Statement on behalf of Santa Ono, Chair of PWIAS Board of Trustees
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Nov 27, 2018 – Updated statement on behalf of Santa Ono, Chair of PWIAS Board of Trustees
The Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies (PWIAS) Board appreciates the ongoing feedback and input from our community in this time of transition. Over the past week, the Board has heard from many scholars and community members about the PWIAS’ unique role and mission at UBC. We know we need to ensure that the Institute continues to support and nurture the outstanding research for which it is known.
With this in mind, the Board plans to develop a series of dialogues to explore opportunities to strengthen the distinctive nature of the institute and, as a result, UBC. To support this work, a facilitator will be appointed to ensure all voices are heard in the process. Feedback from these sessions will be provided directly to Trustees.
We are looking forward to having these conversations in the coming months. We will continue to keep the community updated as we have additional news and information.
Nov. 22, 2018 - Updated statement on behalf of Santa Ono, Chair of PWIAS Board of Trustees
Note: The statement below has been amended to include information about the Wall Scholars 2019 program
The Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies is a dynamic and creative part of the UBC community. The institute plays a unique role within the university, and we are committed to ensuring that it continues to support and nurture the outstanding research for which it is known.
Over the past few days, I have had conversations with a number of PWIAS Distinguished Professors and university community members. These conversations have been very valuable, providing me with community concerns and perspectives following the surprising resignation of the institute’s director earlier this week.
Earlier today, I relayed input and feedback to the institute’s board of trustees. The Board appreciated this feedback. Following a discussion on next steps, we decided to broaden our conversation with academic community members. With this in mind, the Board will engage with members of the Wall Institute community to develop a path forward for the Wall Institute. The Wall Scholars 2019 program will also continue with the current criteria, review process and funding, and there is no expectation for Wall Scholars to align with existing Research Excellence Clusters.
The board looks forward to having a fulsome conversation with the Wall Institute community in the coming weeks. We will continue to provide updates to ensure that the Institute’s staff and faculty have the stability and support needed to continue their excellent work.
We appreciate your patience during this time of transition.
Nov. 21, 2018
The Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies is an exceptional part of the university thanks to the work of its many affiliated researchers and directors over the years, including Philippe Tortell.
Dr. Tortell’s decision to resign as director was unexpected and is disappointing. However, I appreciate Dr. Tortell’s commitment to the Wall Institute over the past two years, and I wish him well in his future endeavors.
Today, I met with PWIAS Distinguished Professors Brett Finlay and Derek Gregory and many others. In the coming days, I will meet with the Board of the Institute to share what I have heard and discuss the path forward. We will be listening closely to the views of our stakeholders as we pursue next steps.
I would like to reiterate that as a public academic institution, UBC places paramount value on academic freedom, and on supporting interdisciplinary research. We are committed to maintaining the Wall Institute’s unique role and mission at UBC and to ensuring that the Institute continues to support and nurture the outstanding research for which it is known.