The British Columbia University Act provides that the Board of Governors appoint the President of the University on terms and conditions it considers appropriate.  The President reports to the Board.

The UBC Presidential Search Committee (composed of Board members and representatives from the Senates, faculty, staff, students and alumni of both UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan) develops a recommendation to the Board of Governors for the appointment of a new President of the University.

Role of the President

As chief executive officer of the University, the President shares the University’s vision, promotes its values, embraces its mission and ensures that it meets its goals.

The President is an ex officio member of the Board of Governors and its Committees (with the exception of the Audit Committee).

The President is the ex officio Chair of both Senates. In addition, the President is an ex officio member of all Committees of both Senates (except the Senates’ standing committees of final appeal for students in matters of academic discipline), an ex officio member of each faculty and, in the absence of the Chancellor, Chair of the Convocation.

Duties and Responsibilities


  • To lead the University in pursuing the strategies, plans and policies approved by the President.
  • To plan, organize and direct all facets of the University’s operations within the approved strategic plan framework.
  • To oversee operational management in a manner that ensures the University’s resources are safeguarded and optimized.
  • To encourage excellence, quality, innovation, enterprise and a collegial spirit.

Strategic Operational Plans

  • Develop and recommend the strategic plan to the Board of Governors for review and approval. The strategic plan is drafted in collaboration with the management team and other staff, key constituents and the Board.
  • Review with the Board the University’s progress in achieving the objectives set out in the strategic plan and the operational and capital plans.
  • Develop and recommend the annual operational and capital plans and budgets to the Board of Governors for review and approval. Annual operational and capital plans and budgets are drafted in collaboration with the management team and other staff, key constituents and the Board.

Academic Leadership

  • Exercise academic leadership to enhance the University’s academic quality and stature, as well as the national and international reputation of its undergraduate, graduate and professional programs.

Monitor Risk

  • Ensure the integrity of the University’s internal control and management systems.
  • Identify and report to the Board principal risks of the University’s business and to ensure the implementation of systems to manage these risks.

Monitor Trends

  • Keep abreast of trends and developments within the general university sector with potential to impact on the success of the University.

University Policies

  • Develop and implement operational policies to guide the University within the limits prescribed by the framework of the strategic directions adopted by the Board.
  • Foster an environment of equity and transparency throughout the University community.


  • Ensure the University maintains a high level of ethical business conduct and operates within the limits of the law.

Human Resources

  • Provide strong, effective and highly visible leadership to senior management team members and all employees.
  • Provide the Governors with exposure to the University’s key management at Board and Committee meetings.
  • Review with the Board appointments to senior management positions, prior to making such appointments.
  • Establish and maintain a management development and succession plan for annual Board approval.

Internal and External Communications

  • Act as the primary spokesperson for the University and oversee the University’s interfaces with faculty, students, stakeholders and the public by developing and implementing a communications program.
  • Maintain a positive working relationship with local, provincial and federal agencies and key stakeholders, including First Nations, neighbourhood associations and secondary and post-secondary educational institutions across British Columbia.
  • Ensure the University is represented amongst its various constituencies in a manner that promotes its best interests.

Annual Personal Objectives

  • Establish, in conjunction with the Board Chair, an annual list of personal performance objectives (within the context of the strategic plan) to be achieved in the forthcoming year.


  • Ensure (in conjunction with the Board Chair) that the Board of Governors, its Standing Committees, and senior University executives work together in the best interests of the University in an atmosphere of trust and respect.
  • Ensure the Board is thoroughly informed of administrative or academic implications, fiduciary obligations and the risks of legal constraints which affect the operations of the University and to make recommendations regarding policy and/or strategic direction for the University.
  • Review material issues and ensure that the Board Chair and other Governors are provided with relevant and timely information.
  • Seek Board of Governors approval prior to accepting outside board appointments.

In addition, the President shall perform other such functions as may be ancillary to the responsibilities described above and as may be delegated to the President by the Board of Governors from time to time.

President’s Key Relationships

Board of Governors Chair

The President meets regularly and as required with the Board Chair to review important issues and to ensure the Board Chair is provided with relevant and timely information.

Faculty and Staff

The President develops and maintains effective relationships with the faculty members and staff of the University.

Media and the General Public

The President establishes a presence and takes a leadership role in representing the University to the media and general public.