Two new Faculties for UBC Okanagan

On July 1, 2020 the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences (IKBSAS) transitioned from one Faculty into two autonomous faculties. Those faculties are now the Irving K. Barber Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the Irving K. Barber Faculty of Science.

Why transition into two autonomous faculties?

In 2004, in support of UBC’s vision, Dr. Irving K. Barber donated $10 million to establish the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences at UBC’s Okanagan campus. In partnership, we set a goal to create an outstanding learning environment that prepares students to become better citizens of the world; citizens that foster a civil and sustainable society.

UBCO has grown considerably since its creation in 2004, with student enrolment nearly tripling from 3,500 in its first year of operation to over 10,000 today. In that time, IKBSAS too has grown to become the largest Faculty at UBC Okanagan, but its commitment to the shared vision has remained true. With that growth and success comes an opportunity for innovation and excellence in the sciences, arts and social sciences at UBCO.

The creation of two new Faculties will not only bolster the commitment to learning and research on this campus, but it will also expand upon Dr. Barber’s contribution to our community with each new Faculty continuing to bear his name and continuing to subscribe to the original founding principles.

What impact will this transition have, if any, on students?

  • Both Faculties will continue their focus on excellence in teaching and research.
  • Students will receive the same high standard of instruction and support from faculty and staff that they’ve come to expect.
  • Degrees will not be affected.
  • Research will not be affected.
  • The following departments and programs fall within the new Irving K. Barber Faculty of Science:
    • Department of Biology (BIOC, BIOL)
    • Department of Chemistry (BIOC, CHEM)
    • Department of Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics and Statistics (COSC, DATA, MATH, PHYS, STAT)
    • Department of Earth, Environmental and Geographic Sciences (EESC, GEOG, GISC) (Freshwater Science)
  • The Faculty you are in depends on your major. Until a major is declared, BA students are part of the Irving K. Barber Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and BSc students are part of the Irving K. Barber Faculty of Science. Once a major is declared, students are considered part of the Faculty in which their program (department) is located. BA students with majors in Mathematics or Computer Science will be considered part of the Faculty of Science. Similarly, BSc students who declare a major in Economics or Psychology will be considered part of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. If you are unclear about which of the two new Faculties you are in, please email either fass.students.ubco@ubc.ca or fos.students.ubco@ubc.ca.
  • Leadership, faculty and staff may have changed office locations as a result of the transition. Visit the Dean’s office and leadership contact page, for updated information including email and office numbers.

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What impact will this transition have on the Irving K. Barber Endowment?

The Irving K. Barber Endowment will retain the same exceptional stewardship and it will continue to support excellence in teaching and research for both new Faculties.