OUC keys passed to new institutions

Dr. Martha Piper, UBC President and Brad Bennett, Chair, UBC Board of Governors

The keys to the future of post-secondary education in the Okanagan have been passed to Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan.

Okanagan University College Public Administrator Dr. J. Peter Meekison presented the keys to OUC's five campuses at a ceremony this afternoon to UBC President Dr. Martha Piper and Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton.

"This signals the changing of the guard and the end of the transition period," said Meekison, who has served as a temporary replacement for OUC's Board of Governors and Education Council for the past 14 months. "The two new institutions go forward with strength and resolve and can build on the deserved reputation for excellence that OUC has established. I have been impressed by the professionalism and dedication demonstrated by OUC's faculty, staff and administrators through this whole process and I commend them."

Hamilton was presented keys to the Vernon, Salmon Arm, Penticton and South Kelowna campuses which are now Okanagan College. Piper was given a key to the former North Kelowna campus which is now the home of UBC Okanagan.

"Fifteen months ago we were given the job of establishing a learning college for the 21st Century," says Hamilton. "Many people have been working diligently to make that a reality and today it is. The College will welcome students this fall with more than 300 new spaces in 20 expanded and new programs throughout our four regions. That's a gigantic increase in access to higher education and training. We will be working closely with our colleagues at UBC Okanagan to further increase the choices for students."

Piper is excited about building a distinctive university in the Okanagan.  "UBC Okanagan will be an intimate, learner-centred, research-intensive university, focused on helping our students become global citizens," says Piper.  "We are fortunate to have many leading British Columbians share our vision including Dr. Irving K. Barber, who chose to endow the new School of Arts and Sciences that will bear his name."

As part of the ceremony, Piper, Hamilton, UBC Board of Governors Chair Brad Bennett, Okanagan College Board Chair Norman Embree and Barry McBride, Deputy Vice Chancellor of UBC Okanagan signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the two institutions that spells out a new working relationship. The MoU is intended to foster partnerships, program linkages, and transfer opportunities for students.

For more information on the two new institutions, visit:

The OUC website will remain active until mid-August at www.ouc.bc.ca and will then be linked to a historical website.