UBCO getting a new boss

New UBCO principal and deputy vice-chancellor Deborah Buszard. - contributed
New UBCO principal and deputy vice-chancellor Deborah Buszard.
— image credit: contributed

The University of British Columbia's board of governors has appointed a new principal for its Okanagan campus.

Deborah Buszard has been named deputy vice-chancellor and principal of UBCO, succeeding Doug Owram. Buszard will begin her five-year term on July 1.

Currently a professor of environmental science at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Buszard has held a variety of academic and leadership positions at Dalhousie , as well as at McGill University in Montreal.

In her new role, she will be the senior leader at UBCs Okanagan campus in Kelowna and a core member of the university’s executive leadership team.

“We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Buszard to UBC,” said Stephen Toope, president and vice-chancellor of UBC. “She is a distinguished scholar and an effective leader who will provide strong support and guidance to this extraordinary campus.”

Buszard succeeds Owram, who has held the position since 2006.

A historian who held senior leadership roles at the University of Alberta before coming to UBC, Owram helped establish and grow the new campus since just after its creation.

During his tenure, the student population at the Okanagan campus has doubled to more than 7,900 this year.

Buszard said she was thrilled to be joining UBC.

“There is something special happening at UBC’s Okanagan campus and I feel it has exceptional potential. I look forward to the chance to serve this dynamic learning and research campus in this beautiful community.”

At Dalhousie, Buszard served as director of environmental programs and has been a driving force behind the creation of Canada’s first College of Sustainability.

Prior to joining Dalhousie in 2006, she was a professor of plant science at McGill University and served as dean of agricultural and environmental sciences and associate vice-principal of its Macdonald campus from 1996-2005.

Buszard was born in the U.K. and received her PhD from the University of London.  She has published research on plant physiology, strawberry breeding and horticultural crop management. She has been an active member in her community, including serving as chairwoman of the board of Vanier College and president of the Canadian Society for Horticultural Science.


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