VPFO Monday Update

Last week’s updates from UBC

General updates about UBC and its response to COVID-19 continue to be updated at covid19.ubc.ca.

Department updates


Facilities – Building Operations, Energy & Water Services, and Infrastructure Development

  • Facilities return to campus contingency planning underway: Short-term and long-term planning continues for operational impacts when students, faculty, and staff begin to return to campus.
  • Building Operations Department Operations Centre (DOC) deactivated: The DOC will reactivate on an as needed as reopenings are announced by the province.
  • Renewal of the MacLeod Building is moving forward: Emptying/moving out contents from MacLeod started this month. Construction is targeted to begin June 2020 with completion targeted for Summer 2022. For project details, please visit the Infrastructure Development website.
  • Planon Review Sessions: Review sessions of Planon configuration 1 were conducted last week and will continue through May 5. Zoom polls showed positive results and many stakeholder questions were addressed. Read more about Planon at emms.ubc.ca

Finance – Comptroller, Finance & Operational Excellence, and Treasury

  • UBC’s Budget: The Comptroller’s team is collaborating with university partners on an updated budget for UBC that addresses the financial impact of COVID-19. It is expected to be presented to UBC’s Board of Governors this summer.
  • Working from Home: T2200 Tax Forms: UBC follows the guidance of the CRA, and does not generally issue T2200 tax forms. Read more information on the UBC Finance website.
  • Finance/OpEx Town Hall: 152 members of the Finance & Operational Excellence team successfully came together for a town hall meeting last week.

Operations & Advising – Communications & Engagement and Human Resources

  • Communications & Engagement is offering a lighting fast weekly Zoom series to build your communications skills:
    • May 6 @10:30 am: Five easy tips to make your email work for you
    • May 13: Engage your team with Video
    • May 20: Understand how to work with Communications & Engagement

For more information and to make sure you’re registered, visit the workshops section of the VPFO website.

  • VPFO HR on-site support schedule this week:
    • May 4: Elliot Campbell, Kasia Burza, Liana Chang
    • May5: Gregor MacDonald, Matt Furgal
    • May 6: Gregor MacDonald, Kasia Burza, Liana Chang
    • May 7: Arvind Kang, Elliot Campbell
    • May 8: Alena Martin, Racheal Lau

Safety & Risk Services

  • Continued scale-back of EOC activity: Activity in the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) has been scaled back to one optional weekly briefing per week for problem solving, escalating concerns and decision making. Some working groups will continue with their institutional support of the response.  Visit ready.ubc for more information.
  • Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs) move onlineUBC’s Privacy Impact Assessment process is moving online. Prior to full launch, an initial soft launch phase will see selected submitted PIAs will go through the new online process. Email privacy.matters@ubc.ca for more information.

Other notable updates


On April 21, Vice-President Peter Smailes invited the VPFO to get together for a virtual lunch. Groups from across the VPFO shared their lunch photos for their chance to win a real catered lunch with Peter when we’re back on campus. Congratulations to the Netflix Bunch: Oliver Yu, Tyler Liu, Jason Fung, Sylvia Leung, Rey Astronomo, Bill Liu, Sulay Feng Wu, Sandeep Khabra, Elmer Hong Tai, Hema Ratnasami, and Julie Chou. “We discovered that most of us subscribed to Netflix so we discussed some of the popular shows on Netflix right now, says organizer Tyler Liu. “Then we talked about Covid-19 and how much we all missed travelling — especially many of us on the team had to cancel our vacations in the recent weeks. This is the second time we’ve come together for a virtual lunch and it’s a good way to keep people connected and have some fun!” Check out all the “Let’s do Lunch” team photos on the VPFO website.


In this update, we share the experiences of those who are providing essential support in health, safety, and security on UBC Okanagan (UBCO) and UBC Vancouver (UBCV) campuses. Read more on the Faculty & Staff section of the UBC website.


As part of the operationalization of the Integrated Renewal Program, the Integrated Service Centre (ISC) is a new unit within the VPFO that will focus on sustaining and enhancing Workday and providing user support to UBC students, faculty and staff, in conjunction with HR, Finance, and eventually Enrolment Services.

Some of the opportunities available within the ISC include roles in application sustainment, change management, communications, product management, continuous improvement, and service centre management.

You can expect to see ISC positions listed on the UBC job board in three groups over the coming months. The first grouping of roles include two Senior Manager positions within the ISC:

  1. Senior Manager, Change and Communications
  2. Senior Manager, Service Centre

The second group of roles will be posted in mid-May and the third in mid-June.  Stay tuned for additional updates and check-out UBC’s job board to apply for opportunities within the ISC!


Join us on Monday, May 4, 2020 at 1:00 pm for a discussion about managing time and energy while working virtually. This Conversation Cafe is hosted by Lisa Frost and Julie Jenkins, HR’s organization development and learning consultants. Be sure to register online.

Helpful news

People have been suggesting news articles that they have found informative or helpful at work. These are provided for information and entertainment only. Unless noted, UBC doesn’t specifically endorse or supply editorial to this content.

  • Communications about Covid can be a bit repetitious… Everyone from your hair dresser to the Prime Minister has a message specially for you. Jessica Salina, an English teacher and poet from West Virginia, has created a poem, First lines of emails I’ve received while quarantining, to point out some of the absurdity.
  • May the 4th be with you! It’s hard to escape the fact that it is star wars day. The joke reportedly dates back to the 1970s — a newspaper ad congratulating British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on her May 4, 1979 election win said, “May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie.” But the first proper Star Wars Day celebration happened in 2011 at the Toronto Underground Cinema with a movie marathon and costume contest. Feel the need to celebrate? Visit starwars.com for activities, recipes and ideas.

Sharing an article that may be helpful to your peers? Send it to communications@vpfo.ubc.ca at any time.