Michael Burgess named Associate Provost, Strategy

Dear colleagues,

I am delighted to announce that Professor Michael Burgess, Chair in Biomedical Ethics at UBC’s W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics is joining us as Associate Provost, Strategy from September 1, 2019.

In this role Professor Burgess will provide leadership for developing and implementing a comprehensive strategy for advancing academic innovation in accordance with UBC’s Strategic Plan Shaping the Next Century and Outlook 2040; help foster an institution-wide climate of academic innovation, in particular interdisciplinarity; oversee the development, evaluation, and review of relevant programs; and help develop  processes of shared governance to ensure the timely implementation of new academic initiatives.

Professor Burgess joined UBC in 1996 when he was hired as the Biomedical Ethics Research Chair with a joint appointment to Medical Genetics (the Centre is now within the School of Population and Public Health). In 2000 he was awarded the Killam Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching. He was Principal of the College for Interdisciplinary Studies from 2008-2011.

In 2013, Professor Burgess relocated to the Okanagan campus to promote intercampus activities and to provide senior academic support and faculty mentoring. The Southern Medical Program has hosted him and during that time he has provided faculty development support in the Faculty of Management, the Faculty of Health and Social Development, and the School of Education. He was also involved in the restructuring of the interdisciplinary graduate studies program, is a member of two themes, and on the supervisory committee of several Okanagan graduate students.

Professor Burgess obtained his PhD from the University of Tennessee in Philosophy with a concentration in medical ethics. Professor Burgess’ research is collaborative and interdisciplinary. In 2006, with large scale funding from Genome Canada and Genome BC, he began collaboration to develop and implement an approach to deliberative public engagement, combining ethics, political science, qualitative methods, and economics on issues in science and health policy.

Professor Burgess’ currently funded research includes deliberation on the use of big data in health, cancer care funding decisions, animal welfare and food policy in Norway, and the release of gene-edited organisms into the environment. He is also working on projects involving the governance of remote and Indigenous biobanks, and on an SSHRC funded project on concepts of diversity and inclusiveness.

Ananya Mukherjee Reed
Provost and Vice-President, Academic
UBC Okanagan