University of Northern British Columbia

University of Northern British Columbia

Coordinates: 53°53′14.40″N 122°48′49.40″W / 53.887333°N 122.813722°W / 53.887333; -122.813722

University of Northern British Columbia
Motto En Cha Huná ("He/she also lives." in Carrier)
Established 1990
Type Public University
Endowment $65 million
Chancellor John S. MacDonald
President Dr. George Iwama
Provost Dr. Mark Dale
Vice-Chancellor Dr. George Iwama
Students 4183 (2009/2010)
Undergraduates 3469 (2009/2010)
Postgraduates 675 (2009/2010)
Location Canada Prince George, British Columbia, Canada
Tagline Canada's Green University
Colours gold      and Green    
Nickname UNBC
Mascot Timberwolves
Affiliations UArctic, ACU, AUCC, IAU, CIS, AUFSC, CBIE, CUP.
Website UNBC main page

The University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) is a small, primarily undergraduate university whose main campus is in Prince George, British Columbia. UNBC also has regional campuses in the northern British Columbia cities of Prince Rupert, Terrace, Quesnel, and Fort St. John. The enabling legislation is the University Act. [1] 4177 students were enrolled at UNBC in the 2007-2008 academic year.[2] In 2007, the University obtained the trademark for "Canada's Green University".[3] The university press, The Over the Edge, is a member of the Canadian University Press. Because of its northern latitude, UNBC is a member of the University of the Arctic.



The British Columbia legislature passed Bill 40, (the UNBC Act) that formally established the university, on June 22, 1990[4] The university was established in response to a grass roots movement spearheaded by the Interior University Society. UNBC offered a limited number of courses in rented office space in 1992 and 1993 but was opened officially by Queen Elizabeth II,[5] with 1500 students, in 1994 with the completion of the main Prince George campus [6] after two years of construction.

The governance was modelled on the provincial University of Toronto Act of 1906 which established a bicameral system of university government consisting of a Senate (composed of members of the faculty), responsible for academic policy, and a board of governors (composed of members of the community) exercising exclusive control over financial policy and having formal authority in all other matters. The President, appointed by the board, was to provide a link between the two bodies and to perform institutional leadership.[7] The current President is Dr. George Iwama, whose term as President began July 1, 2009.[8]

The university has gained attention with the introduction of the Northern Medical Program (NMP), which is a collaboration between UBC and UNBC. Through this collaboration, several acadamic physicians have been attracted to the city, which has led to an emerging academic medical community. For example, the introduction of the BC Cancer Agency's Centre for the North has attracted academic oncologists, such as Dr. Robert Olson.[9][10][11][12][13][14]

Features and Buildings

The campus is located on Cranbrook Hill, overlooking the city of Prince George from the west and is widely renowned for its innovative architecture. The separate buildings are linked by an agora that is partially below ground level. It is the efficient heating system connected to all the core campus buildings that permits UNBC to pursue its goal of heating the university by the gasification of clean-burning, renewable wood pellets, collected from the waste of pine trees killed by the mountain pine beetle epidemic.

UNBC's buildings are designed to represent the northern landscape. The 'Winter Garden' area has a flowing blue staircase below a ceiling of wooden lattices, representing the west coast rain forests. The cafeteria has a lighthouse design representative of the North's rugged coastline. There are also other structures, such as triangular glass peaks, which represent mountains and act as sky-lights for the UNBC Bookstore.

On October 13th 2010, UNBC was co-awarded the Campus Sustainability Leadership Award by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) for its bio-energy project which targets a reduction in fossil fuel use by supplying 85% of UNBC's heating needs. [15]


UNBC's motto 'En cha huná literally means "He/she also lives." in the Nak'azdli (Fort St. James) dialect of Carrier. It is said to be a saying meaning "other people have their point of view" or "respect everyone's point of view".[16]

Student life

NUGSS or the Northern Undergraduate Students Society represents the undergraduate students at the University of Northern British Columbia. A non-profit organization, the Student Society is the voice for students and facilitates various events. The NUGSS executive composes of five executive directors and six associates who are elected to one-year terms. NUGSS as holds annual events for students the Backyard Barbecue and the Final Affair.

The First Nations Centre provides support services for aboriginal students, including bringing in elders, counselling, and events such as talking circles and sweats. The Northern Pride Centre Society or PC offers a safe space, support, and resources to the LGBTQ and ally community, including a new Positive Space Campaign designed by UNBC students.

A bi-monthly University Farmers’ Market is held on campus, a collaborative project between multiple stakeholders within the university including NUGSS, faculty, staff, students, Students for a Green University and the Prince George Public Interest Research Group. This innovative project brought easily accessible local foods onto campus, bringing UNBC populations together (faculty, staff and students) in a social atmosphere.

UNBC Timberwolves

The Timberwolves, UNBC's basketball team, were officially accepted into the Canada West Universities Athletic Association. An announcement, made on UNBC's website on September 20th, 2011, stated: "The Canada West Universities Athletics Association has voted in favour of the University of Northern British Columbia’s most recent application for full membership. A special meeting was called last week to revisit the University of Northern British Columbia’s membership application. The positive outcome of this most recent vote means that UNBC will compete in Canada’s top university athletic association in both basketball and soccer. UNBC will begin play in men's and women's soccer and basketball in September 2012".

Student media

  • Over The Edge, a weekly student newspaper. Established in 1994.
  • CFUR, the campus radio station.
  • Watt, a music and entertainment magazine produced by CFUR.

Notable alumni

  • James Moore (Member of Parliament and Conservative Cabinet Member)

Images of UNBC

See also


  1. ^ University Act
  2. ^ UNBC - Facts & Statistics: Our Students
  3. ^ UNBC - Canada's Green University
  4. ^ UNBC History
  5. ^ British Columbia Archives. "Chronology of Principal Royal Visits to British Columbia". Queen's Printer for British Columbia. Retrieved 25 June 2009. 
  6. ^ Pound, Richard W. (2005). 'Fitzhenry and Whiteside Book of Canadian Facts and Dates'. Fitzhenry and Whiteside. 
  7. ^ UNBC - Governance
  8. ^ Press release announcing George Iwama as President
  9. ^ Olson, Robert; Brastianos P, Palma D.` (2011). "Prognostic and predictive value of epigenetic silencing of MGMT in patients with high grade gliomas: A systematic review and meta-analysis". Journal of Neuro-Oncology. 
  10. ^ Olson, Robert; Iverson G, Carolan H, Parkinson M, Brooks B, McKenzie M (2011). "Prospective comparison of two cognitive screening tests: Diagnostic accuracy and correlation with community integration and quality of life". Journal of Neuro-Oncology. 
  11. ^ Olson, Robert (2011). "Selection bias potentially overestimates risk of breast pain from radiotherapy". Radiotherapy & Oncology. 
  12. ^ Caon, Julianna; Olson R, Tyldesley S, Bergman A, Bobinski M, Fong M, Ma V, Vellani R, Goddard K (2011). ". Assessing the risk of inadvertent radiation exposure of pregnant patients during radiation rtherapy planning and treatment in British Columbia". Practical Radiation Oncology. 
  13. ^ Olson, Robert; Bobinski MA, Ho A, Goddard K (2011). "Oncologists’ views of informed consent and shared decision making in paediatric radiation oncology". Radiotherapy & Oncology. 
  14. ^ Olson, Robert; Caron N, Olivotto I, Speers C, Chia S, Davidson A, Coldman A, Nichol A, Bajdik C, Tyldesley S (2011). "Population based comparison of breast cancer screening and treatment utilization by health care region in a Canadian province". Canadian Journal of Public Health. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ University of Northern BC, About UNBC

Further reading

  • Charles J. McCaffray (1995). UNBC, a Northern Crusade: The how and who of B.C.'s Northern University. Duncan, British Columbia: the author. ISBN 0968030009. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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