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Blye Frank is the dean of UBC’s Faculty of Education. Dr. Frank is a scholar and advocate for social justice and equity. He has an active research career and is a recognized expert in the field of gender studies.
What quality do you most admire in a leader?
BF: Generosity of spirit. I find that generosity is contagious. If you are positive, engaging and generous in spirit, you often find that reflected back in the people around you.
What makes you laugh?
BF: What has made me laugh for the last 14 years is my standard poodle, Busby. Standard poodles are very intelligent dogs, with fascinating facial expressions.
Who inspires you, and why?
BF: This may sound like a cliché, but I am inspired by my staff. I have excellent staff with whom I work. They are committed to the mission and provide incredible support to me and the wider Faculty. They inspire me to do a good job.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned?
BF: I would say my most important lesson is that ‘slower is faster.’ I have a lot of energy and want to get things done quickly. I try to remind myself that by slowing down we have the chance to be considerate of others’ needs.
How do you like to recharge?
BF: I swim almost every morning, which I find to be very therapeutic. I also enjoy reading and travelling. I am known for taking good vacations!
For you, what makes UBC different?
BF: Of course there is the geographical location of the Vancouver campus, with its stunning landscapes. But I have to say, the thing that makes UBC special is the people. I really enjoy working with my colleagues — both within the Faculty and the wider university.
What is the best advice you were ever given?
BF: Be gentle. I tell faculty members that there are two things that are really important — relationships and communication. I value kindness and generosity, and believe we should embrace these qualities in everyday life.
What song do you like to sing out loud to?
BF: I never sing out loud! However, I do enjoy music and I am a fan of the Beatles. Visitors to my home may also occasionally hear baroque music playing.
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
BF: The power to bring change, particularly the power to eradicate poverty and ill health. These two issues are intimately woven together.
What would you like to be remembered for?
BF: I would like to be remembered as the dean who oversaw the Faculty of Education when it was ranked number one in Canada! I am so proud to be leading a team of talented faculty and staff.
According to the QS World University Rankings, the Faculty of Education has moved from 18th to 9th in the globe and 1st in Canada. What are your hopes for the Faculty going forward?
BF: When you are ranked alongside Harvard, Oxford and Stanford, the key is to maintain that ranking. We are a research-intensive Faculty, with high expectations. Our aim is to continue to inspire people to do their best work, and ensure that work is recognized and valued. We also need to create an environment and infrastructure to support those expectations.