Advance, June 2017: Santa Ono, Great Supervisors, Supervision Principles and more

Santa Ono, UBC President and Vice-Chancellor. Credit: Paul Joseph

Supervisory Excellence at UBC

by Professor Santa Ono, President and Vice-Chancellor

Last month I engaged in a stimulating Facebook Live conversation with Genevieve Cruz, Natalie Marshall and Nicholas McGregor, just three of the 10,000 graduate students here at UBC (you can watch the 30-minute event here).
The conversation, which was moderated by Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Communications Manager Melinda Johnston, was seen by more than 7,000 people on Facebook, many of whom took part in the conversation through questions and comments. We touched on a number of issues related to the graduate student experience at UBC, but in particular, we discussed the graduate student-supervisor relationship.
This relationship is, without doubt, the cornerstone of graduate education. At a world-class research university such as ours, graduate students have the opportunity to develop as scholars through intellectual dialogue with mentors and peers, hands-on research opportunities, and interaction with the broader community. Under the mentorship of their supervisors and committees, they learn to create, transform, and share knowledge that has the potential to change the world.

Celebrating UBC's Great Supervisors

From May 8 to 14, we celebrated #UBC GreatSupervisor Week. Graduate students were encouraged to give kudos to their supervisors through social media and our website. Over 50 students shared their thoughts on more than 40 UBC graduate supervisors.


Tulips on Main Mall, looking toward the flap pole, spring 2017.

Principles of Excellent Graduate Supervision

While the vast majority (85%) of our graduate students are satisfied with their supervision at UBC, surveys also reveal that many would like more consistent and meaningful interactions with their supervisors. Indeed, a healthy, productive supervisory relationship results in not only a successful academic program and outcomes, but also contributes to students’ wellbeing and to supervisors’ teaching and research excellence. The Graduate Supervision Leadership Group has created a guide to seven principles of supervision that includes examples, practical exercises and links to additional resources. This is a living document, and we welcome your feedback.

Larry Walker, Senior Associate Dean, Graduate Policy and Program Review

Spotlight on: Senior Associate Dean Larry Walker

"Faculty members should know that we at G+PS appreciate that their scholarly productivity and job satisfaction pivots, to a considerable extent, on the quality of their grad students and the supervisory experience. Our policies and practices exist to support effective supervision. We welcome the involvement of G+PS faculty members in informing those policies and practices," says Larry Walker, Senior Associate Dean, Graduate Policy and Program Review.


Students look at the empty stage of the Chan Centre shortly before Graduate Orientation 2016. Credit: Efe Peker

Pre-Arrival Webinars & Orientation for New Graduate Students

If new graduate students are joining your program in September, encourage them to attend one of our pre-arrival webinars as well as Graduate Orientation on August 31.

In the webinars, International Student Development will cover topics such as immigration (passports, study permits, and visas), working on and off campus as an international student, and health insurance. Enrolment Services will cover topics on student financing, including budgeting resources, needs-based funding, and tuition assessment. We’ll also cover accommodation, neighbourhoods, life in Vancouver, and give a brief survey of banking and cell phone options in Canada.

Visit ORIENTATION.GRAD.UBC.CA for more information >

Policy SC17 – Sexual Assault and other Sexual Misconduct now in effect

UBC’s new sexual assault policy introduces important new principles and commitments, definitions, resources, and procedures. A feature of the new policy is a single point of contact and liaison on each campus for all members of the UBC community who have experienced sexual misconduct or know someone who has. These new offices will provide a broad range of individualized support, from referrals to counselling services to providing information on reporting options. The policy also includes new processes for reporting, responding to, and investigating incidents of sexual misconduct.


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