Memorandum of Misunderstanding? Public Accountability and the University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus, 2004-17

  • Peter James Wylie University of British Columbia
Keywords: public policy


This article analyzes the 2005 establishment, and subsequent evolution of, the University of British Columbia, Okanagan in British Columbia’s Interior.  It considers the founding vision of the campus, situated in Kelowna, represented by the original Memorandum of Understanding between the University of British Columbia and the BC government, in light of its subsequent evolution. We find that almost none of what the MOU initially visualized  for the campus has been realized; rather, it has evolved in a way that is fundamentally opposed to that document’s expressed intention. That the campus was left to UBC, a large, highly ranked and primarily research-oriented university, which developed it as a small, satellite campus, had important implications for the Kelowna campus’s failure to achieve its original goals. The Okanagan needed, and would  have been better served by, an independent comprehensive and regionally focused university than it has been by a small overflow campus.


Author Biography

Peter James Wylie, University of British Columbia
Associate Professor, Economics