Media Release | Apr. 3, 2013

Stephen Toope to leave UBC presidency in June 2014

Professor Stephen Toope, the 12th president of the University of British Columbia, will leave on June 30, 2014 to pursue academic and professional interests in international law and international relations, UBC Board of Governors Chair Bill Levine announced today.

“Professor Toope’s accomplishments during his tenure as president have been truly outstanding,” said Levine.  “His vision and passion for UBC are clearly visible through the development and implementation of his strategic vision, Place and Promise.”

Toope was named 12th president and vice-chancellor of the University of British Columbia on March 22, 2006 and began his second five-year term in July 2011.

Levine said under Toope’s guidance, UBC has been consistently ranked among the top 40 universities in the world, and has grown to over 55,000 students and nearly 14,000 faculty and staff, making it one of the largest employers in British Columbia. It has an operating budget in excess of two billion dollars a year and is one of the leading research universities globally, attracting over $500 million per year in research funding.

In 2012, Toope launched the $1.5 billion start an evolution fundraising campaign, one of the largest in Canadian university history, which passed the $1 billion dollar mark in January 2013.

When he leaves UBC, president Toope will have served the university for eight years.  Levine noted ”it is very common among leaders of academic institutions to leave office early to pursue other interests.”

Stephen Toope stated he will be fully occupied with the UBC presidency and start an evolution until his departure. “I will focus all my energies on working to ensure UBC continues to fulfill its promise to serve the people of British Columbia, Canada and the world.”

Board chair Bill Levine said an international search for UBC’s 13th president will begin shortly with the establishment of a search committee that will include a broad representation from the university community.


Stephen Toope is an international law scholar who represented Western Europe and North America on the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances from 2002-2007. Prior to joining UBC, Toope was president of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, and dean of McGill University’s Faculty of Law. He has written, lectured and consulted extensively in the areas of public international law, legal theory, human rights, international dispute resolution, and family law.

Toope is currently chair of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), member of the Research Council of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), and member of the board of directors for the Public Policy Forum. He is on the executive committee of U-21, the leading global network of universities, and is past chair of the Research Universities’ Council of British Columbia (RUCBC) and World University Services Canada (WUSC).

A Canadian citizen, Toope earned his PhD from Trinity College, Cambridge, (1987), his degrees in common law (LLB) and civil law (BCL) with honours from McGill University (1983), and graduated magna cum laude with his AB in History and Literature from Harvard University (1979).

Stephen Toope is married to Paula Rosen and they have three high school and university-aged children.

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Lucie McNeill
UBC Public Affairs
Tel: 604.822.2064
Cell: 604.312.0845



UBC President Stephen Toope

UBC President Stephen Toope

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