Martha Piper

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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 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.[1]

Stephen Toope replaced Piper as president of the University of British Columbia on July 1, 2006. On August 7, 2015, the University of British Columbia announced that Piper had been appointed as interim president, to serve from September 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016, while "the university conducts a comprehensive, global search for a new leader" following the sudden resignation of Toope's replacement Arvind Gupta. Santa J. Ono was selected to serve as the fifteenth President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of British Columbia.[2]

Piper currently sits on numerous boards in Canada, including Bank of Montreal, Shoppers Drug Mart and the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education.[3][4][5]

Education and career[edit]

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.[citation needed]

Trilateral Commission[edit]

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.[6]

Academic honours and awards[edit]


  1. ^ "Martha Piper Appointed to Second UBC Term". UBC Reports. January 2, 2003. Retrieved August 3, 2009. 
  2. ^ "UBC announces leadership transition". UBC News. August 7, 2015. Retrieved August 7, 2015. 
  3. ^ "BMO Board of Directors". August 26, 2015. 
  4. ^ "TransAlta; Dr Martha Piper, Board Member". Retrieved August 26, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Dalai Lama Centre, Martha C Piper". Retrieved August 26, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Martha Piper finds friends in high places". Georgia Straight. August 24, 2006. Retrieved August 3, 2009. 
Academic offices
Preceded by
David Strangway
President of the University of British Columbia
Succeeded by
Stephen Toope
Preceded by
Arvind Gupta
President of the University of British Columbia
Succeeded by
Santa Ono