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

The Tolko Mill in Kelowna on Feb. 2, 2018. (File)
Tolko receives extension for environmental assessment of defunct Kelowna mill

The extension gives Tolko time to decommission, remove structures at the site

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
Vernon Mounties respond to 287 mental health calls in 5 months

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being during national week

Fun 4 All Pet Resort is closed for two weeks following a COVID-19 outbreak among staff. (Fun 4 All photo)
COVID closes Vernon dog daycare

Two staff members test positive at dog boarding centre

Armstrong Regional Co-op is now taking applications from charities and non-profit groups for proceeds from the 2021 Fuel Good Day event at co-op gas bars in Armstrong, Vernon and Salmon Arm. Fuel Good Day will be Tuesday, Sept. 21. (Black Press - file photo)
Co-op fuels North Okanagan-Shuswap charities, non-profits with cash

Applications being taken for proceeds from 2021 Fuel Good Day event to be held Tuesday, Sept. 21

Bruce Mol has taken his cycling education to Youtube during the pandemic. He explains how to navigate Vernon’s new double-roundabout intersection at 29th and 30th Street in his latest video published May 3, 2021. (Contributed)
VIDEO: Cycling educator shows how to navigate Vernon’s new roundabouts

Bruce Mol demonstrates how cyclists can use the city’s new north-south corridor

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

Revelstoke’s Mayor Gary Sulz getting his COVID-19 vaccination on April 5. (Jocelyn Doll - Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke is leading B.C.’s interior on vaccinations: Interior Health

Approximately 70% of the community has first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

An unused fruit stand at Highway 97 and Road 1 went up in flames Thursday night. (Oliver Fire Department)
Abandoned South Okanagan fruit stand fire considered suspicious

The timing of the midnight fire is one reason the fire is suspicious

A woman checks out a jobs advertisement sign during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto in April 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Kelowna’s unemployment rate jumps in April, remains one of Canada’s lowest

Kelowna had the fifth-lowest unemployment rate of major centres across the country in April

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

Most Read