Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
*To view the Dalhousie University Senate Diversity Profile please click on the link above.
In reforming Senate membership we sought to enhance the skills matrix to ensure a diverse and inclusive Senate, positively impacting the culture over several years by working collaboratively with Faculty, senior leaders and students to achieve a laudable outcome. We report our representation on an annual basis as EDI requires frequent measurement and transparent reporting to determine whether our efforts are having the desired impact. The Election guidelines for academic unit senators developed in collaboration with colleague Arig Al Shaibah was the tool for ensuring this diverse representation, coupled with designated seats. We closed gaps across all equity seeking groups over four years. Our success was achieved by developing goals and systems to measure and track progress on EDI metrics to identify opportunities for improvement.
Principles of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
The Senate Planning and Governance Committee is responsible for, among other things:
a) Recommending to Senate representatives to serve on the Board of Governors, the Budget Advisory Committee, and the Search and Review Committees for the President and Vice‐Presidents;
b) Appointing on behalf of Senate representatives on other University‐related committees where Senate representation is required;
c) Reviewing and approving on behalf of Senate significant changes in the governance of Faculties, Schools, Colleges, and Libraries.
d) Reviewing and approving on behalf of Senate significant changes in the governance of academic and research Institutes and Centres;
Senate has embarked on a process of incorporating Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (D,E&I) principles into its governance, practices and processes, in support of the Goal 4 ((b)Integrating diversity and inclusion goals into systems, structures, policies and practices and (c) Regularly monitoring and assessing diversity and inclusiveness performance metrics) of the framework set for the university under Strategic priority 5.2. In particular, D,E&I principles have been incorporated into the Senate constitution, and are being incorporated into Senate Faculty and Institute/Centre Reviews, and the practice of populating any committee within the purview of Senate jurisdiction. We are incorporating D, E & I into the Standing committee Terms of Reference and working to finalize a Senate membership that is diverse and adherent to principles of inclusion and equity. In relation to the responsibilities of the Senate Planning and Governance Committee outlined above, direction is being provided as follows:
The health of our university and success of its mission requires talent from the broadest demographic pool. As a Faculty/School/College/Library leader committed to diversity, equity and inclusion as university principles and priorities, Senate expects you to promote the participation of members of equity seeking groups[i] by
- incorporating these principles and priorities into your Faculty/School/College/Library governance documents; and
- undertaking inclusive and equitable practices leading to the proposal of a diverse list of nominees whenever representatives are sought by Senate
Given the large gaps in our Federal Contractors Program (FCP) representation, there may be a consequential burden placed on the faculty available to diversify these committees. Recognizing that committees vary in terms of time commitments required and influence in the shaping of the university, members of equity-seeking groups are to be included strategically to maximize their influence. In this way, the university can benefit from their insight and leadership, while minimizing their potential added workload, allowing them to successfully fulfill the requirements of their academic position. Moreover, appropriate support should be provided to those who may be overloaded with other important commitments.
Senate expects Faculty/School/College/Library leaders to report annually on these efforts as outlined in goal 4.8 of the 5.2 Framework: Regularly share progress and publish reports on various diversity/inclusiveness initiatives and outcomes; through appropriate institutional channels under our Diversity and Inclusion Framework.
June 12, 2017 Approved by Senate
[i]1 Members of “equity-seeking groups” are persons who experience barriers in employment. According to the Federal Contractors Program under the Employment Equity Act, groups requiring active measures to be implemented to redress historical and present-day disadvantage in employment include: Aboriginal peoples, racially visible persons, women, and persons with disabilities (visible and invisible). As a Federal Contractor, Dalhousie is bound by the terms of this Program with respect to these groups, as amended. At Dalhousie, special consideration will be given to Mi’kmaq peoples and historical African Nova Scotians. Dalhousie also recognizes that individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer (LGBTQ) or members of sexual orientation and/or gender identity (SOGI) minority groups experience persistent social and institutional discrimination and marginalization, that manifest as barriers to employment. As such LGBTQ/SOGI members of the Dalhousie community are treated as equity-seeking groups.