Meet the new president
Dr. Mark Evered says alumni and UFV have interconnected futures
UFV’s new president wants you to know that you are very important to him and to our university.
“Our futures are closely intertwined,” says Dr. Mark Evered when asked about
the relationship between alumni and the university. “Our reputation as a university
is very much dependent on the success of our graduates. And I’m sure that our alumni
recognize that the reputation of the university affects the value of their UFV credential. So
the successes are mutually beneficial.”
Evered also notes that many universities have failed to recognize the importance of
consulting alumni as an important step in planning improvements in programs and
“Surveying current students about how we are doing is useful, but often the most
valuable feedback comes after a period of reflection and application,” he notes. “Alumni
have usually had the opportunity to test the value of their education in the workplace.
Time and experience are likely to reveal which elements of their college or university
education best served their success, and how their experiences at UFV transformed and
brightened their lives.”
To that end, Evered encourages alumni to keep in touch with UFV. This can take
the form of a letter or email letting a former instructor know what you’re up to now, a
presentation to a current class about life after graduation, a spot on your former program’s
advisory committee, or taking on a role with the Alumni Association.
Financial support is always appreciated too, of course.
“We face some serious financial challenges as we plan to build on past successes. Government funding and our students’ ability to pay tuition are both limited,” Evered says.
“So we seek help from those who have benefited from our help in the past.”
Evered realizes that the alumni base of UFV is fairly young and relatively small, and that many are still establishing themselves and raising families. “I want alumni to know that we appreciate all donations, no matter what the size. We take as much pride in the number of alumni who support us as we do in the size of the donations.”
Now that Evered and his wife Maureen are getting settled in the Fraser Valley, they’re meeting UFV alumni everywhere: in restaurants, at civic functions and Rotary meetings, on campus, and at other businesses and institutions.
“We’re finding that people are very proud to say they’re alumni of UFV, and we always enjoy hearing about their UFV experiences.”
Evered has been watching UFV with interest for the past few years. Now he’s getting to know the place a lot better, after beginning his term this summer as the university’s fifth president and vice-chancellor.
“This is really the capstone to my career,” he says. “It provides me with the opportunity to give back and share experience and knowledge that I’ve gleaned over a long career that started out in a very traditional academic setting and has now led me to an exciting institution early in its university life.”
Evered holds a BSc in biology from McMaster University and a PhD in physiology from the University of Western Ontario.
"Often the most valuable feedback comes after a period of reflection. Alumni have had the opportunity to test the value of their education."
-- Dr. Mark Evered.
Over the course of his 30-year career, he has held research and academic appointments at Cambridge University, the University of Western Ontario, the Howard Florey Research
Institute in Melbourne, and the University of Saskatchewan. His most recent appointment was that of provost and academic vice president at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops. That institution made the transition from the University College of the Cariboo to regional university status in 2005, so he brings recent applicable and relevant experience to the job.
Evered enjoyed being part of a new kind of university in Kamloops, and is looking forward to leading one in the Fraser Valley.
“What’s particularly appealing to me about these new universities in BC is the chance to help create something that’s different from the traditional model. There is an opportunity here — and indeed an already-established practice of doing so — to integrate theory and applied learning in innovative ways.
“I want there to be tangible advantages to having trades such as welding and carpentry offered in a place that also has programs in business, biology, sociology, and history, etc. Our breadth of programming is one of our strengths and we’ll be looking for more ways to truly interweave theoretical and applied programming.”
Evered underscores that UFV has been functioning as a university for many years now, a point that local communities drove home as they lobbied for university status for most of the past decade.
“There is a solid foundation here. I’m happy to note that there are already many internationally recognized strengths at UFV, and we have good reason to be proud of this university’s past successes. Our job now is to build on what’s been well established. We are the new stewards of a great legacy.”
Evered values the regional focus of UFV, and its strong community connections.
“I’m a great believer in universities playing a role not only in education, but also in the economic, cultural, and social development of our communities. UFV clearly has a lot of community support. Watching from afar, I was very impressed with the huge turnout at what turned into a de facto community rally when Geoff Plant visited the Fraser Valley as part of his
Campus 2020 fact-finding mission.”
Evered also wants to focus on the student experience and enhancing student retention. “We are doing very well in meeting or en exceeding our enrolment targets, but we need to be very aware that students are making decisions not based solely on academic reputations of universities, but also on ways in which they will be supported once they get here. We need
to ensure we’re providing a fulfilling and transformative experience that goes beyond the classroom. It’s very important to me that we do everything we can to provide a vibrant
campus life for students and community members on all of our campuses.
“We must also be very focused on student success. We have an obligation to do everything we can to make sure that the students we admit are provided the support and guidance they need to succeed. Then, they too will also proudly call themselves alumni of UFV.”
To take Mark evered up on his suggestion that alumni stay in touch with UFV, contact the alumni relations office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-557-4008 .