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article imageUniversity of British Columbia president resigns

By AR Vasquez     Aug 7, 2015 in Business
Vancouver - The 13th President of the University of British Columbia resigned today after being in the position for just over a year. The reasons for his departure are vague leaving only room for speculation.
In a news release, the UBC Board of Governors stated that Gupta was leaving for personal reasons.
"The University of British Columbia’s Board of Governors regretfully announced today that President Arvind Gupta has resigned to return to the pursuit of his academic career. Dr. Gupta has made meaningful accomplishments in his tenure as president, but has decided he can best contribute to the university and lead Canada’s innovation agenda by resuming his academic career and leadership roles in the business and research community." - UBC Public Affairs
In the past year Gupta made significant changes at the institution, causing three vice-presidents to leave. Perhaps his vision of a unified UBC Vancouver and Okanagan campus together was not entirely supported by both campuses as enthusiastically as he would have liked.
"There was a tug-of-war over his vision of unifying UBC's Point Grey campus and the Okanagan campus into one seamless institution. And there were perceptions that he didn't always have a harmonious relationship with university deans, who traditionally oversee their fiefdoms with little interference." - Georgia Straight commentary
In the short time he was in the role, Gupta had developed a strategy to support the under-represented groups at the university; he improved access to mental health services for students and helped UBC raise over $200 million in one of the largest fundraising exercise. In addition, he facilitated a $66-million research grant, the single largest in UBC's history.
The news release claims that he will be returning to UBC’s Department of Computer Science after taking an academic leave, a leave which states will help him continue building on his accomplishments as a scholar and further engage on national policy on research, innovation, science and technology.
Previous president Martha Piper (1997 to 2006) will serve as interim president from Sept. 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016 while the university conducts a comprehensive, global search for a new leader.
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