UBCO Finance and Operations News

UBC Okanagan focus of $40 million investment for library expansion and infrastructure upgrades

Deborah Buszard, UBC deputy vice-chancellor and principal, Okanagan campus, far left, poses on the construction site with chief librarian Heather Berringer, student union president Blake Edwards, MP Stephen Fuhr, MLA Norm Letnick, and former UBC Okanagan student union president Tom Macauley.

A joint federal-provincial and university investment totalling $40.65-million was announced today at UBC’s Okanagan campus to establish a new Teaching and Learning Centre and fund various sustainability and infrastructure upgrades.

Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Norm Letnick, Minister of Agriculture and MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country, on behalf of Andrew Wilkinson, Minister of Advanced Education, were on campus for today’s announcement.

“This investment in the development of UBC’s Okanagan campus is testament to the power of partnerships between governments, post-secondary and students,” said Santa Ono, UBC president and vice-chancellor. “I look forward to seeing the many great things that will come from the work undertaken by UBC students and researchers in these new and enhanced facilities.”

The bulk of the funding, $35 million, including a major investment by students, will go toward the Teaching and Learning Centre, an expansion and renewal of the campus library. In October 2014, students passed a referendum to partner with UBC to fund, though student fees, an expansion of the library.

“Thank you to the federal and provincial governments for these important investments in the future of UBC in the Okanagan,” said Deborah Buszard, UBC deputy vice-chancellor and principal, Okanagan campus. “I want to express my gratitude to our students for their commitment of up to $10 million to establish the Teaching and Learning Centre. It is an extraordinary contribution to future generations.”

The funding will also support environmental sustainability projects for research infrastructure, which will focus on sustainability upgrades to 11 campus buildings and provision of services and utilities to the UBC Innovation Precinct.

More details about today’s announcement can be found at: gov.bc.ca.newsrelease


New Finance Operations and Strategies website coming soon

The new Finance Operations and Strategies website (finance.ok.ubc.ca) is estimated to go-live on Wednesday, October 5, 2016. The new website will combine the old Payment & Procurement Services and Finance websites into one website.

Our goal is to increase customer service by having one source that combines all finance/research resources for the campus community to access.

The website will also provide direct links to important information on the UBC Vancouver Finance website.

Important Note: when accessing pages that are directly linked to UBC Vancouver Finance, you will be prompted to sign in using your CWL Login. Signing in once will allow you to access all locked information. This is due to heightened security features of accessing sensitive information.

Smoking gazebo changes

Recently, the following changes were made to the smoking gazebos outside the Library and Administration (ADM) buildings:

  • June 25 and 26
    The wooden gazebo outside ADM was removed. The gazebo had reached the end of its lifecycle.
  • July 9 and 10
    The steel gazebo near the Library building was moved to the location outside ADM.

Smoking is no longer permitted at the location near the library building, but will be permitted at the steel gazebo outside ADM once the gazebo is secured and ready for use. The gazebo is expected to be available later today.

These gazebo changes were recommended by UBC Okanagan’s University Health and Safety Committee in order to provide a pedestrian route that is free of second-hand smoke, while also ensuring that designated smoking gazebos remain available on campus.

Other gazebo locations on campus include:

  • Southwest exit of the ADM building, behind the cafeteria.
  • Between the Arts (ART) and Creative and Critical Studies (CCS) buildings.
  • North of the University Centre (UNC).
  • Kalamalka gazebo (between Kalamalka and Nicola).
  • Monashee gazebo (between Similkameen and Monashee).

In the fall, UBC-Okanagan will release a wellness survey to the campus community that includes a section on campus smoking gazebos. Until the survey is released, please feel free to provide your feedback regarding these changes at the following link: http://goo.gl/forms/QNmLLaqHvCXK5h0x1

Support is available for those who are trying to quit smoking. Health and Wellness offers Nicotine Replacement Therapies, counselling, and other cessation support to students. Other resources include:

Reminder: For health and fire safety reasons, smoking on university property is only allowed in the designated smoking gazebos. It is the responsibility of all employees to ensure that smokers use these designated spaces and dispose of their waste properly.

New safety app launched

safety app
UBC Okanagan has a new tool to promote safety

UBC Safe is a free mobile app for our entire community — students, faculty and staff.

Download the app today on the App Store or the Google Play store.

Planned Power Outage – January 13th & 14th, 2016

Project Services has been tasked with replacing the emergency generator that services the following buildings:

  • Science building
  • Library
  • Gymnasium
  • Arts Building
  • Central Heating Plant
  • Creative and Critical Studies.

The existing emergency generator is at end of life and provincial funding has been recently granted for replacement.  The province requires project completion before March 31st, 2016.

Replacing this infrastructure is a preventative measure that reduces the risk of loss associated with unplanned power failures.  Extensive planning has been done within Campus Operations and Risk Management and IT Services to ensure the project plan protects health and safety and minimizes disruption to teaching and research.

Impact to Faculty, Staff and Students

Project Services has created an aggressive project schedule and restricted work plan that limits contractor activities between the hours of 10 pm and 5 am.

This project only affect electrical circuits that have emergency backup power (e-circuits). The circuits that are not provisioned with emergency backup power (most circuits) will remain fully functional at all times.  

Affected equipment will include teaching and research equipment, such as fume hoods, -80 freezers, and other research critical equipment that has been connected to emergency power/uninterrupted power supply (UPS).  Equipment with UPS will receive battery power during the outage but the duration is dependent on equipment energy load demands and age of UPS.  Life safety building support systems such as emergency exit lighting may be intermittent.

To protect occupants and comply with Fire Code and WorkSafeBC regulations the project has the following requirements during the project period:

  1. Building evacuation – no occupancy
  2. Early closure of the following buildings:
    • Science Building closure at 9pm (2 hours early)
    • Library closure at 10pm (2 hours early)
    • Arts Building closure at 10pm (1 hour early)
    • Creative and Critical Studies at 9pm (1 hour early)
  3. Lab experiments including unattended operations follow shut down safety procedures. The Laboratory Safety Guidebook can be accessed at http://riskmanagement.ok.ubc.ca/safety/chemsafety.html

A 4-hour maximum interruption to e-circuits is expected on January 13th.  A 2-hour maximum interruption to e-circuits is anticipated on January 14th, followed by a series of cycles switching between normal and e-power for a period of up to 4 hours.  This process will be closely monitored during the project period by Campus Operations and Risk Management staff.

Campus Operations would like to thank those affected for their patience and cooperation.  Your support will ensure that the replacement of the emergency generator will further strengthen emergency power supply to life safety systems and critical research equipment.  Further inquiries can be directed either of us.  A more details project overview will be available on Project Services website later this week.  See http://projectservices.ok.ubc.ca/welcome.html



Shelley Kayfish, Director
Campus Operations and Risk Management

Rob Einarson, Associate Vice President
Finance and Operations


Work order system unavailable Friday, December 11

Facilities Management is upgrading the Archibus online work order system, which will make the system unavailable for submitting work orders this Friday, December 11th.

If you have a request for non-urgent work, Facilities Management recommends waiting until Monday to submit work requests via the regular online method.

During the upgrading on Friday, if you have a work request that requires immediate attention, please call the Facilities help desk at 250-807-8213 or 250-807-9272.


Rob Einarson appointed AVP Finance and Operations

UBC’s Board of Governors has approved the appointment of Rob Einarson as the Associate Vice-President Finance and Operations for UBC’s Okanagan campus.

Mr. Einarson brings considerable experience in university financial management, planning and business operations. He is currently Executive Director of Planning and Process Improvement at the University of Winnipeg, and previously served as Executive Director of Audit Services at the University of Winnipeg, and Audit Manager at the University of Manitoba.

The Associate Vice-President Finance and Operations provides leadership in financial and operational areas of the Okanagan campus, and is a key member of the University’s financial team. This diverse portfolio includes:

  • Finance
  • Campus Planning and Development (Campus Planning, Infrastructure Development, Sustainability Operations and Project Management)
  • Campus Operations and Risk Management (Facilities Management, Risk Management Services, Campus Security and Campus Mail)
  • Business Operations (Student Housing and Hospitality Services, Conferences and Accommodations, Food Services, Bookstore and Parking Services)
  • IT, Media and Classroom Services
  • UBC-wide joint responsibility for Payment and Procurement Services (including payroll)

Mr. Einarson is a Chartered Accountant and has certification with the Institute of Internal Auditors. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Manitoba.

We welcome Mr. Einarson to UBC later this summer as he joins the Okanagan campus and Finance portfolio leadership teams beginning September 7.

Monday, August 24, 2015 Permits will be available for pick up in Fipke, lower level, beginning at 9:00 AM.