The Peter Wall Legacy Fund and PWIAS: A Time of Transition

November 25, 2022

November 25, 2022

The UBC Board of Governors, UBC Foundation and UBC Vancouver Senate have approved the terms of the Peter Wall Legacy Fund. This fund replaces the existing Peter Wall Endowment, which has provided most of the funding for the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies (PWIAS).

As the approval of the Legacy Fund provides new terms that remove the Deed of Trust and thus the Board of Trustees, the PWIAS has now moved to a home within the UBC Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies under the oversight of Dean Susan Porter. The funding for our staff and current programming focused on the Climate and Nature Emergency is secured until August 31, 2023.

In this transition period, two academic committees will be appointed by the UBC President.  One committee will develop the terms for the distribution of the awards of the new Peter Wall Legacy Fund; and another will advise on the future of PWIAS and/or a new independent Institute for Advanced Studies at UBC.  The President will consult with Senates and with various other areas of UBC in the formation of these committees, but no timeline has been set yet.

PWIAS has been a prominent space for convening and catalyzing interdisciplinary research at UBC for over 30 years, building a distinguished international profile through the many partnerships and international visits it has supported. We recognize the importance of this work and the efforts of present and past directors, faculty, associates and staff to uphold its academic integrity and independence. 

UBC community members who would like to be considered for the committees should send an email to by December 12 2022. The list of people interested in being considered for the committees will be presented to the President for consideration. UBC community members who have questions or who would like to offer comments or feedback to the university on this process should contact the Provost’s office at

We look forward to supporting consultations with the UBC community to develop new visions for transformative interdisciplinary scholarship at UBC.

Vanessa Andreotti
Peter Wall Institute Interim Director, on behalf of the PWIAS Leadership Team.

PWIAS Academic Leadership Team

Vanessa Andreotti, Educational Studies (PWIAS Interim Director)
Rafi Mohammed Arefin, Geography
Sharon Stein, Educational Studies
Will Valley, Land and Food Systems
Hannah Wittman, Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability