Office of the President

Andrew Petter, President and Vice-Chancellor

Petter's Perspective: Notes from the President

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Deepening our focus on equity, diversity and inclusion

September 30, 2019

Simon Fraser University is dedicated to fostering a culture of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and has taken steps in recent years to advance this goal. However, much remains to be done. With this in mind, we will be pursuing further action in the months ahead to embed EDI into our policies and practices.  

Fortunately, we have some strengths upon which we can build. In 2016, the University made retrospective adjustments to correct gender inequities in faculty salaries based upon the recommendations of the Salary Equity Recommendation Committee. In 2017, we adopted  a comprehensive Sexual Violence and Misconduct Prevention, Education and Support Policy based upon an extensive community consultation. The Canada Research Chairs EDI Action Plan which was also completed in 2017 has been recognized as a national leader. And the EDI engagement process undertaken over the last year has provided us with actionable insights.

In addition, the federal government last month selected SFU to be one of 17 post-secondary institutions to participate in its Dimensions pilot program. This program will help us to foster transformational change via an Action Plan, the goal of which is to eliminate systemic barriers and inequities in access, admissions, recruitment, career development, pay, working and learning conditions, resources, retention and progression.

To lead this work, I have established a committee of the Executive chaired by Joy Johnson, Vice-President, Research and International. As her first priority, Joy will be seeking participation on an advisory committee. This work requires a collective commitment, and I encourage those with interests in this area to join the effort. Joy will share more information with the community soon.

As we move forward with this work, I’d like to express my appreciation to all those who have helped to support our EDI efforts to date. Countless members of the SFU community have devoted their time and energy to advisory committees, working groups, programs and initiatives. Thank you for your contributions.

SFU is an institution built on strong values. Delivering on our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion is vital to our well-being and success as a university. With your help, I am confident that we can make further significant progress in the year ahead.