Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry answers questions during a press conference. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry answers questions during a press conference. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Professor asks UBC to reconsider Dr. Henry’s honorary degree, cites conflict of interest

‘At the minimum, please consider postponing it to after the current public health emergency is over’: Sumeet Gulati

One of its professors is asking the University of British Columbia to reconsider bestowing provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry with an honorary degree this June.

Sumeet Gulati said Henry receiving the award would be in conflict of interest considering her “direct influence” on the functioning of the university.

“Henry’s office is currently instructing UBC to plan for a full reopening in the fall,” Gulati said, citing a March 8 letter the doctor wrote to post-secondary institution presidents.

In it, Henry wrote: “It is essential that we plan for a full return to in-person activities on campus in September 2021, including in-person instruction.”

The recommendation has prevented the university from determining “what is safe and appropriate for its employees,” Gulati said.

“The return of over 66,000 students, from all over the world, many likely unvaccinated, to large capacity crowded classrooms is hazardous,” he wrote in a letter to Vancouver UBC’s senate.

The award’s timing is a main issue for the economics professor.

“At the minimum, please consider postponing it to after the current public health emergency is over,” he urged university officials.

Henry – listed as a core clinical faculty member at UBC’s School of Population and Public Health – is set to receive an honorary doctorate in science.

Gulati noted honorary degrees are not normally awarded to current or former faculty members.

RELATED: Dr. Bonnie Henry, Greta Thunberg to receive honorary degrees from UBC

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

BC HealthUBC

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

District of houston
Council dips into surplus for highway project

Costs have risen to place utility lines underground

“Skeena,” by John Hudson and Paul Hanslow is one of five fonts in the running to become the default for Microsoft systems and Office programs. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Font named after Skeena River could become the next Microsoft default

One of the five new fonts will replace Calibri, which has been Microsoft’s default since 2007

Accessibility improvements and more classrooms at the Houston Christian School should be completed by the new school year. (Houston Today photo)
Accessibility improvements coming to Houston Christian School

Construction package includes two classrooms

The soft opening of the nature centre at the Buck Creek CANFOR hatchery took place mid-April. (Angelique Houlihan photo/Houston Today)
Houston hatchery and nature centre’s upcoming events

The conservation group to host summer students this year

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Junior A team Coquitlam Express is offering all Tri-City residents who get vaccinated against COVID-19 a free ticket to one of their games. (Facebook/Coquitlam Express)
B.C. hockey team offering free tickets to hometown fans who get the COVID-19 vaccine

‘We know the only way to get fans back is people getting vaccinated,’ says Express’ general manager Tali Campbell

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon speaks in the B.C. legislature, describing work underway to make a small business and tourism aid package less restrictive, Dec. 10, 2020. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s latest COVID-19 restrictions cost thousands of service jobs

Part-time workers set back again by spike in virus spread

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Leaked report shows detailed B.C. COVID-19 data not being released to public

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Abbotsford school board trustee Phil Anderson has stepped down after sharing an offensive image on Facebook. (File photo)
Abbotsford trustee temporarily steps down after sharing post relating COVID masks to slavery

Phil Anderson to receive training to better understand provincial mask mandate after posting picture

B.C. announced the launch of an app May 7 that connects youth struggling with mental health and substance use with “life-saving” social services. (Screen grab)
5 years in the making: Mental health app for youth and children launches in B.C.

The province provided $1.6-million to fund a virtual care platform

Amazon has announced the creation of five new facilities in B.C., to employ about 2,000 people. (Amazon/Special to Black Press Media)
Amazon adds new facilities in Langley, Pitt Meadows, Delta, Vancouver

The Vancouver port centre will be the first Amazon centre to feature robotics in B.C.

A worker rides a bike at a B.C. Hydro substation in Vancouver, on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
BC Hydro report raises safety concerns as pandemic prompts jump in yard work

Incidents involving weekend tree trimmers, gardeners and landscapers have risen 30% since the pandemic hit

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Most Read