UBC Okanagan's next leader "an academic's academic"

KELOWNA -- Dr. Doug Owram, a former Vice President (Academic) and Provost at the University of Alberta, has been named UBC Okanagan Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC). He will take up his new duties on July 1, 2006.

"I was drawn to UBC Okanagan in part by the fact that, though it builds on strong foundations, it is in many ways a brand new venture," he says of the new UBC campus in Kelowna that started operations in September 2005. "I think it has tremendous potential. This will be a really different kind of job for me -- an exciting chance to build a new institution and help create something I think is unique in Canada."

Dr. Martha Piper, UBC President and chair of the DVC Selection Committee, says the broad consultative process which started in 2005 enabled the committee to select an extraordinary academic leader from a large pool of highly qualified nominees. The DVC is a member of the UBC system executive group and the senior administrator at UBC's Kelowna campus.

"We are very pleased to welcome Doug Owram to the UBC community," says Piper, who announced the appointment at an event on the UBC Okanagan campus Thursday morning. "As Deputy Vice Chancellor, he takes on a pivotal position for UBC Okanagan and our entire UBC system."

"Dr. Owram brings a wealth of experience in both academic and administrative roles, including serving as the University of Alberta's most senior academic officer. UBC Okanagan is very much in its formative days, and I believe his experience and guidance will help shape the future of this unique and energetic Okanagan campus," she says.

"I know he will work closely with students, faculty, staff and our many community stakeholders to continue building a dynamic, research-intensive university recognized throughout the Okanagan, across Canada, and internationally."

Owram, a professor of history who describes himself as "an academic's academic" and "a fanatic skier and golfer," will be quite at home in the Okanagan. He and his wife Deborah own a home in Kelowna, and have visited frequently from their home in Edmonton. "We really like the area and all the Okanagan has to offer," he says.

Owram takes the Okanagan helm from Dr. Richard Tees, who has served as Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor since January of this year, when ill health forced UBC Okanagan's inaugural DVC Dr. Barry McBride, the former UBC Vice President, Academic and Provost, to accelerate his planned June retirement.

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