Director of UBC’s school of public health resigns over holiday travel during pandemic

Peter Berman has resigned as director of the University of British Columbia’s School of Population and Public Health just over a week after admitting to holiday travel during the school’s winter break.

Berman announced his resignation in a Friday statement posted online. He said it would take effect at the end of the day.

“I took this difficult decision based on my assessment that the conditions of distress and division currently prevailing at SPPH make it impossible for me to continue to provide effective leadership to grow and develop our school, our community and our profession in my role as SPPH director,” Berman said in a statement.

“I deeply regret any actions of mine that may have caused this situation. I am grateful to the many of you who have shared messages of support to me directly or to others in our community and faculty. I also respect the many different views expressed by those in our wider community.”

Berman said in a letter posted last week that he travelled to Hawaii.

Both provincial and federal authorities in Canada have repeatedly advised against unnecessary travel — especially international travel — as B.C. and other jurisdictions grapple with a second wave of coronavirus infections.

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