Former UBC president Arvind Gupta takes position at University of Toronto

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Image: UBC Public Affairs

The former president and vice-chancellor of the University of British Columbia has taken a new position at the University of Toronto.

According to a release, Arvind Gupta has been appointed as a distinguished visiting professor for the University of Toronto’s computer science department during the 2015 to 2016 academic year. During his term of employment, he is expected to focus on independent research and develop initiatives that enhance relationships between the university, government and industry, both within computer science and the university’s broader community.

The University of Toronto is a highly familiar institution for Gupta given that this is where he earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in computer science.

“With U of T being an urban university and right downtown, there’ll be lots of opportunities to build new kinds of links,” Gupta said in a statement. “The president’s really talked a lot about making these sorts of connections. I’ll be very interested to see how I can contribute.”

Gupta abruptly announced his resignation and academic leave from UBC in early-August following a short 13-month stint as the president and vice-chancellor. He began the position in July 2014 to succeed Stephen Toope, who served the position for eight years.

He began his career at UBC as a computer science professor before becoming the CEO and scientific director of Mitacs Canada, a locally based non-profit organization that manages and funds research and training programs at academic institutions across the country, in cooperation with the federal and provincial governments.

The resignation was a catalyst for a number of high-profile controversies at UBC and sparked questions over the UBC Board of Directors’ role with Gupta’s decision to leave the institution. However, the university maintains it is restricted from providing more details over the matter due to privacy and non-disclosure laws.

Martha Piper, a former UBC president from 1997 to 2006, has filled the president’s position on an interim basis. Her term will end on June 30, 2016.

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