Welcome to the wonderful world of Senate & Curriculum Services, easily the most nebulous unit within Enrolment Services! We support both the Okanagan and Vancouver Senates (yes, UBC has two Senates!), the Council of Senates, twenty-plus Senate and Council standing committees, as well as faculty councils and other academic governance bodies. We also conduct university elections and are responsible for publishing the Academic Calendars. We love meetings, deadlines, rules and obscure precedents from decades ago!
Senate? Never heard of it.
The Senates get their authority from powers vested in them by the University Act. Senate is one half of the bicameral governance structure of UBC, the other half being the Board of Governors. The Senates manage the academic governance of the university including: admissions regulations, teaching and learning practices, academic policies, awards policies, conferring student degrees, granting honorary degrees, standards and execution of curriculum, and student appeals. Our team has a multitude of cross-campus responsibilities because of the broad types of work that we do. We’re like a cog with spokes poking out all over the place.
Our unit’s work is pretty diverse, and equally diverse (motley?) is our crew. Our Head Minion (term of endearment) is Chris Eaton. His mind is an expansive palace filled with as much UBC knowledge as the university’s archives hold. Chris is buoyed by a management team made up of four Academic Governance Officers and two Associate Academic Governance Officers. These folks advise the various governance bodies about regulations and policies, prepare the deliverable work that goes into and comes out of those groups (things like meeting materials, policies, reports) and conduct elections. And then rounding out the Senate squad is a trio of clerical staff that support faculty councils, provide administrative support for our unit and process the mountains of curriculum produced by the university each year.
Hopefully the above sheds some light on what exactly goes on in Senate & Curriculum Services. You can usually find us on Zoom, but we’ve actually got members on both campuses, so say hi the next time you see us!
A by-no-means-auto biography of Chris Eaton, Associate Registrar & Director
Chris joined the UBC community in 1915, and therein began his journey as an institutional staple. While many know Chris was among the first cohort of students to walk through the doors of the Point Grey Campus, few are aware it was he who gave the inaugural Ladner Clock Tower carillon performance in 1968. The 1997 APEC protests marked a foray into activism for Chris, but it would not be the last time he would find himself on the frontlines. In fact, it was Chris’s scissors that cut the ribbon to mark the opening of the Okanagan Campus in 2005. Among Chris’s many notable contributions to the University, he is most widely recognized for his valiant firefighting efforts when Brock Hall set ablaze in 1954.
Amandeep K. Breen (she/her/hers), Academic Governance Officer
I first joined UBC as a fresh-faced 18 year-old, in the previous century (the 1990s, but nonetheless). After completing my undergraduate and graduate degrees, I left UBC for a four-year period to go to law school. I returned soon thereafter to take up a term Academic Governance Officer position but was thankfully asked to stay on, and the rest is history. I have left ES/Senate for two secondments but always find my way back to my Senate home. My responsibilities in my unit are primarily related to admissions, student appeals of several types, and honorary degrees, though I have supported almost every other Senate Committee at some point during my tenure.
Outside of my Senate life, I have three delightful humans at home, aged 7, 10 and 43.
Ask me about: 90s/early aughts R&B and hip-hop, gardening, and how much I love Jessica’s fashion sense/wardrobe choices.
Bradley Menard (he/him), Associate Academic Governance Officer
I began my UBC journey in 2015 as a grad student. Then, in 2016, I decided to end my (almost) 8 years of working at BCIT to become part of the UBC family of employees. I worked in DAE for 5 years before making another leap into my current job in Senate & Curriculum Services. My day-to-day work in this department’s management team is, to borrow a very May-Vancouver-Senate-meeting-word, “robust”. I’ve got to say, the Senate Office is made up of very fun, very quirky and very dedicated people. Our work may be arcane, but we’re all super approachable and always happy to help.
- About travel! I’ve visited over 70 countries, including all 7 continents. This summer I’m headed to Scotland, Portugal, Sweden and Norway.
- About the best neighbourhood walks in Vancouver.
- For a dad-esque joke.
Emma Clarke (they/them), Academic Governance Clerk
Greetings! I was born in England and grew up in the US. I graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a degree in Political Science, Journalism, and Media Studies. Some (nerdy) highlights are that I played the trumpet in the marching band and was a DJ for WMUA, our college radio station. Since then I have lived and worked in Australia and have spent time backpacking. I landed in sunny Vancouver in late 2019.
I began my journey at UBC in the summer of 2020 as Academic Governance Assistant and Faculty Secretary. My current role provides support to our unit’s academic governance officers, the Senate curriculum committees, and the academic calendar (amongst other things). I’m grateful to be working with such a superb set of colleagues who have helped me to learn and grow while also putting up with my punny sense of humour. You can find me in Brock Hall hunched over a crossword puzzle with a cup of coffee.
Live Long and Prosper!
Ask me about books, music, outdoor sports, philosophy or travel.
Gina DeVeaux, Academic Governance Officer
I joined UBC in 2019 and I deliver governance support to the Vancouver and Okanagan Senates. My foray into university governance started while I earned my Juris Doctorate at Osgoode Hall Law School. I enjoy my work at UBC because I can utilize all of the skills and experience acquired during 10+ years working in public institutions and corporations across Canada. I am proud and grateful to be a member of the UBC community and the Senate Office Team – the governance version of a rock band with zombie apocalypse survival skills!
I’m a concierge to a saucy Havanese named Vega Blue. She recently taught me that her whining while looking up at lights translates into “Hey, please turn off that light, it’s disturbing sleep… Ugh, humans…”.
Ask me about anything, and I mean anything, except the final season of Game of Thrones because it will always be too soon.
Jess B. Iverson, A governance officer-Academic sort
Journalism school Sounded like a good idea Hello, UBC! Post-grad, hello FOGS! My curriculum intro Rest is history Then, hello Senate! But just for a little bit Bounced to tech from there Post-kids, I return Well hello again Senate! (Still curriculum) But now there’s some more: Elections, Calendars, staff Oh, and IRP… ASK ME ABOUT: - The book I’m reading - BABY MAMA knuckle tats - My wardrobe (love clothes)
Jo-anna Cowen, Academic Governance Officer
Lover of plants and animals, loather of penning bios.
Melodie Davis, Academic Governance Clerk
Having joined UBC in 2017, I began my role in the Senate and Curriculum Services department in November 2020, right in the middle of the pandemic!
I primarily support the Senates and Committees of the Senate by way of meeting scheduling, material preparation, minute and agenda writing, and data entry for the Vancouver and Okanagan calendar databases and websites. A large part of my day surrounds receiving and reviewing curriculum proposals for completeness thereby facilitating the curriculum approval process.
Ask me about Orangetheory Fitness, Wordle, or my upcoming travel plans
Michael Jud, Associate Academic Governance Officer
I began my career at UBC in 2014 as a part-time concierge at the Robson Square campus. “Concierge” is a Robson Square term for a person who moves heavy furniture around, sets up event spaces, and explains why your projector won’t turn on. This was apparently formative experience as I later graduated to a full-time position in what we used to call the Faculty of Law. I have been in my current role in Senate and Curriculum Services since August of last year. Together with my colleagues I am responsible for laying track before the speeding locomotives of Vancouver and Okanagan Senate. A notable part of my role involves supporting the Okanagan Senate curriculum process and publication of the academic calendar (send me your typos!).
Ask me about gardening (chillies in particular), sailing and rock climbing.
Veronika Larsen, Academic Governance Assistant & Faculty Secretary
My role mostly encompasses working with the Faculty Councils as well as assisting on various Senate meeting-related tasks!
A little about me: I completed my BA at UVic with a major in English and Minor in Psychology. Although my original love was Victorian Literature (think: Jane Eyre, 1847!), my interests shifted over to linguistics and pedagogical literature when I moved to UBC Vancouver for my MA. In my last year as a student, I spent a good deal of time working on an Equity project geared toward supporting linguistic diversity on campus. I graduated in 2021 and completed a contract with the Faculty of Medicine Admissions team before taking on my current position with the Senate.
In my spare time, I enjoy being outside with a good bubble tea and (any) dog(s). Ask me about my favorites travel spots (or, alternatively, for pictures of my puppy).