University of Northern British Columbia

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Coordinates: 53°53′14.40″N 122°48′49.40″W / 53.8873333°N 122.8137222°W / 53.8873333; -122.8137222

University of Northern British Columbia
UNBC Coat of Arms.png
Motto ’En Cha Huná ("He/she also lives" in Carrier)
Type Public university
Established 1990
Endowment $65 million
Chancellor James Moore
President Dr. Daniel Weeks
Provost Dr. Bill Krane
Vice-Chancellor Dr. Daniel Weeks
Students 4020 (2013/2014)
Undergraduates 3249 (2013/2014)
Postgraduates 700 (2013/2014)
71 (2013/2014)
Address 3333 University Way, Prince George, BC, V2N 4Z9, Canada Prince George, British Columbia, Canada
Campus Prince George, Peace River-Liard, Northwest, South Central, Wilp Wilxosh'kwhl
Tagline Canada's Green University
Colours gold      and green     
Nickname UNBC Timberwolves
Mascot Timberwolves
Affiliations UArctic, ACU, AUCC, IAU, CIS, AUFSC, CBIE.
Website UNBC main page

The University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) is a small, primarily undergraduate university, the main campus of which is located in Prince George, British Columbia. UNBC also has regional campuses in the northern British Columbia cities of Prince Rupert, Terrace, Quesnel, and Fort St. John. The enabling legislation is the University of Northern British Columbia Act 1996.[1] In the 2013-2014 academic year, 4,020 students were enrolled at UNBC.[2]

In 2015, UNBC was ranked as the number one university of its size in Canada in the Primarily Undergraduate category by Maclean's Magazine.[3]

In 2007, the university obtained the trademark for "Canada's Green University".[4] Because of its northern latitude, UNBC is a member of the University of the Arctic.


The British Columbia legislature passed Bill 40 (the UNBC Act), which formally established the university, on June 22, 1990[5] The university was established in response to a grass-roots movement spearheaded by the Interior University Society. UNBC offered a limited number of courses in rented office space in 1992 and 1993 but was opened officially by Queen Elizabeth II,[6] with 1,500 students, in 1994 with the completion of the main Prince George campus after two years of construction.[7]

The university gained attention with the introduction of the Northern Medical Program (NMP), a collaboration between UBC and UNBC. Through this collaboration, several academic physicians have been attracted to the city, which has led to an emerging academic medical community. For example, the introduction of the BC Cancer Agency's Centre for the North has attracted academic oncologists, such as Dr. Robert Olson.[8][9][10][11][12][13]

Organization and administration[edit]

The governance was modelled on the provincial University of Toronto Act 1906, which established a bicameral system of university government comprising a Senate (composed of members of the faculty), responsible for academic policy, and a Board of Governors (composed of members of the community), which exercises exclusive control over financial policy and having formal authority in all other matters. The President, appointed by the board, was to provide a link between the two bodies and to perform institutional leadership.[14] Dr. Daniel Weeks is the current President.


The campus is located on Cranbrook Hill, overlooking the city of Prince George from the west, and is widely renowned for its innovative architecture. The separate buildings are linked by an agora that is partially below ground level. It is the efficient heating system connected to all the core campus buildings that permits UNBC to pursue its goal of heating the university by the gasification of clean-burning, renewable wood pellets, collected from the waste of pine trees killed by the mountain pine beetle epidemic.

UNBC's buildings are designed to represent the northern landscape. The "Winter Garden" area has a flowing blue staircase below a ceiling of wooden lattices, representing the west-coast rain forests. The cafeteria has a lighthouse design representative of the North's rugged coastline. There are also other structures, such as triangular glass peaks, that represent mountains and act as sky-lights for the UNBC Bookstore.

On October 13, 2010, UNBC was co-awarded the Campus Sustainability Leadership Award by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) for its bio-energy project, which targets a reduction in fossil fuel use by supplying 85% of UNBC's heating needs.[15]

University Hospital of Northern British Columbia[edit]

The University Hospital of Northern British Columbia is a largest Level III trauma centre in Northern BC.[citation needed]



UNBC's motto 'En cha huná literally means "He/she also lives." in the Nak'azdli (Fort St. James) dialect of Carrier. It is said to be a saying meaning "other people have their point of view" or "respect everyone's point of view".[16]

Student life[edit]

The Northern Undergraduate Student Society, also known as NUGSS, represents the undergraduate students at the University of Northern British Columbia. A non-profit organization, the Student Society is the voice for students and facilitates various events. The NUGSS executive consists of five executive directors and six associates who are elected to one-year terms. NUGSS holds events for students such as an annual backyard barbecue and the Final Affair.

The Northern British Columbia Graduate Student Society (NBCGSS), represents about 750 full-time and part-time graduate students. It was founded in the year of 1997, less than a decade after UNBC was founded. The Graduate council consist of five executive members (President, Vice President, Director of IT and Communications, Director of Student Affairs and Director of Finance) and ten council members(3 CSAM rep., 3 CASHS rep., 1 International rep., 1 green rep., 1 First Nations and Aboriginal rep. and 1 Regional Liaison), elected to one-year terms. Regional Liaison in the council represents students from regional campuses (South-Central, North West and Peace River-Laird UNBC Campus).[17] Every year NBCGSS holds events like winter/semi formals, a ski trip and a summer trip. NBCGSS has recently joined Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) as a prosepective member.[18]

The UNBC First Nations Centre provides support services for aboriginal students, including bringing in elders, counselling, and events such as talking circles and sweat lodges. The Northern Pride Centre Society[19] or (also known as the "PC") offers a safe space, support, and resources to the LGBT and ally community, including a new Positive Space Campaign designed by UNBC students.

A weekly University Farmers' Market (UFM) is held from September to April in the Northern University Student Centre (NUSC) from 11 AM to 3 PM.[20] The UFM is a collaborative project between multiple stakeholders within the university including NUGSS, faculty, staff, students, Students for a Green University and the Prince George Public Interest Research Group.[21] This innovative project provides easily accessible local foods onto campus and brings UNBC populations together (faculty, staff and students) in a social atmosphere.

Student media[edit]

  • Over the Edge, a bi-weekly student newspaper. Established in 1994.
  • CFUR, the campus radio station.
  • Watt, a music and entertainment magazine produced by CFUR.


Main article: UNBC Timberwolves

The Timberwolves, UNBC's basketball team, were officially accepted into the Canada West Universities Athletic Association. An announcement, made on UNBC's website on September 20, 2011, stated: "The Canada West Universities Athletics Association has voted in favour of the University of Northern British Columbia’s most recent application for full membership. A special meeting was called to revisit the University of Northern British Columbia’s membership application. The positive outcome of this most recent vote means that UNBC will compete in Canada’s top university athletic association in both basketball and soccer. UNBC began play in men's and women's soccer and basketball in September 2012.

Notable alumni[edit]

  • James Moore (Member of Parliament and Conservative Cabinet Member)

Images of UNBC[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ University of Northern British Columbia Act 1996, CanLII
  2. ^ UNBC - Facts & Statistics: Our Students
  3. ^ "Best of the best: Introducing the 2016 Maclean's University Rankings".  External link in |website= (help)
  4. ^ UNBC - Canada's Green University
  5. ^ UNBC History
  6. ^ British Columbia Archives. "Chronology of Principal Royal Visits to British Columbia". Queen's Printer for British Columbia. Retrieved 25 June 2009. 
  7. ^ Pound, Richard W. (2005). 'Fitzhenry and Whiteside Book of Canadian Facts and Dates'. Fitzhenry and Whiteside. 
  8. ^ Olson, Robert; Brastianos P, Palma D.` (2011). "Prognostic and predictive value of epigenetic silencing of MGMT in patients with high grade gliomas: A systematic review and meta-analysis". Journal of Neuro-Oncology.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  9. ^ Olson, Robert; Iverson G; Carolan H; Parkinson M; Brooks B; McKenzie M (2011). "Prospective comparison of two cognitive screening tests: Diagnostic accuracy and correlation with community integration and quality of life". Journal of Neuro-Oncology. 
  10. ^ Olson, Robert (2011). "Selection bias potentially overestimates risk of breast pain from radiotherapy". Radiotherapy & Oncology. 
  11. ^ Caon, Julianna; Olson R; Tyldesley S; Bergman A; Bobinski M; Fong M; Ma V; Vellani R; Goddard K (2011). ". Assessing the risk of inadvertent radiation exposure of pregnant patients during radiation rtherapy planning and treatment in British Columbia". Practical Radiation Oncology. 
  12. ^ Olson, Robert; Bobinski MA; Ho A; Goddard K (2011). "Oncologists' views of informed consent and shared decision making in paediatric radiation oncology". Radiotherapy & Oncology. 
  13. ^ Olson, Robert; Caron N; Olivotto I; Speers C; Chia S; Davidson A; Coldman A; Nichol A; Bajdik C; Tyldesley S (2011). "Population based comparison of breast cancer screening and treatment utilization by health care region in a Canadian province". Canadian Journal of Public Health. 
  14. ^ UNBC - Governance
  15. ^ UNBC Wins AASHE Award. (2010-10-12). Retrieved on 2013-08-12.
  16. ^ University of Northern BC, About UNBC
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ Northern Pride Centre Society
  20. ^ University Farmers' Market
  21. ^ Prince George Public Interest Research Group

Further reading[edit]

  • Charles J. McCaffray (1995). UNBC, a Northern Crusade: The how and who of B.C.'s Northern University. Duncan, British Columbia: the author. ISBN 0-9680300-0-9. 

External links[edit]