British Columbia

Arvind Gupta resigns as President of UBC after a year in office

The president of the University of British Columbia has resigned after little more than a year on the job.

Arvind Gupta signed a five-year contract and took up his post on July 1, 2014

Dr. Arvind Gupta has resigned as President of UBC after just a year on the job. (UBC)

The president of the University of British Columbia has resigned after little more than a year on the job.

Arvind Gupta took over the position from Stephen Toope in July 2014, signing a five-year contract.

The surprise resignation announcement was made by UBC's Board of Governors Friday, who stated that former president Martha Piper would step back into the position from Sept. 1 until June 20, 2016, while a global search for a permanent replacement is conducted.

"It's a very personal decision for Arvind and one that has no doubt taken a significant amount of time to reflect on," board chair John Montalbano told CBC News.

"It's ultimately a very regrettable decision ... to see this happen."

Gupta is leaving to resume his academic career, a statement from UBC Public Affairs said.

The 2012 disclosure of public sector executive compensation in the province showed that then president Toope, was the third highest remunerated, at $580,000 per year.

UBC has more than 59,000 students on its Vancouver and Okanagan campuses, and more than 15,000 faculty and staff.

"Dr. Gupta's decision will likely be followed by some uncertainty in regards to UBC's direction in the upcoming years," says Tobias Friedel, president of the university's Graduate Student Society. "But with that uncertainty also comes the opportunity for the UBC community to take an active role in shaping the university's future for the next presidential term. 

Gupta declined an interview with CBC. 

With files from Tina Lovgreen

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