Fonds UBCA-ARC-1456 - College for Interdisciplinary Studies fonds

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College for Interdisciplinary Studies fonds

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18 cm of textual records

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Administrative history

UBC has a rich history of interdisciplinary studies across many faculties and departments. In 1953, UBC created Canada's first Program in Community and Regional Planning, an interdisciplinary program placed within the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Subsequent interdisciplinary programs include the Genetics Graduate Program, the Institute for Animal Resource Ecology, Applied Mathematics and Statistics Institute, the Individual Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program, and the Institute of Asian Research. Indeed, growing and nurturing UBC's interdisciplinary and teaching activities was one of the Faculty of Graduate Studies (the other being to maintain the academic integrity and provide administrative services to graduate programs).
Because of the phenomenal growth in interdisciplinary studies, in 2004, the UBC Vice President Academic and Provost began to consider restructuring the interdisciplinary units at UBC. As a result of a two-year consultation process, including wide circulation of a discussion paper and individual and committee participation, the UBC Senate and Board of Governors approved the creation of the College for Interdisciplinary Studies (CfIS). This new entity, which formally came into existence on January 1, 2007, held equivalent status as a UBC Faculty but had a Principal and not a Dean.
The College for Interdisciplinary Studies was given the mandate to facilitate and support interdisciplinarity campus-wide, and as part of that mandate, to serve as a place for the creation, development, and dissemination of new and essential scholarly activities which advance the interests of UBC as a whole (CfIS Annual Report 2006/2007 page 4). In addition, the College aimed to build on and promote UBC's reputation and standing amongst world universities for leadership in interdisciplinary research and teaching. Within the College, collaborative teams of researchers sought to find innovative solutions to complex problems. Furthermore, they supported UBC's commitments towards a civil and sustainable society and global citizenship.
The College for Interdisciplinary Studies had 12 research units and 12 graduate programs. The research units took the form of schools, institutes and centres. Specifically, in 2010, the 12 research units were: W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics (CAE); Institute of Applied Mathematics (IAM); Institute of Asian Research (IAR); School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP); Institute for European Studies (IES); Fisheries Centre (FC); Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP); Liu Institute for Global Issues (LIGI); Media and Graphics Interdisciplinary Centre (MAGIC); Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES); School of Environmental Health (SOEH); Centre for Women's and Gender Studies (CWAGS). Moreover, the 12 graduate programs were: Asia Pacific Policy Studies (MAPPS); Bioinformatics; Cell and Developmental Biology; European Studies; Genetics; Genome Science and Technology (GSAT); Neuroscience; Occupational and Environmental Hygiene; Interdisciplinary Oncology; Planning; Resource Management and Environmental Studies (RMES); and Women's and Gender Studies.
In the autumn of 2010, the College for Interdisciplinary Studies went through an external review process to determine its most appropriate structure and direction. Following this review and the subsequent External Committee Report, the UBC Senate passed a motion on March 20, 2013, to transfer the graduate programs to the various Faculties and close the CfIS. As a result, the College for Interdisciplinary Studies was formally closed on October 1, 2013.

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Scope and content

Fonds consists of documents regarding the formation of the College for Interdisciplinary Studies and the initial call for campus-wide input regarding the future of interdisciplinary studies at UBC. It includes brochures, annual reports, endowment deeds, and reports on the ongoing structure of CfIS, as well as papers relating to the 2010 External Review of the College. Note that while the series contains sections I and II of the 2010 External Review, it appears likely that there was once additional material as the index states that there were ten appendices.

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Acquired from the College for Interdisciplinary Studies in May 2013.


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These are institutional records and subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Researcher access to these records is subject to review.

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