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

  • Planning and design work continues: Gateway Building, School of Biomedical Engineering Building, and New Recreation Facility.
  • Delay start of construction: A prudent step has been taken to temporarily delay start of construction for Brock Commons Phase 2 and TEF4 until the financial situation is clearer.
  • Project Services’ Project Coordinators on-site support schedule this week: Please continue to contact the designated Project Manager/Coordinator for project inquiries.
    • May 19: David Kosub
    • May 20: Victor Wong
    • May 21: Darren Harrington
    • May 22: David Meek

Finance – Comptroller, Finance & Operational Excellence, and Treasury

  • UBC’s Budget: A strategy to create a new budget for UBC that addresses the financial impact of COVID-19 has been reviewed by the COVID-19 Steering Committee. The Budget Report will be submitted to the Board in July. 

Operations & Advising – Communications & Engagement and Human Resources

  • Communications & Engagement is offering a lighting fast weekly Zoom series to build your communications skills:
    • May 20: Understanding how to work with Communications & Engagement
    • May  27: Using our websites: from the VPFO and beyond!

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

  • Mental Health: Virtual meetings, home office optimization and more, all in one place. Read the latest from central HR.
  • VPFO HR on-site support schedule this week:
    • May 19: Alena Martin, Elliot Campbell
    • May 20: Liana Chang, Gregor MacDonald, Kasia Burza
    • May 22: Arvind Kang, Racheal Lau
    • May 14: Matt Furgal, Elliot Campbell

Safety & Risk Services

Other notable updates


COVID-19 has challenged us to rethink many aspects of how we work, from taking meetings online to redesigning paper-based processes. It takes extra effort to be understood and stay engaged — especially when moving to less familiar digital communications. To help you succeed, Communications & Engagement is offering a lighting fast — only 15 minutes — weekly Zoom series to build up your skills.

Although video platforms such as Skype and Zoom have made virtual meetings readily available, it’s important to keep these meetings productive and structured and part of your bigger story. Use the following resources to level up your video meeting skills:


Many people are donning non-medical masks to protect themselves from infection by COVID-19. However there are limitations and risks associated with wearing them, with little scientific evidence to suggest that doing so offers the wearer any additional protection. Read more on non-medical masks from Safety & Risk Services.


Several locations for food services have re-opened for takeout on campus, including:

  • The Point: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm, Mon – Sat
  • Mercante: 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm daily
  • Tim Hortons, Forestry Building: 7:00 am to 5:00 pm Mon – Fri, 7:00 am to 4:00 pm Sat – Sun
  • Harvest Market: 8:00 am to 7:00 pm Mon – Fri, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Sat – Sun

For a full list of food options on campus visit UBC’s Feed Me! website.


Over six alphanumeric characters, case sensitive with at least one symbol?! With all the different password criteria out there and the likely hundreds of online accounts you hold, you could be forgiven for making it easy for yourself to remember them. But maintaining good passwords hygiene really is one of the most important things you can to do protect yourself and UBC.

One good way to do this is to use a password management application such as KeePass and LastPass. It’s well worth investing the time to use these tools for both personal and UBC services, and will help you to never forget a password again! Read more and power up your passwords.


It’s great to see that the COVID-19 curve is flattening in BC and we’ll soon be able to begin a careful easing of restrictions. I know that we’re all eagerly anticipating our next steps at UBC, so I want to highlight some recent updates from the university, and what it means for us in the Facilities group. Read more from John on the Facilities website.


Upgrades are underway to rebuild Wesbrook Mall from University Boulevard to Agronomy Road. The first stage of work, in the northbound lane, will run through June 8. Traffic patterns will change along the corridor during construction, so please reduce speeds and follow flaggers directions.  Read project details on the Campus & Comunity Planning website. For more updates on campus construction impacts view the campus construction map.

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.

  • BC’s Restart Plan is underway. Post-Secondary institutions have been identified as a component of Phase 3, which will take place between June and September, if transmission rates remain low. Under the Restart Plan, all post-secondary institutions in BC will be targeting a mix of online and in-class instruction for September and will be operating under enhanced protocols. The Restart Plan identifies the following core measures for safe organizational practices within the post-secondary sector.
  • The Canadian Immigration Newsletter is reporting some 69 per cent of the 6,900 international student applicants surveyed by IDP Connect, a global student recruitment agency (so please consider the source) intend to commence their studies as planned. Only five per cent said they would no longer continue studying. Read more on the CIC website.
  • In response to the COVID-19 global health crisis, Marcus Buckingham and ADP® have created ‘The Gift of StandOut’, a complimentary strengths assessment to help each person find resilience and direction by identifying their unique strengths profile. To access the assessment for free, note the following:
    •    Use the StandOut Code: STAYHOME
    •    Find 15 minutes of quiet time.
    •    StandOut relies on your top-of-mind reactions, so it’s deliberately timed. Take it in one sitting.
    •    You’ll get your 14-page results report immediately.

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