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UBC names Arvind Gupta new president

The University of British Columbia has appointed a new top dog.

Dr. Arvind Gupta, a renowned expert in research and innovation policy who has forged close collaborations between universities, civil society and business will take over, July 1, as president and vice chancellor of UBC.

Gupta is currently chief executive officer and scientific director of Mitacs, a not-for-profit organization recognized internationally for nurturing the next generation of research and business-savvy innovators.

Gupta will serve a five-year term, while retaining his position at UBC as professor of computer science. He succeeds Professor Stephen Toope, who completes his eight years’ service on June 30, 2014. 

The UBC Board of Governors made the appointment following an international search by a 22-member committee.

“The opportunity to lead one of the world’s great universities attracted outstanding candidates, but Dr. Arvind Gupta clearly stood out as the best choice to lead this great university,” said Board Chair John Montalbano. “The Board will provide its full support to Dr. Gupta as he guides UBC in its pursuit of excellence, so that we may better serve the people of British Columbia, Canada and the world.”

“I was delighted to hear Dr. Gupta will be succeeding me,” said Stephen Toope. “In him, UBC has found a leader with rare attributes: critical thinking, inspiring vision and the courage to chart a bold course.”

Gupta will be UBC’s 13th president and vice chancellor since 1913, when Frank Wesbrook first held the position. UBC has grown to more than 58,000 students and 15,000 faculty and staff, with an annual budget of $2.2 billion and an estimated $12.7 billion annual contribution to the B.C. economy.

“As a member of the UBC community, I know how great a responsibility and honour this is,” said Gupta. “I have the privilege of taking the baton from Professor Toope who has guided UBC to a strong position. We have exciting days ahead and I relish the opportunity.”

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