OTTAWA – Canada’s universities have adopted seven Inclusive Excellence Principles to advance equity, diversity and inclusion on campus and in society. These principles and accompanying action plan, developed by Universities Canada’s Board of Directors and Education Committee with in-depth input from the full membership, are designed to advance universities’ efforts to improve the participation and success of under-represented groups within the academic community.
The principles include a commitment by all university leaders to develop or maintain an institutional action plan to improve equity, diversity and inclusion outcomes within their institutions, and to measure progress. They were endorsed at Universities Canada’s annual fall membership meeting in Ottawa on Oct. 25.
The new Inclusive Excellence Principles complement the association’s Principles on Indigenous Education and recognize the vital importance of diversity of identity, experience, expertise and perspectives in building an innovative, prosperous and inclusive Canada. The principles outline the role universities play in achieving this goal, and highlight the need to integrate inclusive excellence throughout all aspects of higher education – from teaching and research to community engagement and governance.
“This a significant step forward in our efforts to improve equality of opportunity for all students, faculty and staff in our university communities,” said Mike Mahon, Universities Canada’s new board chair and president of the University of Lethbridge. “The university mission of excellence in research, teaching and community engagement is most successful when all members of the university community are supported in achieving their potential.”
The Inclusive Excellence Principles were announced in advance of the 2017 Gender Summit North America, to be held Nov. 6-8, 2017 in Montreal. The summit will convene hundreds of advocates of diversity and equality within the science and technology fields under the theme of “Embracing pluralism and thriving through diversity – shaping science and innovation.” This is the first time that Canada has hosted this major international event. Universities Canada is involved in several events at the summit.
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