“The Board was unanimous in its decision to extend the president’s contract,” says Barry Delaney, chair of the UFV Board of Governors. “A survey of students, employees and community members reflected overwhelming support of Mark Evered in the areas of effective leadership, relational and communication skills, achievement of strategic goals, and promotion of UFV and its mission.”
Evered has served UFV through a time of growth and renewal. When he arrived in 2009, he led a strategic planning process that sharpened the university’s focus on student success and community development. He has built a strong team that has led major initiatives such as the establishment of a new Faculty of Health Sciences and other administrative restructuring to better serve students and the region; new programs and program review procedures guided by a set of institutional learning outcomes to ensure students’ knowledge and skills meet their immediate and future needs; improvements to make the university a more welcoming, inclusive and respectful place for all students; a renewed commitment to service for Aboriginal students and their communities; and support for the development of a strong alumni association.
Evered has given high priority to connecting UFV with the region, building relationships with municipal, provincial and federal political leaders, school districts, chambers of commerce, rotary clubs and other community and cultural groups. For example, his work with community, industry and government leaders led to the establishment of the Agriculture Centre of Excellence at UFV.
The Chilliwack campus at Canada Education Park has expanded under his leadership, with the completion of the internationally acclaimed 150,000-square-foot classroom, laboratory and office building and the soon-to-be completed plant and animal laboratory facilities supporting agriculture teaching and student research. He has guided the establishment of new centres in the heart of Valley communities such as the Clearbrook Centre in Abbotsford and the Five Corners Centre in downtown Chilliwack, and the development of a new state-of-the-art graphic and digital design lab at the Mission campus. With the financial support of its students, UFV has now begun the construction of a Student Union Building on the Abbotsford campus.
The university’s national and international profile has risen with Evered at the helm, and student demand continues to exceed capacity. UFV now serves over 15,000 learners annually. Evered notes that continuing funding challenges, driven by increased costs, competing demands for provincial resources, and tuition caps will require UFV to be evermore innovative and entrepreneurial to fulfill its responsibilities to students and the Valley. Fundraising activities and the development of local and international partnerships will continue to receive a lot of his attention over the coming years.
“It’s a real honour to serve this university and our region,” says Evered. “I work with extraordinary people, including dedicated Board members, an outstanding administrative team, the best faculty and staff colleagues a president could wish for, exceptional student leaders, and very supportive community leaders, partners and donors.”
“Our students are why we do this,” he says. “We will measure our success by their success and the success of the communities they serve.”
Dr. Evered holds a BSc in biology from McMaster University and a PhD in physiology from the University of Western Ontario. Over the course of his 40-year career, he has held teaching, research and administrative appointments at Cambridge University, the University of Western Ontario, the Howard Florey Research Institute in Melbourne, the University of Saskatchewan, and Thompson Rivers University.
He and his wife Maureen have three daughters and six grandchildren. “I am very fortunate to have the support of Maureen in this work,” says Evered. “We were welcomed so warmly when we arrived, and cherish our many new friends. The Fraser Valley is truly a remarkable place and we are pleased to make this our home and final destination.”