Angela Redish, Provost and Vice President Academic

One-on-One with
Angela Redish

Angela Redish is Provost and Vice President Academic pro tem. She is a professor in UBC’s Vancouver School of Economics (having taught there for more than 30 years).


What quality do you most admire in a leader?

AR: I admire many qualities, but I would single out generosity. We often talk about leaders being decisive and inclusive, but we should not overlook generosity of spirit.


What makes you laugh?

AR: I laugh at the absurdity of life. In terms of comedy, I am a fan of British sitcoms and political satire. The British comedy “The Thick of It” is one of my favourites.


Who inspires you, and why?

AR: My parents. My mum was a lawyer and my dad a computer scientist. I grew up in England and my parents always had a strong sense of social justice. This was something that they passed on to me.


What’s your biggest accomplishment so far at UBC?

AR: In one sense, I would say that my biggest accomplishment has been publishing, doing research, teaching and raising a family. This is probably what I’m most proud of. I am also proud to have been involved in some exciting projects at UBC — the establishment of the Vancouver School of Economics, the creation of Vantage College and the launch of Flexible Learning.


What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned?

AR: Patience‚Ķ and I am still learning! Change takes time and it is so important to consult people and be inclusive. But this means that things don’t happen overnight.


How do you like to recharge?

AR: I ride my bike to work most days. It’s about a half hour ride from home and it gives me a chance to recharge and reflect. I also love to spend time on Bowen Island.


For you, what makes UBC different?

AR: Great people. And a unique location — part of Canada, on traditional Musqueam territory, looking towards Asia; on the West Coast of North America. All these characteristics have an effect on the values of the institution, not least that being away from the ‘eastern bubble’ gives us the space to think.


What do you value in your colleagues?

AR: Fun. I like people who are doers, who are engaged, smart and kind. We focus a lot of our lives on our work so it’s important to have fun.


What would you like to be remembered for?

AR: Someone who enabled the academic mission of the university. Someone who supported people to realize their potential.


If you could have a super power, what would it be?

AR: Mind reading.


As UBC celebrates its Centennial, what aspirations do you have for the university for the next 100 years?

AR: I have a profound belief in universities and their importance to societies around the globe. Universities are places of creativity, of critique, of a search for understanding — essential activities in a world that faces daunting challenges. My hope is that these core values characterize universities far into the future, and that UBC is known for its success in all those areas.

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