Establishment of the UBC Emeritus College, Donald Fisher, Principal-Elect (on behalf of Principal Dianne Newell)

The proposal to establish a college was approved by Senate last May and subsequently by the Board of Governors. The College became a formal entity on October 17th with the announcement by President Santa Ono at Senate. Several years in the planning, the College marks another first for UBC. Just as 30 years ago, UBCAPE was the first emeriti association in Canada, our college is breaking new ground. While a few similar institutions have been founded in the United States, this is a first for Canada. The new Governing Council is in the process of dissolving the Association and working through the transition process.

A number of factors have provided a supportive context for the emergence of the College. An increase in life expectancy, the abolition of mandatory retirement and the cultural shift toward a delayed and more flexible retirement have all lead to retirement being seen as a pathway rather than a single point in time. In this context, an Emeritus College offered an intellectual pathway to retirement while maintaining a close connection to the University and academia. Yet, we must also recognize that this particular initiative came at an opportune time. President Ono’s administration was especially impressed with the information provided by the Association about the continuing contribution of UBC emeriti to research, teaching and community involvement. With President Ono’s strong encouragement, the drive to create a college accelerated and, as we can see, has been successful. President Ono has been our champion. Along the way we have also received invaluable assistance from Provost Andrew Szeri, Vice-Provost Eric Eich, and the Provost’s office staff.

The core vision of the UBC Emeritus College is that emeritus status for a faculty member will be on a continuum of involvement with the University in contrast to classical “retirement” models, which are usually some form of severance or withdrawal. The Emeritus College, as an integral component of the University, will give retired UBC Faculty, Librarians, and Administrators logical retirement pathways to an active UBC community, into which they can plan to retire at a point in their career which is right for them and the University. The Emeritus College will allow retention of identity and foster continued pursuit of academic and creative interests.

The Emeritus College has a number of overlapping aims.

  • First is to create a community of scholarship and camaraderie for retired UBC Faculty, Librarians, and Administrators and to provide support for their continued intellectual growth, scholarly output, and involvement in both university-based and community-support activity.
  • Second is to create a welcoming social and intellectual environment for potential retirees, newly retired colleagues and established members. The College will assist with successful transitions into retirement as well as advocate for benefits and programs that will promote the well-being of all.
  • Third is to promote social and intellectual interaction and collaboration among retired colleagues from a variety of disciplines by providing programming and opportunities for the exchange of ideas and to foster and promote an environment that supports interdisciplinary inquiry. Fourth is to encourage social and civic engagement by members of the College with the UBC community, members of indigenous communities, and the external community at large. The college will further expand this vision of contribution to community to include national and international projects.
  • Fifth is to recognize the contributions of Emeriti to UBC, their disciplines, and the local and global community during and following their formal careers. The College will further develop a presence and an outreach into academic retirement organizations provincially, nationally, and internationally. It should be noted that current members of the Association will automatically be enrolled as members of the Emeritus College and all other Emeriti will be invited to join. Membership in the College is free.

Before closing it is important to recognize that the achievement of this milestone owes thanks to many people. A core group of current and past members of the Executive of the Association worked hard to achieve this objective. The list includes Carolyn Gilbert, Dianne Newell, Olav Slaymaker, Richard Spencer, Richard Tees, and Stephen Tredwell.

Finally, as a way of celebrating the establishment of the College, the Governing Council is organizing a two-day symposium to be held April 11 and 12, 2019. The title is Scholarship in the Future University. Please mark your calendars.

How to renew your membership or become a member

The Emeritus College at UBC has been approved by UBC Senate and the Board of Governors approval. The proposal approved by Senate included membership in the College without payment of a membership fee.  

Effective July 1, 2018, all current memberships in the Association will be automatically renewed, without a membership fee.

Applications for membership in the Association will continue to be accepted, without a membership fee. Members of the College will be asked to confirm their membership annually. It is expected that the Association will be dissolved once the College is established. Any Association members who do not want to have their membership renewed, or who do not want to become members of the College when it is established, should contact the Association office.

If you would like to become a member of the UBC Emeritus College, please fill out the online application form by clicking on the link, send an email with a request to become a member to the office at:, or phone the office at: 604-822-1752.

The Many Benefits of Membership in the Association of Professors Emeriti

Participation in the Association’s activities and services extends the sense of collegiality beyond official retirement, maintains formal links with the UBC, and provides an avenue for advocacy on behalf of Emeriti. 


  1. We sponsor 5 General Meetings a year with outstanding speakers or music, and social time to renew old friendships and make new ones.
  2. Our Newsletter is distributed five times a year and has news of interest concerning colleagues, university events, and relevant current affairs. You can view past issues of the Newsletter and learn more about the Association on this page.
  3. A diverse set of presentations or workshops is offered (e.g., Photography, Museum visits, Wine tasting, Life Writing, Library tutorials), as we identify interests or needs among our members. 
  4. We have appointed emeriti/ae as Association Representatives for 70% of UBC’s Departments, Schools, and Librarian units.
  5. We encourage the formation of Chapters based on geographic location in order to meet the needs of our members in outlying areas. 


  1. The Association has established good relations with the Provost’s Office, the Alumni Office, Tapestry, the Faculty Association and many other areas of the campus. Green and St. John’s colleges and the Peter Wall Institute have facilitated a number of our activities.
  2. The Association provides advice on preparation for, and ways of taking advantage of, new opportunities during retirement.
  3. Our Association provides access to comprehensive travel insurance to those who seek it.
  4. We have been instrumental in improvements to UBC’s Extended Health Insurance with a new lifetime benefit limit of $200,000, and a direct pay prescription drug card to activate the benefits program at the time of purchase.
  5. Membership includes eligibility for a special discount in CARP, a major lobby group in Ottawa for senior citizens.  
  6. We are pursuing UBC support and celebration for the continuing scholarly activities of emeriti after official retirement.


Getting involved

We would love more members to get involved in the Association. If you would like to be a champion for an event, please do contact the office at: 604-822-1752 or

There are plenty of things that can be done. We are open to lots of ideas. 


Privileges after retirement for UBC emeriti

UBC offers the following privileges to UBC emeriti:

  • UBC Card
    UBC offers the possibility to obtain a new UBC Card as an emerita-emeritus.

    Your multipurpose UBCcard identifies you as a valid UBC emeritil. It also grants you access to:
    -UBC Library services (book loans, study room bookings)
    -UBC Bookstore e-Money purchases
    -Food Services’ dining convenience and discounts

    For more information on how to obtain a UBC Card, please click on the link.

  • Library
    If you have a UBC Card you do not need to obtain a library card separately. Please see the information above about the UBC card. If you wish to apply for a separate library card, you can do so online.

  • Parking
    When applying for parking permits, you must bring with you:vehicle insurance papers and
    your valid driver’s license. Please note that all outstanding parking tickets must be paid before a permit will be issued. Questions regarding retiree permits may be directed to Parking Services at 604.822.6786.
    Emeriti faculty are eligible for complimentary parking permits, which will provide the same parking privileges as active faculty and staff. To obtain your parking permit, apply in person at the Parking Office. When you apply you must bring your letter from Faculty Relations with you.

  • Pool
    Emeriti are eligible to pay senior rates. Please contact the Aquatic Centre on their website or directly at telephone 604-822-4522.