News

Simon Fraser University's Canada Research Chairs Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan

The Canada Research Chairs Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan will guide SFU’s efforts in sustaining the participation of and addressing the underrepresentation of individuals within the CRC program.
Print

We are pleased to announce that the Canada Research Chairs (CRC) Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan for Simon Fraser University was released today. 

By December 15, 2017, all institutions with five or more Canada Research Chairs allocations were required to develop an equity, diversity, and inclusion action plan for their Canada Research Chairs programs. This CRC Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan will guide SFU’s efforts in sustaining the participation of and/or addressing the underrepresentation of individuals from the federally recognized four designated groups (women, persons with disabilities, Indigenous Peoples, and members of visible minorities) among its CRC chair allocations.

When this federal mandate was announced in May 2017, SFU was in the process of conceptualizing and developing its equity portfolio. As a result, this CRC Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan came under the direction of the Vice-President, Research and International-Major Projects Office, which oversees the administration of the CRC portfolio. A research administrator from the Major Projects Office with experience working on equity initiatives was tasked with developing this plan in concert with the Vice-President, Academic-Faculty Relations. SFU also contracted the services of an equity advisor to aid in the development of this CRC EDI Action Plan. A small CRC Equity Advisory Committee was formed at the beginning of this process, providing valuable oversight and guidance. The committee consisted of:

Doug Thorpe-Dorward, Executive Director, Faculty Relations

Catherine Stoddard, Director, Faculty Relations

Theresa Burley, Major Projects Office-Vice-President, Research and International

Grace Wong Sneddon, External Equity Advisor

Ronda Arab, Associate Professor, Department of English; SFU Faculty Association Representative

Lesley Shannon, Associate Professor, School of Engineering Science; NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering for BC and Yukon

Nathalie Sinclair, Professor, Faculty of Education; Canada Research Chair in Tangible Mathematics Learning

This CRC Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan is informed by extensive work to: 

• review CRC processes and practices related to institutional support for chairholders and management of CRC chair allocations;

• collect data on current CRC chairholders and applicants;

• review the most recent Employee Systems Review; and

• consider SFU’s unique challenges and opportunities. 

Examples of the recommended objectives include building practices to sustain or increase diversity among SFU CRC chairholders, enabling better data collection on the four designated groups, and other areas related to hiring, recruitment, and retention.

This CRC Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan comes at a time when SFU is expanding its equity portfolio. On December 13th, SFU announced its new initiative to champion equity, diversity and inclusion. This initiative builds on a wide range of work already being championed by SFU staff and faculty members and introduces significant resources to support the University's goal of becoming more a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable community. This new equity initiative will be led by Kim Hart, the Special Advisor to the Provost on Equity and supported by SFU Professor Genevieve Fuji Johnson, Senior Advisor to the Provost’s Office on Faculty Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement. This work is further supported by the incoming Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Larry Axelrod (Faculty Relations), and a yet to be appointed position based in Human Resources. 

The primary author of the CRC Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan, Theresa Burley, will be seconded for the first part of 2018 to ensure a smooth transition and implementation of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan required by the CRC Secretariat. The Vice-President, Academic and Vice-President, Research and International will consult with the newly appointed Advisors and Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion- Faculty Relations to review the CRC Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan and formulate a strategy to consider the recommended objectives.

Other next steps include an Information & Future Directions Session on the CRC Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan in Spring 2018.

If you have questions or comments, please contact Theresa Burley at thughesa@sfu.ca.