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Canada Research Chairs program: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) practices

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 formed the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group, chaired by the Special Advisor to the Provost, Campus Life, and which included representation from faculty, students, and staff. Released in November 2021, the Report of the Working Group on Equity Diversity and Inclusion includes the Group’s recommendations organized into three pillars that address five areas of discrimination and harassment reported by members of our community during the consultations. In addition, the report summarizes the process, and also creates a framework for a coordinated EDI strategy across the university, including guiding principles and recommendations to build our commitment to EDI.

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 Equity Advisor, Equity Office and the Manager, Academic Staff, 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:


EDI-related concerns and complaints

The University facilitates reporting of EDI concerns by promoting the services of and providing access to dedicated offices such as the Office of Rights and Responsibilities, the Ombuds OfficeHuman Resources, the Office of Indigenous Directions, the Black Perspectives Office, the Sexual Assault Resource Center, and the Equity Office. Many of these units are mandated to receive and respond to concerns as well as track and report annually on their activities, including community requests and actions taken, to senior administration. In turn, senior administration works in collaboration with these offices on strategic planning with respect to the implementation of improvements to existing programming and services. Additionally, these units bring forward concerns to the attention of senior administration throughout the reporting year as appropriate. 

The Code of Rights and Responsibilities is the university’s policy on behaviour and provides a mechanism for members (faculty, staff and students) to file complaints related to discrimination and/or harassment based on the grounds specified in the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms (race, religion, gender identity, etc.). It also specifies the procedures for resolving these complaints (e.g. Section IX). The Ombuds Office conducts independent and objective inquiries into complaints that have already exhausted the usual avenues for grievance and appeals. Following the inquiry, the Ombudsperson will recommend solutions to help resolve concerns and complaints as well as recommend improvements to university policies, rules and procedures that are unclear or unfair.

Beyond what is mentioned above, all equity, diversity and inclusion concerns and requests for guidance and/or counseling can be brought to or reported to Concordia’s Senior Lead, Equity and Diversity:

Dr. Mark Andrew Galang Villacorta
Senior Equity Advisor, Equity Office
Office of the Provost and Vice-President, Academic
Tel: 514-848-2424, ext. 4875

1250 Rue Guy, Suite FB 1020.23
Montreal, QC H3H 2T4

Any equity, diversity and inclusion complaints may be reported to:

Dr. Kristina Huneault
Vice-Provost, Faculty Development and Inclusion
Office of the Provost and Vice-President, Academic
Tel: 514-848-2424, ext. 4323

1550 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W., Suite GM-806.05
Montreal, QC H3G 1N2

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