Championing collaboration in finance: Clara Ng

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

UBC is one of the world’s leading research institutions, recognized internationally as a global centre for teaching and learning, and chosen by students and faculty from across Canada and around the world as an academic destination. But there is a very significant dedicated team who are supporting this destination every day — who maintain the physical and financial assets of the organization and nurture the operations that are essential to UBC’s academic mission and vision. The staff of the VPFO are emblematic of the university’s motto Tuum Est — it is yours — as they build and maintain a better UBC each and every day through their dedication and service.

This year several members of the VPFO team were recognized in particular for their outstanding contribution to the organization through the President’s Staff Awards. Clara Ng, Assistant Dean, Finance, for the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences received the award for the transformational impact her work has had on her faculties. Particularly, in the Faculty of Education, Clara’s exemplary leadership and support of collaboration has contributed to an improved understanding and greater transparency of financial affairs among the faculty’s units.

Clara, who has 14 years of experience at UBC, directly contributes to building the leadership capacity and strengths of staff across large and complex faculties, creating cross-faculty mentoring opportunities when possible. With her mentorship and support, the finance teams she leads provide a first-rate service to academics — dramatically improving the ability of each faculty’s researchers to manage their research funds and directly impacting UBC’s core academic mission.

“It would not be hyperbole to state that Clara has transformed the Faculty of Education,” says Dean Dr. Blye Frank, who nominated Clara for the PSAE recognition. “When she joined us in 2015, our outdated financial policies and processes were no longer serving the Faculty well. Clara’s commitment, insight, and professionalism turned around the Faculty’s finances within four years.”

“I believe my purpose is to ensure that I provide the best possible advice, support, and services to enable informed decision-making across this institution, and to work with my Deans to help ensure their success as they lead their Faculties,” she says. “Working across units and in teams enables staff to foster collaborative relationships, provide mentoring, share ideas, and learn from each other — which ultimately allows those teams to be more effective in their work.”

“UBC is an amazing institution in which I am fortunate to get be a member of,” Clara adds. “I am inspired everyday by the outstanding students, faculty, staff, and alumni that work in this institution. Having a deep sense of purpose and meaning inspires me to excel in my work.”

Clara joins 3 other VPFO coworkers who were recognized with Presidential awards.  Read their story on the VPFO website.

UBC’s VPFO: enabling excellence in learning and research

The VPFO is responsible for stewardship of UBC’s physical and financial assets, including all facilities as well as the university budget and endowment. The services provided by the 1200+ individuals who report to the portfolio enable UBC’s excellence in learning and research.

Read more about the VPFO and how we are focused on enabling excellence in learning research at UBC at