Message from the Provost and Vice-President, Academic

Dear colleagues, 

I am pleased to share the September 2023 edition of Academic Update—the Provost Office’s quarterly newsletter. In this edition, you can learn more about upcoming teaching awards and funding opportunities; newly approved degrees and programs; a variety of newly launched resources and toolkits; inspiring stories of students, faculty, staff and more.  

The start of the new academic term began with much uncertainty, as many members of our community faced difficult situations related to the wildfires. While the year may not have begun as many of us envisioned, I am proud of our UBC Okanagan community for its courage and strength. I wish to thank everyone for their outpouring of support for one another during these challenging times. Let us remain united in our pursuit of knowledge, pushing boundaries and embracing new horizons.  

I am excited for the many opportunities, achievements and innovations ahead of us.  


Dr. Rehan Sadiq, PhD, PEng, FCAE, FEC, FEIC, FCSCE
Professor and Distinguished University Scholar
Provost and Vice President, Academic


Academic Initiatives

  • UBC Okanagan welcomes back international summer programs
  • Faculty support for Workday Student implementation


Our Community

  • Get to know UBC Okanagan staff and faculty
  • Learn more about academic events and dates of significance in our community

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Student Success

  • UBCO students to unveil Landmark mural for Kelowna
  • News stories highlighting UBC Okanagan’s exceptional students


Awards & Funding

  • Nominations are now open for UBC Okanagan teaching awards
  • New Strategic Equity and Anti-Racism Enhancement Fund


Academic Initiatives

UBC Okanagan welcomes back international summer programs

This summer, UBC Okanagan hosted the first international summer program since the pandemic as the School of Engineering and Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies welcomed students from three universities in China for a 3-week intensive program. Students spent their days immersed in engineering and intercultural communication concepts and practical learning, while also participating in a range of recreational activities, exploring all that the campus and community has to offer. Students applied their new knowledge to tackle real-world problems as the program culminated in a showcase event in which teams of students presented engineering solutions to wildfire-related issues.

students welcomed to Bachelor of St’at’imc Language Fluency program

This term, UBC Okanagan welcomes the first cohort of students in the Bachelor of St’at’imc Language Fluency. Now offering three Indigenous language fluency programs, UBC Okanagan is pleased to join with Indigenous and institutional partners to support language recovery and revitalization efforts.

about Interior Salish language programs


An exciting new interdisciplinary program recently received Ministry approval. The Master of Design (M.Des.) offered jointly by the School of Engineering and the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies helps students design solutions to global challenges in a stimulating, applied learning environment.


generative artificial intelligence in teaching and learning

UBC Okanagan’s Centre for Teaching and Learning is supporting educators to move from concern, through understanding, to seeing the opportunities generative AI presents in collaboration with the UBC Vancouver Centre for Teaching, Learning & Technology. The AI-focused webpage provides tools, resources and events.


FCCS minor offers new communications options for students

FCCS has expanded its communications and rhetoric programming to offer a new Minor aimed at fostering students’ interdisciplinary, collaborative, experiential, and reflective skills in communication.

about the minor


This month, BC Campus launched a new toolkit to help BC post-secondary institutions navigate the emerging world of micro-credentials. UBC Okanagan staff Michelle Lamberson and Megan Lochhead supported the toolkit’s development.


faculty support for workday student implementation

Following the Workday Student Go Live decision in July, two new term positions are in place to support Faculties as the university transitions to Workday Student.

get in touch

Our Community

Every Child Matters banners hanging on University Way

Sept 30: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation | Orange Shirt Day

Read about the story behind Orange Shirt Day and National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, and find educational resources and opportunities to participate in events and advocacy that support the advancement of Indigenous human rights through truth and reconciliation.

Learn more

More orange shirt day events: 

Sept 25 & 26 (multiple events): Orange Shirt Day Paper Craft
Sept 26: Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada: Mapping Residential Schools
Sept 29: Orange Shirt Day Hummingbird Flag Installation
Sept 25 to Oct 6: Legacy of Hope Foundation Exhibition | Bi-Giwen: Coming Home – Truth-Telling from the Sixties Scoop

Academic events:

Oct 13: British Columbia Academic Integrity Network (BCAIN) Day 

BC Academic Integrity Network Day 2023, hosted by UBC’s Vancouver and Okanagan campuses, includes participants from across BC institutions and features a panel session showcasing current academic integrity research in BC, a discussion of generative artificial intelligence and academic integrity, and a student panel discussing perspectives from students as partners in academic integrity.  The day will also feature a networking lunch and resource sharing opportunities.   

Oct 16 to 20: Academic Integrity Week

UBC’s third annual Academic Integrity Week is from October 16 to 20. This week is intended to spark conversation and raise awareness of the importance of academic integrity at UBC and beyond. The Student Learning Hub will host a drop-in event on Wednesday, October 18 including prize draws, information on academic integrity, and free bookmarks. Hot drinks and snacks will be available.   

About the kick-off event

Oct 18: Reimagining Teaching & Learning Using Generative AI—Faculty Experiences, UBC Okanagan 

This panel discussion includes instructors from UBC’s Okanagan campus sharing their use of generative AI tools for effective teaching and learning. The session will also bring up alternate assessment strategies to facilitate learning and technology use. 

Learn more


Meet our community:

Staff profile

Meet Janine Wood

Janine Wood recently transitioned to a new role as Project Manager, Strategic Projects after first joining the Office of the Provost and Vice-President, Academic in 2019 as the Executive Administrator to the Provost.


IDEA Profile

The courage to think differently

Inspired by her years as a leader in the non-profit sector, Dharshi Lacey encourages students, faculty and staff to push themselves beyond their comfort zone to advance equity in her new role as Director, IDEA at UBC Okanagan.

dharshi’s story

Faculty Profile

Get to know Dr. Catherine Broom

An educator for more than 25 years, Dr. Catherine Broom came to UBC Okanagan through an interconnected path that allowed her to align her passion for history with her curiosity and love of learning.

About Catherine

student success

We’re building a community of teaching and learning excellence.

Learn how Faculties are driving academic excellence.


Awards and Funding


Help recognize outstanding teachers at UBC Okanagan

Help recognize outstanding colleagues who significantly impact teaching and learning at UBC Okanagan. Nominations are now open for the 2023/24 Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence and Innovation and the Killam Teaching Prize. Learn more about these prestigious awards honouring exemplary role models in our teaching and learning community.

Intent to Nominate forms are due November 10, 2023.

Learn more

Award Opportunities

Sept 30: 3M National Teaching Fellowship

The 3M National Teaching Fellowship is one of Canada’s most prestigious awards in recognition of teaching excellence and educational leadership. The fellowship is open to any individual currently teaching at a Canadian university regardless of discipline, level or term of appointment.


Nov 15: Canadian Mathematical Society Excellence in Teaching Award

The Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes sustained and distinguished contributions in teaching at the post-secondary undergraduate level at a Canadian institution.

Learn more

Dec 15: Canadian Anthropology Society (CASCA) Awards for Teaching Excellence

The CASCA Awards for Teaching Excellence (CATE) have been established to recognize the contributions to excellence in teaching and student learning in anthropology. The award has two streams: one award for faculty who hold a limited-term appointment of less than two years or teach on a “per course” basis, and one award for faculty who hold a continuing term appointment (tenure and tenure-track).

Learn more

Feb 1: CS-Can|Info-Can Excellence in Teaching Award

CS-Can|Info-Can presents the annual Excellence in Teaching Award to computer science faculty at Canadian institutions who have been nominated by students, colleagues, and alumni in recognition of excellence in teaching. Two awards are presented annually to honour faculty who have demonstrated exceptional teaching ability.


ongoing: BCcampus Award for Excellence in Open Education

The BCcampus Award for Excellence in Open Education recognizes outstanding contributions to the open education movement in British Columbia. Contributions may include leadership, OER development, research, or advocacy by faculty, students, support staff, or administrators.


Funding Opportunities

Sept 22: Community-University Engagement Support Fund

Apply for up to $25,000 to support community-university partnerships that benefit communities across the province and advance collaborative research, teaching and learning. The Notice of Intent due September 22 with the final deadline on December 15.

learn more

oct 15: Strategic Equity & Anti-Racism Enhancement Fund

The StEAR Enhancement Fund is designed to support community-led initiatives that advance broad campus equity and anti-racism goals and priorities aligned with UBC’s StEAR Framework and Roadmap for Change. This year, a total of $300,000 is available across two calls for proposal to take place between September 2023 and August 2024. Applicants can apply for funds from $500 and up to $10,000 per project.

Learn more

oct 15: UBC Scholarly Publication Fund

Faculty members looking to publish scholarly works can apply for the Scholarly Publication Fund for support with publication costs, including the use of images, copyrighted materials, or special production elements.


Dec 31: Partnership Recognition and Exploration Fund

Applications are now open for the 2023 Partnership Recognition and Exploration (PRE) Fund. The PRE Fund awards up to $1,500 in funding for projects that help empower community partners to build reciprocal relationships with UBC students, faculty, and staff.

Learn more

Ongoing: UBC Wellbeing Strategic Initiative Fund

UBC Wellbeing Strategic Initiative Funds are granted to departments and units at UBC’s Vancouver and Okanagan campuses to support our commitment to becoming a health and wellbeing-promoting institution. Submissions for proposals will be accepted on an ongoing basis starting May 1st for Priority Area Committees and June 1 for Non-Committee members.