This month we profile Robert Boudreau, Human Resources Director, HR Management Systems at the Vancouver Campus.
Robert, please tell us about yourself
I am a member of a seemingly shrinking group that was born in the Lower Mainland and has also spent their entire life in the Lower Mainland – in my case, half in Vancouver and half in Richmond (where I currently live). Growing up in Kitsilano, I went to Bayview Elementary and Kits High School.
I took a liking to the computer classes offered in high school and asked one of my teachers where I should go for post-secondary education. His words of wisdom were, “if you want an education go to university – if you want a job, go to BCIT”. Money sounded pretty good, so I chose to get a diploma in computer programming from BCIT. Two years later, as I neared graduation, companies came to BCIT to recruit. My second interview was with UBC. I’m sure the person that interviewed me asked all sorts of great questions, but the two I distinctly remember were “do you play tennis?” and “do you ski?” I answered yes to both (which was true) and I was hired. Two others from the same BCIT graduating class were also hired by UBC and the three of us worked at UBC for about 35 years until the other two retired.
I have six children – three boys and three girls. Three have gone to UBC and two to BCIT. My oldest daughter, Stephanie, has worked at UBC for almost nine years.
What do you do in HR?
I was initially hired at UBC in 1977 into a UBC unit called Data Processing on the 3rd floor of GSAB (a building that no longer exists). This group supported admin systems (HR/Payroll and Finance). How we did all this with punched cards and magnetic tapes, I’ll never understand (I have samples of both on the wall in my office). Around 1980, this unit was merged into central IT. In 1992 I was part of the team that implemented HRMS. In 1996, the programming team that supported admin systems was moved from central IT to Finance and I moved with them as manager. In 1997, we implemented FMS.
I was in Finance until 2001 when a position became available in Human Resources. Since then I’ve been the Director – HR Management Systems, and have four business analysts reporting to me.
This spring, I’ll have worked at UBC for 40 years – the last 16 with Human Resources. The Human Resources Information Systems team does HRMS training, security and workflow administration, reporting, mass salary increases, participates in system upgrades, and supports the HRMS community of users in whatever problems or questions they may have. We work very closely with the user community, Payroll, and the technical support staff, and act as liaisons between these groups.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I’m a huge Montreal Canadiens fan and watch all their games. My favorite birthday gift of all time was my wife taking me to a game in Montreal where Montreal beat Boston. My office is decorated with Canadiens paraphernalia.
My wife and I like travelling to tropical vacation spots and have been to Jamaica, Mexico, Bahamas, Cuba, Dominican Republic, US Virgin Islands and Hawaii.
I work out in my home gym regularly, and can be found doing the Wreck Beach stairs several lunchtimes per week. I still like to ski, but don’t get out as often as I’d like. I also like doing household renovations and fixing things including vehicles. I spend a lot of time on YouTube. I’d like to think that there’s nothing I can’t fix, but occasionally I admit defeat.