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 Cariboo Regional District. (Angie Mindus photo)
Telus tower proposed for Horse Lake Road

CRD will consider a proposal for wireless telecommunications facility.

(Kamloops This Week file photo)
Probe into TNRD spending taken over by federal police unit

Financial Integrity Sensitive Investigations Unit is now reviewing the case

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Stolen truck found broken down on Highway 97C, Williams Lake suspect arrested near Ashcroft

A security guard first noticed the truck, and thought it looked suspicious

Janet Wright, 82. has been skiing since she was in her 20s and has regularly skied 50 km a day at least once each winter just to prove she can. (Photo submitted)
Nordic skiers track record year, personal bests

Oban Chambers, 9, and Janet Wright, 82, clocked the most miles these season

Amanda Patterson is excited to open the South Cariboo Farmers' Market at the South Cariboo Rec Centre this Friday, May 7. (Kelly Sinoski photo, 100 Mile Free Press).
Farmers, crafters get set for market

South Cariboo Farmer’s Market opens on Friday, May 7.

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

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Victoria police photo of suspected cat thief was just a woman with her own cat

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis S. St-Laurent sails past a iceberg in Lancaster Sound, Friday, July 11, 2008. The federal government is expected to end nearly two years of mystery today and reveal its plan to build a new, long overdue heavy icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver, Quebec shipyards to each get new heavy icebreaker, cost remains a mystery

Vancouver’s Seaspan Shipyards and Quebec-based Chantier Davie will each build an icebreaker for the coast guard

Findings indicate a culture of racism, misogyny and bullying has gripped the game with 64 per cent of people involved saying players bully others outside of the rink. (Pixabay)
Misogyny, racism and bullying prevalent across Canadian youth hockey, survey finds

56% of youth hockey players and coaches say disrespect to women is a problem in Canada’s sport

People line up outside an immunization clinic to get their Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Hospital investigating whether Alberta woman who died after AstraZeneca shot was turned away

Woman was taken off life support 12 days after getting vaccine

People line up for COVID-19 vaccination at a drop-in clinic at Cloverdale Recreation Centre on Wednesday, April 27, 2021. Public health officials have focused efforts on the Fraser Health region. (Aaron Hinks/Peace Arch News)
B.C. reports first vaccine-induced blood clot; 684 new COVID cases Thursday

Two million vaccine doses reached, hospital cases down

Allayah Yoli Thomas had recently turned 12 years old when she died of a suspected drug overdose April 15. (Courtesy of Adriana Londono)
Suspected overdose death of Vancouver Island 12 year old speaks to lack of supports

Allayah Yoli Thomas was found dead by her friend the morning of April 15

More than 6,000 camping reservations in British Columbia were cancelled as a result of a provincial order limiting travel between health regions. (Unsplash)
1 in 4 camping reservations cancelled in B.C. amid COVID-19 travel restrictions

More than 6,500 BC Parks campsite reservations for between April 19 and May 25 have been revoked

Most Read