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Shelina Esmail
Allison Rzen

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The University of British Columbia
Director of Investigations

Consistently ranking amongst the top 20 public universities and amongst the best 40 public and private universities in the world, the University of British Columbia (UBC) is a global centre for research and teaching. Since 1915, UBC’s West Coast spirit has embraced innovation and challenged the status quo. With two main campuses (Vancouver and Okanagan) located on the traditional territories of the Musqueam Coast Salish, and Okanagan peoples, UBC’s entrepreneurial perspective encourages students, staff and faculty to challenge convention, lead discovery and explore new ways of learning. At UBC, bold thinking is given a place to define ideas that change the world. 

UBC has a responsibility for and is committed to providing its students, staff, and faculty with an environment dedicated to excellence, equity, inclusion and mutual respect. The institution has a long-standing policy (Policy #3) for addressing cases of discrimination and harassment on prohibited grounds and has recently adopted policy (Policy #131) to specifically articulate UBC’s commitment to support its community members who are affected by sexual misconduct and provide a process to respond to and investigate reports of sexual misconduct. This new policy, combined with a commitment at the highest levels of UBC to support community members who have experienced the trauma of sexual misconduct, as well as discrimination and harassment on prohibited grounds, are the foundation for the newly created role of Director of Investigations.

Reporting directly to the University Counsel and collaborating closely with UBC’s Associate Vice-President Equity, the Director is responsible for overseeing investigations and engaging investigators and alternative dispute resolution practitioners at UBC’s Okanagan and Vancouver campuses as appropriate under Policy #3 and Policy #131. The incumbent will coordinate and manage the investigatory process which includes reviewing investigative reports and ensuring a consistent approach across investigations with complainants and respondents. The Director will build and maintain collaborative working relationships with key University stakeholders at UBC’s Okanagan and Vancouver campuses as well as external investigators and agencies, building and maintaining credibility through professionalism and competency.

The ideal candidate has a law degree coupled with a minimum of 10 years of experience in a complex, multi-stakeholder environment in roles that involve administration, investigations, conflict resolution, social justice, equity, and inclusion. The Director is an expert in the principles of procedural fairness and the impact that discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct have on a community. They are also sensitive to the barriers that exist for individuals who have experienced discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct in reporting their experience and employs a trauma-informed approach as appropriate. The Director will have a comprehensive understanding of alternative dispute resolution processes that could properly be applied in cases of discrimination, harassment or sexual misconduct and the appropriateness of the application of such processes in individual cases.

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