Responding in uncertain times

UNBC Interim President Dr. Geoff Payne conducts a physically distanced interview with CKPG
This year brought the phrase physical distancing into our lexicon. CKPG News modified its microphone to conduct an interview with Interim President Dr. Geoff Payne about UNBC's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

When I took on the role of Interim President of the University of Northern British Columbia earlier this year, I, like many of you I imagine, did not see a global pandemic coming our way. Yet by mid-March, institutions, businesses, families and entire communities were forced to make massive change, and UNBC was no different.

To write my first message for This is UNBC magazine, I reflected on the year that has been 2020, and I can say that our University’s response to date has been exceptional. Our students adapted marvelously, and even more encouraging was that they returned to us this fall in even greater numbers than last year. Our faculty adapted quickly, finishing the last half of the winter semester using new or enhanced virtual teaching tools. And our staff began working from home and are working diligently to support our academic mission. It is inspiring!

 I’m fond of telling people that of all the lemons we’ve been served this year, some lemonade will come of them. UNBC’s adaptability, responsiveness, and dedication to the communities we are proud to serve positions us as a leader in the global response to this pandemic, along with other significant issues. Be it confronting vile incidences of racism to contributing to research and scholarship in many areas, your University is ready for the challenge.

 Finally, I have witnessed multiple occasions in which our graduates are contributing positively to global initiatives and conversations, some of which you’ll read about inside. You are tremendous ambassadors of our University – thank you!