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Accountability and reporting structures matter. Creating an inclusive environment that celebrates diversity requires attention and commitment. This theme focuses on the governance and accountability design structures that support an inclusive Dalhousie.

11. Enhance internal audit of inclusion issues

A) Identify an officer at the senior level responsible for coordinating the University’s ongoing engagement with issues of diversity and inclusion, with clear articulation of that responsibility in the officer’s title and with significant weight given to this aspect of the officer’s portfolio within the position description.
Timeline: Short term
Accountability: President’s Office  

B) Review the position descriptions for senior administrators to ensure that the value of knowledge about and experience with inclusion issues is understood as an important component of the required skill sets for these positions.
Timeline: Short term
Accountability community: Office of the Provost and Vice- President Academic and Human Resources  

C) Design a biennial equity and diversity report for each faculty and unit to be prepared by and submitted to Senate or Human Resources, as appropriate, that sets out that faculty or unit’s inclusion and diversity goals for the next five years, and measures progress made against those goals.
Timeline: Medium term
Accountability community: Office of the Provost and Vice-President Academic and Human Resources  

D) Design a biennial University equity and diversity report to be prepared by the Provost and Vice-President Academic for review and discussion by the Board.
Timeline: Medium term
Accountability community: Office of the Provost and Vice-President Academic and Human Resources  

E) Track and report data at a macro level on harassment and discrimination complaints and sexualized violence. Dalhousie may consider working with the Nova Scotia or other Atlantic governments and with other universities and colleges in the province to design a provincially-based process with oversight by an external body to support better reporting and oversight.
Timeline: Medium term
Accountability community: Human Rights, Equity, and Harassment Office and Office of the Vice-Provost Students  

F) Design a plan for proactively reviewing diversity and inclusion in faculties and units. The Senate review process includes some direction to review the diversity of faculty units: that review should be expanded and each Senate review team should include at least one expert in issues of diversity and inclusion. A more broadly applicable protocol for an “inclusion and diversity” audit should be designed that could be invoked by a faculty or unit that wanted assistance and support in better understanding diversity and inclusion issues and in providing the faculty with some concrete suggestions for possible improvements.
Timeline: Short term
Accountability community: Office of the Provost and Vice-President Academic, Senate, Human Resources, and the Human Rights, Equity, and Harassment Office

G) Rename, additionally staff, and expand the mandate of our Human Rights, Equity, and Harassment Prevention Office. The Office needs additional staff to support even its current mandate. Moreover, its mandate should be expanded to include (1) greater resources for educational supports, especially given the ongoing educational work we believe our community needs; (2) the ability to train first responders and student peer advocates (work that we believe should be undertaken collaboratively with the DSU with training provided by the Office). This is work that may fruitfully involve collaboration with community agencies such as the Avalon Centre; (3) outreach to diverse communities including potential students; (4) support for inclusion audits for faculties and units that want help understanding how they can improve; (5) enhanced communication, including developing online education tools; (6) development and support of upstander training; and (7) qualitative surveys and information gathering to better understand student, faculty, and staff experiences of exclusion on campus. Given the additional responsibilities for the Office and for the Centre for Learning and Teaching, it may be worth exploring whether there are cross-appointment possibilities for any new staff that may be hired. We suggest that these proposed mandates would be well served by a Centre for Respect, Inclusion, and Diversity (or something alternatively named), with two distinct functions that operate under the same umbrella, but with some independence. The educational and communication supports should be separate from the reporting and advising function of the Centre. Our review of other models suggests that several of them report directly to the President. One of our other recommendations is that a senior administrator with decision-making authority be assigned the role of supporting diversity and inclusion on campus. That person might also be an appropriate person to whom the Centre could report. The staff needs to be diversified to include either staff from or with obvious connections to disability, racialized, queer, Indigenous and ethnic minority communities. (Those connections may not need to be formalized within the Centre and may be able to be built collaboratively, but the Centre at a minimum needs resources to support those connections.) Importantly, the Centre should develop clear lines of communication and clear reporting structures for students who experience exclusion and should be a repository for conversations about equity, human rights, inclusion, diversity, and discrimination on campus. Our clear lines of reporting/ communication employed in the academic integrity context might serve as a model for the redesign of the reporting function of this Centre. It may be that each faculty or unit should be required to nominate a person to a support committee for the Centre as a way of better connecting the university community. The Centre may wish to consider developing an advisory board reflective of the broader diverse community, including community advocacy groups.
Timeline: Medium term
Accountability: Office of the Provost and Vice- President Academic