UBC President’s Academic Excellence Initiative

Updated March 6, 2020

Academic Renewal Plan

President Santa Ono has just launched his Academic Excellence Initiative (PAEI) to extend our research impact as a university and support our long-term intellectual leadership. This Initiative lays out a hiring plan for research-based faculty members and addresses support needed, both professionally and personally.

Key benefits of the PAEI

• Adding to the existing faculty complement through a careful development plan for growth will introduce new members into an environment that is unmatched in Canada for research.
• Ensuring that research and teaching come together such that the benefits of academic renewal are available to all students (undergraduate and graduate) as well as post-doctoral scholars.
• Strengthening the research ecosystem and ensuring research impact.

Hiring Phases

• In the first phase of the Academic Excellence Initiative (called Accelerate), UBC will hire 100 new people. UBCV is allocated 84 and UBCO 16 new hires, mostly at the assistant professor level.
• For LFS and the smaller Faculties, such as Forestry and Law, we have the go-ahead to hire 3 faculty positions in Year 1 of the program.
• Funding – In Year 1 the Provost’s Office commits to 80% of the salary for new-hires in perpetuity; renewal of space (but not new space); and 50% of the start-up package. In Years 2 and 3, funding details will come out later and there will be a matching program in Year 3 (more information to come).
• Given the natural cycle of academic hiring, searches for new faculty need to occur in the fall / winter of 2020 to ensure the arrival of faculty members for the start of next academic year for the Accelerate program.

Other considerations the PAEI addresses

• Space – we’ve indicated LFS will require major renovations to accommodate new faculty members.
• Research support.
• Tuition award for all PhD students, which effectively adds approximately $1000 to each PhD funding package.
• Library resource support – reviewing how many new full-time staff needed in the Library system.

Next steps with the PAEI – outline your suggested hiring areas within LFS

• Each Faculty must have a clear process of gathering input from faculty members before putting recommendations forward to the Provost.
• Each LFS program should use the LFS Academic Renewal Form (Word document) as a common way to evaluate future hiring needs in your area. Clear and well-thought out succession planning is important in hiring junior faculty who will remedy significant existing or impending gaps, and who will strengthen our programs.
• In the Academic Renewal Form ensure you show how your proposal aligns with the UBC Strategic Plan and the goals outlined in the current LFS Action Plan.
• This form is intended to help your area identify the value that recruiting a junior faculty member will bring to the unit(s) and Faculty.
• Note that the Provost must approve all new positions before we are permitted to advertise.