Monday Update

Last week’s updates from UBC

Managing your mental health

HR has collected mental health resources to help you manage our ups and downs. Our VPFO HR staff is always available for a confidential conversation.

  • January – March: Through the Lens: A series of interactive workshops designed to enhance UBC’s understanding of diversity, while offering practical ideas for creating a more equitable and inclusive campus.
  • March 9, 16, 23: Mindfulness with Kunye
  • March 10 – 23: 10 Day Mindfulness Challenge – March: Improve your ability to manage stress, feel more connected while working from home, or get your morning started with an exercise to improve focus.

Operations updates


Building Operations, Energy & Water Services and Infrastructure Development

  • Core vs. customer funded dispensers: The number of core soap, paper towel, and hand sanitizer dispensers for each space follows UBC technical guidelines. The faculty/department is responsible for funding any additional dispensers and refills. For more information, visit the Building Operations website.
  • Filming behind CEC: Filming will take place from March 22-25 on Agronomy Road and the walkway area behind the Campus Energy Centre (CEC) and Pharmaceutical Sciences Building. Scenes involve the use of simulated gunfire, generating a loud noise. Building access will be maintained.
  • Water Pump Station: The final building handover is underway for the new Water Pump Station, located on University Boulevard and Education Road (Next to the Henry Angus building). For more information, visit the Infrastructure Development website.



Comptroller, Finance & Operational Excellence and Treasury

  • A reminder about upcoming important Year End dates: March 19, 5pm is the cutoff for (1) supplier invoice approvals, (2) expense report approvals, and (3) purchase order rollover. The dates can be found in the Year End Important Dates feed.
  • Year End resources: New resources have been added on the Finance website, including an info sheet on Helpful Workday Resources, a presentation on Two Useful Reports for Fiscal Year End, and the slides and a recording from the year end call-in session #2.
  • Claims on unidentified wire transfers and direct deposits: A reminder to claim unidentified payments by 8am on March 22 to ensure payments are included in FY20/21. Please refer to this list to see if any payments belong to your department.
  • Q3: In preparation for fiscal year end, the Financial Reporting team is performing Q3 complete financial close and consolidation in Workday.


Operations & Advising

Communications & Engagement, Human Resources, and Safety & Risk Services

  • Working indoors: When entering and working in any buildings on campus, a reminder that face masks remain mandatory in common indoor spaces. For details on face masks and exceptions, please visit the Safety & Risk Services website.
  • Resource on VPFO hierarchy terminology: Each level of the VPFO fits into the portfolio’s overarching hierarchy. This 1-page document helps you consistently attribute the correct names to each of our groups, departments, units, and teams.
  • VPFO HR on-site support schedule this week:
    • March 15: Sonia Lachar, Kasia Burza
    • March 16: Arvind Kang, Rachel Lau
    • March 17: Kasia Burza, Arvind Kang
    • March 18: Matt Furgal, Kasia Burza
    • March 19: Sonia Lachar, Rachel Lau


Other notable updates

How do we overcome our fear of talking about racism?

Communicating about important topics, such as racism or privilege, requires practice, courage, and skill. Regardless of our intersectional identities, these conversations can be difficult, but they are necessary to create a more open and inclusive work environment at UBC. In this EDI article from the VPFO EDI Committee, learn about the four steps you can take to navigate difficult conversations.

President’s Staff Awards: Nominations due by March 19

All students, faculty and staff are invited to nominate staff for the 2021 UBC President’s Service Award for Excellence and the President’s Staff Awards.

The nomination deadline is 4 pm, Friday, March 19, 2021. Detailed award criteria are available on the UBC Focus on People website.

8 tips to communicate better while wearing a face mask 

Between face masks, plexiglass barriers and physical distancing, everyday conversations can stall quickly. Strategies that help people who are hard of hearing can help us all. Read this article by UBC Beyond to learn some useful tips on communicating better while wearing a face mask.

Webinar: What you need to know about vaccines

Developed by UBC Pharmacists Clinic and Human Resources, this 60-minute recorded webinar about vaccines will cover:

  • How vaccines work to stimulate your immune system
  • Introduction to COVID-19 vaccines
  • Navigating the vaccination resources available to you as a UBC staff
  • And more

This webinar is available on UBC Workplace Learning.


Helpful news

Some interesting news articles people have found informative, helpful, or fun! These are provided for information and entertainment only. Unless noted, UBC doesn’t specifically endorse or supply this content.

  • Many of us multitask during Zoom meetings, especially as we enter the second year of working remotely and our Zoom fatigue has worsened. This article by Fast Company explains why you should resist the urge to multitask during Zoom meetings and how you can reclaim your focus.
  • Bibi and Poldi, two Galápagos tortoises who live at the Reptilienzoo Happ in Klagenfurt, Austria, were together for nearly a century and then, suddenly, weren’t. Enjoy this light-hearted read to start your week off right!

Have an article for your peers? Email