Martha C Piper
27 April 2006
Universities and the IB: your mission is our
This lecture discusses the ways in which graduates of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme demonstrate academic excellence, social responsibility, and the values of global citizenship, both as members of the university community and as citizens of the wider communities to which we all belong.
Dr Piper notes the importance to great universities of attracting great students, and cites the example of Stanford, whose many Nobel Prize-winning researchers are persuaded to stay at that institution by the quality of its students. IB Diploma Programme graduates demonstrate their abilities through superior performance in first-year university courses, and challenge their professors to provide more stimulating instruction, thereby fostering outstanding research and knowledge discovery.
Dr Piper then reflects on the notion of global citizenship, remarking that the IB Diploma Programme, like the University of British Columbia, promotes the values of a civil and sustainable society through its emphasis on international exchanges and community service.
Dr Piper has served as president and vice-chancellor of the University of British Columbia for nine years (1997-2006). Previous posts she has held include director of the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy at McGill University and vice-president research and external affairs at the University of Alberta.
Dr Piper served on numerous boards in Canada such as the National Advisory Board on Science and Technology, the Board of the Advisory Council on Science and Technology (ACST) and the board of directors for the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation. She was appointed a public governor of the Board for the Canadian Academies of Science in 2005.
Her achievements have also been acknowledged on an international scale. In 2002, she was appointed to the National University of Singapore Council by the Minister of Education. She was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Melbourne in 2003 to add to her many honorary degrees from Canadian institutions, and in 2006, a ceremony was held in Mexico by the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) to recognize her contributions to higher education.
She is an officer of the Order of Canada and a recipient of the Order of British Columbia.