One of the earliest defenders of now-resigned UBC president Arvind Gupta says she's still "disappointed" not to have his leadership at the school.

Jennifer Berdahl, a professor at the UBC Sauder School of Business, spoke out last summer about Gupta's resignation in a blog, writing that he had lost a "masculinity contest" with school leadership.

Later, she said UBC's chair of the board of governors, John Montalbano attempted to gag her by calling to complain about the post, and Berdahl says Gupta was the only person to come to her defense.

"He lauded me for my bravery for standing up for academic principles and asked if there was any way he could help me and support me," she told On The Coast Stephen Quinn. "I never received that from any single leader at the university and I still haven't."

Board operated in 'disastrous' manner

On The Early Edition, Gupta told host Rick Cluff that he regretted his sudden resignation last summer and wishes he had pushed back harder against complaints about his performance.

Berdahl feels the same way and says she wishes he could have put his strategic agenda into place, which she said would have re-focused the university on its academic mission.

Overall, she says the whole situation shows the UBC board of governors operates in a "disastrous" manner.

"It does seem like a clique of what have been called 'bullies' confronted Gupta repeatedly and challenged his authority and tried to direct his presidency in an inappropriate way and eventually chased him out," she said.

"They're operating in a way that's attacking the faculty, attacking the president … there's so much going for the university, that I think if we can clean up our act and leadership we can move forward."


To hear the full interview, click the audio labelled: Arvind Gupta defender says UBC will miss former president