Concordia University recognizes the essential role of diversity in fostering excellence by improving learning, advancing research, inspiring creativity, driving productivity and enhancing the experience and morale of the entire institution. We value and embrace the complexity of diversity, including but not limited to personal and social identities, perspectives, ideologies and traditions, and endeavour to cultivate the skills necessary to integrate and harness this complexity in order to effectively lead and innovate in society. We strive to cultivate an educational environment where all students, faculty and staff feel connected to the institution by seeing their experiences reflected in our curriculum, programming, partnerships and scholarship. We understand that diverse peoples and communities require different supports, acknowledgements, accommodations and considerations in order to fully participate in the livelihood of the Concordia community and address historical and contemporary inequalities in Canadian and global society. We commit to fostering all of these cornerstones of diversity as integral elements of the next-generation university.
In support of our commitment to EDI, as well as making it an institutional priority, Concordia has formed the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group, chaired by the Special Advisor to the Provost, Campus Life, and which includes representation from faculty, students, and staff. The Group is developing definitions for equity, diversity and inclusion for use by the wider university community.
In addition to the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Action Plan for the Canada Research Chairs (CRC) Program, and accompanying appendices, the Office of the Provost and Vice President, Academic has created the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan for faculty hiring, retention and development to guide the creation of infrastructure needed to support faculty recruitment and retention. The Plan’s main objectives are to implement evidence-based EDI best practices for the recruitment and retention of faculty and academic administrators; develop, implement and regularly adapt surveys for Concordia’s professorial corps and pool of applicants to faculty positions about their membership from underrepresented groups with the aim of establishing minimum representation targets for our professorial corps, and timelines to meet them; and raise awareness within the university community of the importance of diversity and inclusion for the success of our mission and of the role that all and each of us have to play to support it. Currently in draft form, the Plan will be widely distributed and implemented once final.
To support the implementation of the plan, the position of Vice-Provost, Faculty Development and Inclusion includes a special focus on EDI within the professorate. The Vice-Provost, along with the Senior Lead, Equity and Diversity and the Manager, Academic Leadership and Inclusion, develop, implement, monitor and advance equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives affecting the professorial corps. A particular priority has been the mandatory, and customized, EDI training for hiring committees composed for Canada Research Chair appointments.
Specific measures in the research sector include the implementation of training on unconscious bias for Faculty Research Committees and the University Research Committee (URC) as adjudicators of letters of intent for both Canada Research Chair and Concordia University Research Chair (CURC) allocations. Additionally, requests for CRCs have to specifically include EDI measures as these relate to recruiting a diverse pool of applicants. The allocation of CURCs has historically placed an emphasis on gender balance and this has been expanded to ensure that representation from the four designated groups is considered.
Concordia also launched the Indigenous Directions Action Plan, which is meant to both guide and provide the tools necessary to enable the community to move the university towards a more equitable and inclusive future. The Plan contains six recommended actions designed to address issues, challenges and opportunities specifically linked to governance and community participation; curriculum and pedagogy; institutional environment; Indigenous students; Indigenous faculty and staff; and Indigenous research.
Details on the Canada Research Chairs program (CRCP) Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Practices can be found below: