Director, School of Engineering, UBC Okanagan Campus

Ref: 5003

University of British Columbia Okanagan

Kelowna, British Columbia

Role Managed by:

An Li Xu

Research Associate

t: +1 604 558 5148


Primary Practice Group: Higher Education and Research

Salary & Benefits: Competitive

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The School of Engineering at the Okanagan campus of the University of British Columbia (UBC), invites applications for a new Director. This position represents an outstanding opportunity to take on a leadership role at one of the world’s top universities and at a smaller, more nimble campus with excellent engagement with the community and wider region. Big thinking and bold ambitions are required to further support the Okanagan campus toward even greater impact and service to the people and communities of British Columbia and beyond. The anticipated start date is September 1, 2021 or upon a date to be mutually agreed.

Reporting to UBC’s Dean of Applied Science, the Director will serve as a key member of the faculty’s leadership team and will have overall responsibility for academic leadership and administration in the School. The ideal candidate will be a visionary and collaborative leader who excels at building relationships and has a commitment to transparency. They will have a strong track record of scholarly eminence and a demonstrable commitment to research and teaching excellence. They will have a commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion across all aspects of the academic enterprise and experience recruiting and mentoring excellent faculty, and leading and managing change in a university. As part of the University’s response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, UBC Okanagan has committed to supporting and implementing five key commitments, which can be found at The ideal candidate will therefore also have a strong commitment to indigenous engagement. The candidate must hold a PhD in engineering or a related field and must qualify for appointment at the rank of Professor with tenure in the School.  The Director is also expected to be registered, or be eligible to register, with Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia ( 

UBC is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the 40 best universities in the world – and top 20 public universities. The University opened its Okanagan campus in 2005 as a bold new UBC presence in the interior of British Columbia, designed to deliver on the promise of a research-intensive institution purpose-built for the 21st century.  UBC Okanagan is located on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Syilx Okanagan Nation.

UBC’s Okanagan campus is home to over 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 630 faculty members and nine Faculties and Schools. With the campus rapidly emerging as a research powerhouse, UBC Okanagan students receive an outstanding education in a stimulating student-centric learning environment.  Over the last five years, campus research income has more than doubled.  Success rates at the Canadian tri-councils (SSHRC, NSERC, and CIHR) have consistently exceeded national averages.  Faculty have formal research partnerships with over 100 organizations (local non-profits, regional small and medium enterprises, national and multinational corporations, regional health authorities, hospitals, and municipalities), with activities on the main campus and in the Innovation UBC hub, which is located downtown in the Okanagan’s thriving tech ecosystem. In 2019, UBC Okanagan published Outlook 2040, a visioning exercise that positions the campus as one of Canada’s fastest growing post-secondary institutions.

UBC’s Faculty of Applied Sciences comprises a unique constellation of disciplines across both campuses. Our core purpose is to discover, design, innovate, provide unwavering top-tier education, and champion a community of responsible professionals. UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering is an integral part of the Faculty of Applied Sciences and is based in our Kelowna campus. Founded in 2005, the School is among the fastest growing post-secondary engineering programs in Canada and a premier destination for exceptional engineering education and research. Today, the School offers four undergraduate programs in civil, electrical, manufacturing, and mechanical engineering and three graduate degrees (MEng, MASc, PhD) that continue to respond to the demands of local, national, and global communities.

UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering has a tremendous impact on core and interdisciplinary research innovation and accelerated economic development in the region. The School has grown considerably over the last five years, with student numbers doubling to over 2,000 (1,700 undergraduate and 350 graduate). Our exceptional faculty (65 with expected growth to 75 by 2022) and staff (30+) have also doubled. Research income has increased three-fold in the same timeframe to over $13m.

UBC Okanagan is partnering with the executive search firm Perrett Laver on this search. Applications should consist of a full CV detailing academic and professional qualifications and relevant achievements. It should be accompanied by a cover letter describing how candidates meet the selection criteria, why the appointment is of interest, and what they believe they can bring to the role and a statement describing strengths and experiences in increasing equity, diversity and inclusion in the candidate’s previous and/or current institutional environment, in curriculum and in supporting diverse students. Review of applications will begin on April 12, 2021, and will continue until the position is filled. 

Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents of Canada will be given priority.

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This vacancy has now expired, and is not accepting any new applications.

Please search for live opportunities or use the Register Interest facility to sign up for job alerts and/or leave your CV speculatively.