Senate paid tribute to President Martha C. Piper in wishing her
Concluding Remarks
Overall, the Vancouver Senate had an active year, dealing with both regular and ad hoc
matters. A major focus of its activities has been the academic governance aspects of the
transition to a multi-campus, multi-Senate institution. The Senate has also been working
diligently to implement changes to its own operations in light of the Review, so as to
optimize levels of responsibility and engagement.
This report was prepared by Dr. Michael Isaacson, Chair, Senate Agenda Committee and Ms. Lisa Collins, Assistant Registrar, Senate & Cirriculum Services, Enrolment Services.
Questions or comments may be directed to Ms. Collins at 604.822.2951 or lisa.collins@ubc.ca. 12     |     UBC    REPORTS     |     DECEMBER    7,
Did you know?
That students
attending UBC Vancouver
come from over 120
countries and comprise
12.7% of the total
student population?
UBC Recognized for
to Sustainability
The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher
Education (AASHE) has awarded
the University of British Columbia
a Campus Sustainability Leadership Award. The award recognizes
institutions that have demonstrated
an outstanding overall commitment
to sustainability in their governance,
academics, operations, and community outreach.
UBC was given the award for
adopting a comprehensive Sustainability Strategy, which sets 68 targets and actions for achieving nine
major sustainability goals. Other
winners include Berea College,
Warren College, and Lane Community College.
UBC recently completed the largest efficiency upgrade ever to take
place on a Canadian campus and
expects to reduce energy use by 20
per cent and water consumption in
core facilities by 30 per cent.
The University offers more than
300 courses dealing with sustainability and several departments
have adopted sustainability as a
core value. The University's sustainability efforts are coordinated through its Sustainability Office, which is funded entirely by savings from
its energy reduction programs and currently employs
seven staff members and 10 students.
For further information visit www.sustain.ubc.ca.
University Town Funds $8 million in
Research & Teaching
A $5 million research fund to honour his predecessor
and a $3 million project to help researchers enhance
undergraduate teaching were committed by Stephen
Toope during his installation as the University of
British Columbia's 12th president and vice-chancellor.
The Martha Piper Research Fund will honour the
remarkable contributions of UBC's former president,
said Toope, who is appointed for a five-year term. The
fund will provide support for collaborative research
projects, with a focus on interdisciplinary and international research teams.
Citizen UBC - Lisa Johnson.
Toope said $3 million would
support the recruitment of postdoctoral Teaching Fellows to team
up with top university researchers
in undergraduate classrooms. The
initiative will produce up to 50
new courses or course sections to
improve undergraduate students'
learning experience.
The source of funding for both
of these initiatives comes from the
proceeds of the University Town
Resident, Staffer, Alumna
- Meet Citizen UBC
Lisa Johnson has a special interest
in University Town. Not only is
she the Manager of Community
and Strategic Initiatives with UBC
Campus & Community Planning,
she is also a resident of Hawthorn
Place Neighbourhood, and both
she and her husband are UBC
For the past five years, working with the UBC community
has been a big part of Lisa's job.
She has overseen several community programs, including
LEAP - Leadership Experiences
& Adventure Programs, which
assists local elementary and high
school students in developing leadership and team-
building skills through adventure-based activities.
Another recent success is the University Town School
Bus Program, which currently transports over 250
students living on-campus to University Hill Elementary, Queen Elizabeth Elementary, and Queen Mary
Over the next year, Lisa will work with campus
stakeholders to develop a Social Plan to refresh the vision and values of University Town from a social and
community perspective.
Lisa is also an active volunteer in her community.
She chairs the University Neighbourhoods Association
(UNA) Arts Council, and sits on several other UNA
committees. For several years, she has worked with
a team of volunteers to organize Happening on the
Hill, an annual fair that celebrates the diversity of the
"west-of-Blanca" area. Lisa looks forward to watching University Town evolve over the next five years.
University Boulevard Project Moves to Design Phase
Plans for the redevelopment of University Boulevard have now
moved from the conceptual to the design stage. Following on the
winning submission for the 2005
University Boulevard International
Architectural Competition,
Vancouver architects Hughes
Condon Marler: Architects, in
partnership with Kuwabara Payne
McKenna Blumberg Architects
(KPMB), recently presented their
latest project design to the University
Town Committee for review.
Although this design is an important
step forward in the development
of the Boulevard project, Bruce
Kuwabara of KPMB stressed it is by
no means final, but reflects where the
design team is in terms of fulfilling
the vision of the 2005 competition.
Kuwabara noted that the main
concept behind the design is to
convey a sense of "arriving" on campus. Key to this is the development
of a University Square, which would form a major social crossroads for
the community and will include new
university-related shops, services,
university housing for faculty, staff,
or students, and an underground
transit station.
The architects drew comparisons
with other successful campus
and city interfaces, such as the
renowned Harvard Square in
Boston. Kuwabara suggested the
use of Douglas Fir for the proposed
outdoor roof structure as an
appropriate and welcoming building
The design team welcomes input
from the public on these latest plans.
For more information, visit the
University Town website at www.
university town, ubc .ca.
The Proposed New Social Heart of UBC
University Town  UBC External Affairs Office 6328 Memorial Road, Vancouver BC  V6T 1Z2  T: 604.822.6400  F: 604.822.8102 www.universitytown.ubc.ca


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