November 20, 2006

The Ubyssey Online » Vice-President Academic resigns (University of British Columbia

Reading this article, I am impressed with the direction that UBC is taking in creating the position “Leader of Education Innovation”.  This seems to be a great idea and they seem to have the right person to lead it.  Hopefully the clout of the person heading up the project will result in marked improvements for students at UBC.  The Ubyssey has the following in their report:

by Carolynne Burkholder
News Editor

After only two years as UBC’s Vice- President Academic and Provost, Lorne Whitehead announced his resignation last Friday.

Effective immediately, Whitehead will be UBC’s Leader of Education Innovation—a new position created to improve the quality of teaching at the University.

“The President and I have agreed to what I feel is a very exciting change,” said Whitehead. “UBC has a number of initiatives that we’re getting ready to blast off on. What’s missing is someone to coordinate, innovate, strategise, fundraise and get the resources aligned to really make this happen.”

These initiatives include Students Horizons in Education (SHINE) 2010 and the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative—both which attempt to enhance the quality of teaching and learning at UBC.

Whitehead’s resignation comes a few weeks after the results from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) were released.

This survey ranked UBC significantly lower than other schools in all five areas of student engagement using data collected from students in their senior year: academic challenge, active and collaborative learning, student and faculty interaction, enriching educational experiences and supportive campus environment.

For first-year students, the other data set studied by NSSE, UBC ranked lower than other large research-orientated Canadian universities in three of the five categories. UBC was comparable to its peers in enriching education and active and collaborative learning.

In all categories, UBC ranked much lower than similarly-sized US institutions—the greatest gap putting UBC 12.3 per cent lower in student and faculty interaction in students’ senior year.

“According to the NSSE survey if you compare UBC to other universities, we appear to be not as good,” said Whitehead. “I don’t think we have perfect measures on those topics…but of course on any measure we’d like to appear the best.”

Source: The Ubyssey Online » Vice-President Academic resigns