VPFO Monday Update

Department updates


  • Reoccupying UBC: A steering comittee, including our own Rae Ann Aldridge and John Metras, is now in place to manage the plans and processes for our safe, phased return to operations. We will share more details as department-level restart plans begin to flow through the process for executive approval.
  • ISC Update: The upcoming Integrated Service Centre has appointed two directors to co-lead this initiative, which will focus on sustaining and enhancing Workday and providing user support to the UBC community. Congratulations to the VPFO’s Harjot Guram, the new Director, ISC Operations!

Stay tuned as more positions for the ISC will be posted this week. Check the HR Careers website for more information on individual roles.

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

  • Preparing buildings for researchers’ return to campus: Facilities is preparing spaces for researchers planning to return on campus, upon approval from the Faculty and UBC’s COVID-19 Safety Planning Steering Committee. More information will be available in the coming week.
  • Project Services’ Project Coordinators on-site support schedule this week: Please continue to contact the designated Project Manager/Coordinator for project inquiries.
    • May 25: David Kosub
    • May 26: Victor Wong
    • May 27: Darren Harrington
    • May 28: David Meek
    • May 29: David Kosub

Finance – Comptroller, Finance & Operational Excellence, and Treasury

  • Year End Update: The Financial Reporting team is currently finalizing UBC’s audited consolidated financial statements for 2019/2020 with the university’s new auditor.
  • COVID-19 Impact: The Comptroller’s team continues to assess the financial impact of COVID-19 on the university’s 2020/2021 budget, which will be presented to the Board for approval in July.
  • T2200 Tax Forms/Working from Home Expenses: A reminder that UBC follows the guidance of the CRA, and does not generally issue T2200 tax forms. Read more information on the UBC Finance website.
  • UBC’s Hourly Payroll Process: Please note that the spreadsheet-based hourly payroll process established for COVID-19 measures will continue through August, at which point the process will be reassessed.

Operations & Advising – Communications & Engagement and Human Resources

  • Learning how to work remotely: Communications & Engagement has been offering a lighting fast weekly Zoom series to build your communications skills:
    • 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.

  • VPFO HR on-site support schedule this week:
    • May 25: Alena Martin, Gregor MacDonald
    • May 26: Arvind Kang, Rachel Lau
    • May 27: Liana Chang, Kasia Burza, Elliot Campbell
    • May 28: Matt Furgal, Elliot Campbell
    • May 29: Alena Martin, Gregor MacDonald

Safety & Risk Services

  • COVID-19 Safety Planning: SRS Team members have been creating templates and guidance documents, as well as reviewing submitted COVID-19 safety plans, for the phase 2 resumption of campus activity.
  • Continuity Planning: SRS is working to capture continuity planning efforts from departments across UBC. Initial focus will be on teams who are currently supporting the universities core business operations. Communications about the engagement process affecting these groups will be shared soon.
  • UBC Hot Lunch Program: A reminder that Rae Ann Aldridge, Executive Director of SRS, will be the speaker at the next St. John’s College hot lunch event on May 27. The hot lunch program has continued through COVID-19 measures in a virtual format. The event is open to all, but please register in advance.

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 (15-minute) weekly Zoom series to build up your skills.

Thanks to everyone who attended the third session — Working with Communications & Engagement. For those who could not attend, we’ve shared the resources from the session on the VPFO website:


UBC’s Media Relations team has created a feature series on members of the UBC community who are “Making a Difference” through COVID-19. Read more about:


UBC’s research community continues to explore a variety of studies relating to COVID-19. Read about some of the latest developments on the UBC News webiste:


With the popularity of video conferencing rising over the last few months, online mischief makers and hackers have a new target. You don’t have to look very far on the internet to find examples of unwanted meeting participants hijacking calls with inappropriate images and messages. Find out how you can avoid Zoom-bombing on the PrISM website.

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.

  • The volume of work required in the face of COVID-19 has many of us in back-to-back Zoom meetings all day long. But could you be moving forward without scheduling face-to-face time? A few years ago Harvard Business Review created a decision tree called “Do you really need to hold that meeting?” that has been making the rounds to help many of us make the call on when we need to “get together” — and when we don’t.
  • It’s normal to feel lonely when working from home. Dan Schawbel, an author, podcast host, and future of work expert, breaks down the pressures that new technology trends have placed on human needs for community and bonding at work. He also explains how teams can communicate and collaborate effectively while working remotely. Listen to the FOMO Sapien episode about working from home with host Patrick J. McGinnis and Dan Schawbel.

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