UBC president abruptly resigns, leaving many unanswered questions

January 4, 2016

August 11, 2015—UBC President Arvind Gupta abruptly resigned on Friday, with the university announcing that Martha Piper would serve as Interim President until a new leader is identified. Gupta was slightly more than one year into a five-year term. A statement to the board authored by Faculty Association President Mark MacLean said that a resignation this soon marked “a failure point in the governance of the university.” Kris Olds, writing for Inside Higher Ed, said that “this type of unexpected leadership transition is hugely significant,” adding that “UBC's communication about this issue, to-date, is inadequate.” Piper said that she is confident the institution can weather any uncertainty arising from the transition.

Postscript: In the wake of Gupta's resignation, UBC investigated allegations that the chair of its board of governors had attempted to intimidate a UBC professor who criticized his alleged role in Gupta's resignation. In October, UBC released the results of its investigation, which found that the university had not sufficiently protected the professor's academic freedom. In the wake of these findings, the Chair of UBC's Board of Governors resigned from his position. Globe and Mail (Questions) | Inside Higher Ed | Vancouver Sun | Globe and Mail (Resignation) | UBC