Martha C. Piper, OC OBC was the President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of British Columbia. She held the position from 1997 until 2006, and was the 11th person and the first woman to do so. Having been born in Lorain, Ohio, she is also the first person born outside of Canada to have held the position. She is a Canadian citizen and she was made an officer of the Order of Canada in 2002. Her contract with UBC stipulated a salary of $350,000 plus incentive payments of up to $50,000 per year upon meeting the performance goals set by the Board of Governors.
Stephen Toope replaced Piper as president of the University of British Columbia on July 1, 2006.
Education and career
Piper holds a B.Sc. in Physical Therapy from the University of Michigan (1967), an M.A. in Child Development from the University of Connecticut (1970) and a Ph.D. in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from McGill University (1979). After her Ph.D., Piper was the director of McGill's School of Physical and Occupational Therapy until 1985 when she became the dean of the University of Alberta's Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine. In 1993 she was made the same university's vice president of Research, and also External Affairs starting in 1995. Upon becoming President of UBC in 1997, Piper inherited a strong record of external fundraising and research development by her predecessor, David Strangway. She was able to cash in on significant federal government reinvestment in research and innovation, effectively using UBC's position as the largest university in British Columbia (and Western Canada) to attract large amounts of government and private sector funding. While building this research legacy, she has also left a legacy of debt for her successor, Stephen Toope.
The Georgia Straight reported on August 24, 2006 that Martha Piper has become a member of the Trilateral Commission, an organization of influential private citizens founded in 1973 at the initiative of banker David Rockefeller.
Academic honours and awards
- B.Sc. degree with academic distinction;
- D.Sc. (Honorary), May 1998, McGill University
- LL.D. (Honorary), May 1999, Dalhousie University
- LL.D. (Honorary), November 2001, University of Toronto
- D.Sc. (Honorary), October 2002, University of Western Ontario
- LL.D. (Honorary), December 2003, the University of Melbourne
- LL.D. (Honorary), October 2005, the University of Saskatchewan
- LL.D. (Honorary), June 2006, University of Alberta
- LL.D. (Honorary), June 2006, University of Victoria
- LL.D. (Honorary), October 2008, Simon Fraser University
- LL.D. (Honorary), 2006, St. Francis Xavier University
- LL.D. (Honorary), 2006 University of Calgary
- Doctorat (Honorary), 2006 Université de Montréal
- D.Sc. (Honorary), 2006 McMaster University
- LL.D. (Honorary), 2007 University of Northern British Columbia
- LL.D. (Honorary), 2007 University of British Columbia
- LL.D. (Honorary), 2007 University of Windsor
- Honorary Fellow of Merton College, Oxford
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