UNBC Appoints George Iwama as President

April 3, 2009

Dr George Iwama, who has had a successful career as a university professor, administrator, and public servant, will be UNBC’s fourth president.

Dr. Iwama comes to UNBC from the Faculty of Science at Carleton University, where he has spent the past two years as Dean of the Faculty of Science. He previously held the same position at Acadia University, where he also served for a year as Vice-President Academic. Dr. Iwama holds a PhD in Zoology from the University of British Columbia and was a professor there for 15 years, during which time he received numerous academic fellowships and awards and conducted research on animal physiology, specifically related to fish and fish aquaculture. He has published more than 135 articles and his research included a project east of Prince George in the Torpy River. He has experience in building university-industry-government-community partnerships and was the driving force behind the creation of “science cafes” in Ottawa and Nova Scotia in an effort to bring the excitement of scientific innovation to the public.
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Dr. George Iwama
      Dr. George Iwama

Dr. Iwama is married to Marilyn and they have three sons in their twenties. Marilyn and George enjoy cross-country skiing and canoeing. He is also an avid fisherman and enjoys painting, photography, and playing the guitar.
“Marilyn and I are so excited to begin this chapter of our lives in northern BC, where people have been already so welcoming to us and where the University enjoys an unparalleled relationship with its community and all of the people of the region,” says Dr. Iwama. “I’ve been overwhelmed by the pride people have in “their” university and I feel very fortunate to have been selected as your next president.”

Dr. Iwama will begin his appointment of President on July 1, 2009, replacing Dr. Charles Jago, who has been interim president for the past year.

“The President is appointed by the Board of Governors and the entire Board – and especially the members of our search committee – took this responsibility very seriously,” says Dawn Martin, Chair of the UNBC Board of Governors. “We held a series of “town hall” meetings that were open to the entire university community and these were very useful in helping us identify the attributes that would be most important in a new president. We’re very excited with the result of our search and we’re confident that George and Marilyn will be welcomed into the northern community. I have no doubt that George will provide inspired leadership for UNBC, and that UNBC faculty, staff, and students will join with northerners to give him support and encouragement.”

Former Simon Fraser University president Jack Blaney, who recently joined the UNBC Board of Governors, chaired the Presidential Search Committee.

“We started with 106 potential candidates and eventually interviewed four,” says Dr. Blaney. “We were looking for unquestioned integrity, the courage to do the right thing, a track record of getting things done in collaboration with others, and the capacity to listen and develop effective relationships both inside and outside of the University. All of these characteristics were deemed to be essential for our unique university and we were thorough in our reference checks, even to the point of making a visit to Carleton University. Through this process, I’ve become a huge fan of UNBC. I know that George is the right person for the job and that he will be supported by many people who care about the success of UNBC.”

George Iwama follows Geoffrey R. Weller (1990-1995), K. George Pedersen (interim - 1995), Charles J. Jago (1995-2006), Donald Cozzetto (2006-2008), and Charles Jago (interim – 2008-09) as presidents of UNBC.

**For media, there will be a news conference with Dawn Martin, Charles Jago, and George Iwama on Tuesday, April 7, in the UNBC Bentley Centre. This event will begin at 10:30am. Later in the afternoon, if media would like the opportunity to conduct extended interviews with Dr. Iwama, he will be available at 1:30pm. Please confirm with Rob van Adrichem if you would like to participate.

Rob van Adrichem, Vice President, External Relations, UNBC - 250.960.5622