In 2011, after a lengthy assessment, UBC made a difficult decision not to pursue athletic competition in the NCAA. Due to comments received in making that decision, President Stephen Toope announced a review of UBC Athletics. The university began a review in 2012. Most University departments undergo similar periodic reviews, coming out of a need to ensure a rigorous focus on excellence, stewardship of resources, and alignment with the strategic commitments of the University. Among other outcomes, the review resulted in the development of a new Competitive Sport Model for our Vancouver campus.

UBC’s new competitive sport model is founded on six strands, ranging from participation through to the most competitive UBC Thunderbird teams. The process of assessing current varsity and interested AMS club teams for placement in the top two strands of the model—varsity, and a new strand, competitive clubs, what the University calls the Sport Review, is being conducted over two stages.  This involves input and feedback from our community at key points until we reach a final decision in spring 2014.

In the fall of 2013, community input helped guide the creation of objective criteria proposed and developed by and initial sport advisory team. In depth data has been collected on each sport program, and a new advisory assessment team, a representative committee from across the University community, is evaluating the information against the criteria to make recommendations for placement of teams within the framework of the new competitive sport model, which will determine the levels of financial, administrative and service support to be provided for each team.

After carefully evaluating each team by identical criteria, weights and measures, including the opportunity for community input, the advisory assessment team makes formal recommendations on team placement to the Managing Director, Athletics, who in turn makes a final recommendation to the Vice President, Students. Only after careful consideration of those recommendations, and the opportunity for due consideration of appeals, will the University make decisions affecting the future of UBC’s Athletics and Recreation program.

Final decisions will be made by spring 2014 with implementation to follow in September 2015. All interested members of the university community are urged to provide feedback on each phase of the evaluation. This process will include the opportunity for input from the community on new partnerships and funding models for teams. On this site, you will find links to all the information on UBC’s Sport Review, including an explanation of the entire process, rationale, frequently asked questions, information bulletins and an opportunity to share your views.

Strategic context

The review and the proposed framework are anchored by UBC’s Strategic Plan, Place & Promise, the vision of the portfolio for the Vice President, Students, and the developing vision of the Athletics & Recreation Department.

UBC (Place & Promise)

As one of the world’s leading universities, the University of British Columbia creates an exceptional learning environment that fosters global citizenship, advances a civil and sustainable society, and supports outstanding research to serve the people of British Columbia, Canada and the world. Core Commitments:

  • Student Learning
  • Research Excellence
  • Community Engagement

Vice President, Students

Providing an exceptional student experience, where all students can achieve their full potential and contribute to a civil and sustainable society.  An Exceptional Student Experience is:

A supportive and inclusive environment, on a dynamic, vibrant campus, where students can achieve their full potential and are connected to the world.

The Vision for Athletics & Recreation, of which varsity sport is a critical component

  • Excel – An environment of excellence, with facilities that support excellence, where student-athletes, students, coaches, staff and faculty can achieve their full potential in sports, academics, services, and recreation.
  • Engage – An environment where students, staff, faculty, UBC partners and external partners are engaged in achieving our goals, with facilities that engage the community, with strong campus and community support, and with key external stakeholders supporting our vision.
  • Inspire – An environment that proactively fosters the growth of our UBC and Thunderbird pride and affiliation.

UBC Athletics – Equity Statement

UBC Athletics is responsible for and is committed to diversity, social inclusion and gender equity among its student-athletes, coaches and administrators. We seek to establish and maintain a respectful and inclusive culture that fosters equitable participation for student-athletes and career opportunities for coaches and administrators from diverse backgrounds. Athletics is committed to working with diverse communities to determine appropriate ways to achieve these goals.