Continuing as one VPFO under Karamjeet Heer and John Metras’ leadership  

Starting June 1, Karamjeet Heer will begin serving as the Interim Vice-President, Finance, and John Metras will become the Interim Vice-President, Operations following the departure of Peter Smailes, former Vice-President, Finance and Operations. These interim roles will work together to steward the university’s finance and operations until the search for a new Vice-President, Finance & Operations is complete. 

Both leaders will continue to handle their current portfolios (i.e., Comptroller and Facilities respectively), in addition to approximately half of the portfolio for the interim period: 

With years of experience working closely with the UBC Board of Governors and Executive, John and Karamjeet are well situated to work across the many requirements with the university’s Board, Executive team, and the VPFO’s many operational complexities.  

While this is a transition for the VP Finance & Operations (VPFO) portfolio, our team’s responsibilities to the university have not changed. We will continue together as a single portfolio, moving forward together in line with our strategic plan. 

To set the way forward, the VPFO leadership team in consultation with the extended leadership team, clients and partners, is launching the VPFO’s new strategic plan, a solid framework to navigate this transition together.  Teammates from across the VPFO have worked to develop supporting business plans — where you will see our team move the VPFO and the university forward. 

Lastly, thank you to Peter Smailes for his 30 years of service and valued leadership, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic at UBC. We wish you all the best!