Koi Fish

Public accountability - Canada Research Chairs

EDI Commitment Statement

Vancouver Island University (VIU) is firmly committed to ensuring equity, diversity and inclusion within the Canada Research Chairs program.  This statement expresses our ongoing commitment to fostering a campus-wide culture where all people feel valued, respected and included. VIU is a values-based institution and our core values include several that underpin equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI): respect, engagement, diversity and sustainability and wellbeing.  These overarching values guide and direct our approaches to creating an inclusive and diverse environment.

In accordance with our equity, diversity and inclusion priorities, we are committed to ensuring that all Canada Research Chair applicants have fair and equitable access to opportunities throughout hiring, retention and advancement. Racialized persons/persons of colour, Indigenous Peoples, Persons with Disabilities and Women have traditionally and are currently underrepresented in the Canadian workforce.  VIU acknowledges that strategies are necessary to ensure that researchers who are members of these groups are better represented among nominations for Canada Research Chair positions.

Our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion is central to our strategic documents and established practices, including but not limited to the following:

  • Our Academic, Strategic Research, and People Plans include a deep commitment to the founding peoples on whose traditional territories we operate (the Snuneymuxw, Tla’amin, and Quw’utsun First Nations) and recognition that “diversity of [VIU’s] people is a strength.” We also have made a deep commitment to advancing truth and reconciliation. VIU has one of the highest percentages of First Nations students in Canada and was the first university in BC to waive tuition for adults that have spent time in foster care. Our Associate Registrar for Admissions and Registration has worked with all programs to identify a quota of seats that are offered to Indigenous applicants meeting the requirements for admission as a priority. This includes graduate programs as well as undergraduate programs.
  • Our Academic Plan states: “we value human diversity in all its dimensions and are committed to achieving and ensuring learning and working environments that are equitable, diverse and inclusive.”
  • VIU’s first ever VIU People Plan, launched in 2019, enshrines this institutional commitment. One of its 5 “Invitations for Action” aims to “Foster Diversity, Fairness and Truth Reconciliation.” The People Plan was designed based entirely on feedback from VIU employees (staff and faculty) who clearly stated that more needs to be undertaken in this area.
  • Our Diversity, Equity and Human Rights Office promotes equity, diversity and inclusion through outreach, coaching and tailored training programmes for departments and faculties on request, as well as ongoing management of grievances
  • VIU welcomes a diverse group of international students from over 90 different countries, representing approximately 22% of our student body. The Faculty of International Education, which supports these students, routinely runs events for the VIU community to enhance cross cultural understanding and celebrate institutional diversity.
  • As of 2019, we have signed on to Universities Canada‘s “Inclusive Excellence Principles,” and the “Dimensions Charter,” to work in close collaboration with other universities in sharing best practices for advancing EDI. With these commitments, we are currently developing a campus-wide EDI action plan which is based on VIU-specific disaggregated data, focusing on reviewing and modifying policies and practices, raising awareness and education on EDI, and demonstrating progress in the inclusion of under-represented groups into our campus community of students and employees.
  • From 2018, we established a core EDI staff team comprised of:  EDI Advisor, EDI Policy Analyst, Post-Doc Researcher and a student assistant. This core team operates under the guidance of the EDI Working Group, comprised of both academic and administrative leaders, largely from under-represented groups.

Through the above strategic plans and our established practices, VIU’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion will support our efforts to attract and retain the best talent, increase the diversity of our workplace and contribute to the creation of a world-class research and scholarship culture.

While we have made progress, we will continue to update and enhance provisions for greater equity, diversity and inclusion.

AWARENESS STRATEGY

 Strategy Statement for Raising Awareness of VIU’s Commitments and the Benefits of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion within the Canada Research Chairs Program and Broader Research Enterprise

As part of our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) within the Canada Research Chairs Program (CRCP) and the broader research enterprise we will continue to communicate VIU’s guiding values, and the benefits of equity, diversity and inclusion.

We will do this by:

  1. Communicating the benefits of EDI through website presence and community emails from the Provost and the President.
  2. Monitoring adherence to well defined allocation, search and recruitment processes and will publish and communicate our progress in diversifying our CRC population.
  3. Incorporating reporting on equity, diversity and inclusion activities by in our annual reporting cycle to re-inforce awareness among academic leaders of the strategic importance to the institution of EDI.
  4. Providing EDI training to all members of CRC-related committees, including training on unconscious bias, as well as ensuring the participation of an EDI Representative on these committees.
  5. Providing professional development training opportunities to all staff and students on topics related to EDI, including basic EDI concepts, micro-aggressions and allyship.

Governance plan for approval of EDI Action Plan:

Vancouver Island University is developing its EDI Action Plan in the fall of 2020 and anticipates approval in the spring of 2021.

 The governance approval process will involve:

  1. Submission of draft EDI Action Plan to the EDI Working Group and President’s Committee for review and feedback
  2. Submission of draft EDI Action Plan to President’s Council for review and feedback
  3. Submission of EDI Action Plan to Senate
  4. Submission of the EDI Action Plan to the Board of Governors

Contact information:

The following individuals are responsible for implementing VIU’s EDI agenda, and can answer any questions or concerns:

Carol Stuart, Provost and Vice-President Academic

Vancouver Island University

Bld. 300, rm 104

250.740.6104

Carol.Stuart@viu.ca

 

Monica Kay, Director

Diversity, Equity and Human Rights Office

Vancouver Island University

T (250) 740- 6440 |Website 

Monica.Kay@viu.ca

 

Complaints from any faculty or students come to the Dean and if needed are escalated to the Diversity, Equity and Human Rights (DEHR) Office, for discussion with the parties involved and to determine the preferred course of action and redress. The contact person at DEHR is the Director, Monica Kay, at monica.kay@viu.ca, tel. (250)740-6430, ext 6430.   While formal complaints result in an investigation through DEHR, however an informal resolution process undertaken by either the DEHR or the Dean is also an option if both parties agree.

Currently VIU is drafting policies for managing the staffing of CRC positions in a systematic and transparent fashion.

Our CRCP allocation report is found below.

crc-allocation-vancouver-island-march-2021.pdf
CRC Allocation Vancouver Island March 2021