From the President's Desk
Important EDI announcements from the President of Acadia University
Acadia’s strategic plan, Acadia 2025, calls for actions to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) across the campus and amongst our university community. Therefore, I am pleased to announce two initiatives aimed at accelerating progress towards meeting the EDI goals and objectives of the strategic plan, namely the creation of an Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism (EDIAR) Council for Acadia University, and the establishment of a new administrative position to support EDI across campus.
Vice-Provost Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Reporting to the Provost and Vice-President Academic, the Vice-Provost Equity, Diversity and Inclusion will provide strategic leadership and vision for EDI initiatives for the University, will be a champion for EDI and will advise the Provost on EDI initiatives and activities. The Vice-Provost EDI will be the Vice-Chair of the EDIAR Council. Initially, this position will be part-time (with significant teaching release) and restricted to internal candidates who are full-time continuing faculty employees of Acadia. The Office of the Provost will soon be sending out a call for nominations and applications together with an advertisement which will provide more details about the position.
In my response to the report of the President’s Anti-Racism Task Force, I committed to the creation of the EDIAR Council, and following consultation with key community stakeholders, the terms of reference and composition of the council have now been developed. As we get the council populated and get some experience, we will review the terms of reference and composition to ensure that we have the right balance of responsibilities and representation.
The Terms of Reference of the EDIAR Council are as follows:
Chaired by the Provost and Vice-President Academic and reporting directly to the President and Vice-Chancellor, the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism (EDIAR) Council will:
- provide leadership, oversight, co-ordination, and, where appropriate, direction on all matters relating to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion (EDI) and anti-racism at Acadia University
- promote and advance EDIAR at Acadia University, both within the Acadia community and in the policies, practices and processes of the university
- work to gain consistency and participation across the university in EDIAR principles and initiatives
- liaise with the many individual EDIAR groups and initiatives that operate in various sectors of the university, including but not limited to:
- Acadia Indigenous Education Advisory Council
- Senate EDI Committee
- BIPOC Student Working Group
- Acadia University Equity Office
- Acadia Indigenous Affairs Office
- Acadia International Student Centre
- Acadia Research Office, particularly connected to the Canada Research Chairs EDI Action Plan
- Acadia Accessibility Office
- AU/AUFA Employment Equity Committee
- play a major role in advancing the EDI goals and objectives of Acadia 2025
- be responsible for ensuring and monitoring institutional progress in implementing the recommendations of the President’s Anti-Racism Task Force (PART) Report and the President’s Response to the PART Report.
- work in collaboration with the Acadia Indigenous Education Advisory Council and Acadia’s Office of Indigenous Affairs in monitoring the implementation of the recommendations of the Report of the President’s Advisory Committee on Decolonization and the President’s Response to the PAC Report on Decolonization.
- ensure and monitor institutional action and accountability for the Scarborough Charter on Anti-Black Racism and Black Inclusion in Canadian Higher Education and being the main liaison with the Inter-Institutional Forum on Inclusive Higher Education
- ensure and monitor institutional compliance with the Universities Canada Inclusive Excellence Principles and five-year action plan, and the CRC EDI Action plan.
- keep informed about national and international trends in equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism policy development
- advocate for best practices surrounding equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism in an academic institution
- set appropriate institutional goals, objectives, and targets for advancing EDI and anti-racism at Acadia University and make recommendations to the President as appropriate
- report annually to the Acadia community, and as appropriate external organizations, on progress made in addressing EDIAR at Acadia, including the PART recommendations and priorities for the coming year, implementation of the relevant components of the strategic plan, and for keeping the community informed and updated on a more regular basis.
- Advise the President on the development of an EDIAR statement for the institution and an EDIAR action plan with measurable goals and targets.
- Develop a website for the council with a dashboard that shows progress on achieving the objectives of the PART Report, PAC report and the EDIAR action plan.
The EDIAR Council will be composed of the following individuals:
- Provost and Vice-President or Vice-Provost – Council Chair
- Vice-Provost, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion – Council Vice-Chair
- Black Student Success Navigator
- Indigenous Affairs Advisor
- Three members of the BIPOC Student Working Group (of which at least one will be Indigenous and at least one will be African Nova Scotian)
- International Student Society President
- University EDI Officer
- One professor (chosen from nominations submitted by the faculty) from each of:
- Faculty of Pure & Applied Science
- Faculty of Arts
- Faculty of Theology
- Faculty of Professional Studies
- A Faculty Dean appointed by the Deans
- Two members of the Mi’kmaq community (external to the university community)
- Two members from the African Nova Scotian community (external to the university community)
The composition of the Council will be established to ensure gender equity and a diversity of identities.
The following individuals will act in an advisory and/or support capacity to the EDIAR Council:
- Elder in Residence
- AVP Research
- EDIAR Council Coordinator
Administrative assistance will be provided through the Office of the Provost, and communications through the Executive Director for Communications and Government Relations in the Office of the President.
Dr. Peter Ricketts
President and Vice-Chancellor