Excellence in research and research training demands engagement from scholars who represent the broad diversity across the Canadian population and in particular at academic institutions.
Increased equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) within the Canada Research Chairs Program (CRCP) is an essential component of the federal government’s commitment to supporting excellent, innovative, and impactful research. Brock University has identified fostering a culture of inclusivity, accessibility, reconciliation, and decolonization as a strategic priority. This commitment foregrounds Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) considerations as one of the four pillars that guide the institution toward achieving our strategic aims and objectives.
Brock’s strategy consists of a combination of broad and targeted communications, engagement with key stakeholders, and ongoing training. Details can be found in the Brock University EDI Action Plan.
Brock’s strategy consists of a combination of broad and targeted communications, engagement with key stakeholders, and ongoing training. In particular, the strategy includes:
- Public web page: The web page recognizes the University’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion within the CRCP and the broader research enterprise, highlights its benefits, and includes all relevant information and documentation related to this commitment.
- Communication to all Faculties: A communication was sent to all Faculties iterating Brock University’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. This communication highlighted the steps the institution is taking towards ensuring fair representation of all groups among our Canada Research Chairs and across our research enterprise, and also reiterates the agreement between the University and the Brock University Faculty Association that the University is better able to advance its essential functions, namely the pursuit, creation, and dissemination of knowledge through teaching and research, if members of designated groups are well represented in the bargaining unit.
- Engagement with stakeholders: Brock’s Vice President, Research and Director, Research Services met with key stakeholders to educate and engage them in this initiative, including the Brock University Faculty Association and the Senate Research and Scholarship Policy Committee.
- Training: As per the Equity Diversity and Inclusion Practices established by the Canada Research Chairs program, mandatory unconscious bias training, is offered to all faculty and staff involved in the recruitment and nomination of Chair holders.
The Equity Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan has been approved by the Provost and Vice-President, Academic.
The Vice-President, Research is the administrative lead for coordinating the development of Brock’s EDI Action Plan. Brock’s President and Vice-Presidents are responsible for ensuring that employment policies, practices, and procedures are consistent with the Employment Equity
Strategy, and for achieving Employment Equity in their respective divisions. Faculty Deans and Associate Deans are responsible for the day-to-day implementation of this plan and its principles within their respective areas.
Process for Developing Brock’s EDI Action Plan
Initial development of Brock’s EDI Action Plan engaged the Vice-President, Research; the Provost and Vice-President, Academic; the University Secretary; the Senior Advisor, Human Rights and Equity; the Director, Research Services; the Director, Government Relations; and a CRC holder. The development included fulsome discussion on Brock’s then-current processes and policies, as well as best practices in ensuring equity in the workplace. Upon completion of the initial draft, the EDI Action Plan was shared with key stakeholders for input, including the Senate Research and Scholarship Policy Committee; Brock University Faculty Association (BUFA); then-current Brock CRCs; and the Faculty Deans.
The working group and the broader group of stakeholders consulted include some members of the designated groups. Following this consultation process, the 2017 EDI Action Plan was finalized by the Working Group, and submitted to the Provost and Vice-President, Academic, for approval. The December 2018 version of the EDI Action Plan is revised from the 2017 EDI Action Plan in response to feedback received from the CRCP Secretariat and consultation with the CRC Selection Committee, including the Director, Human Rights and Equity. Broad consultation on this living document will occur in 2019 with stakeholders from across the University.
Review of the EDI Action Plan
The content of this EDI Action Plan will be reviewed annually and updated as needed to respond to the CRCP Secretariat. The governance strategy associated with the EDI Action Plan will be reviewed by the Provost and Vice-President, Academic every three (3) years and amended as necessary to ensure it remains current and appropriate.
CRCs are faculty members at Brock University, therefore the Provost is ultimately responsible for ensuring the proper handling of equity and any resulting disputes and grievances. Any questions, concerns, or disputes related to equity and the CRCP will be managed by the Office of the Provost and Vice-President, Academic, as per the BUFA Collective Agreement. In October 2018, Dr. Greg Finn was appointed to this position on an interim basis:
Dr. Greg Finn
Interim Provost & Vice-President, Academic
Phone: 905-688-5880 x4121
Concerns related to EDI are addressed through the Office of Human Rights and Equity (OHRE); a confidential office reporting to the President of the University. The OHRE deals with discrimination, sexual harassment, and general harassment complaints. Processes are complainant-driven, confidential, and available to all members of the Brock community. OHRE administers the University’s Respectful Work and Learning Environment Policy (RWLEP) and the Sexual Assault and Harassment Policy (SAHP). Concerns and complaints regarding discrimination or harassment can be initiated through the intake form.
Policies and statements regarding Faculty Appeals, Conduct, Discipline, Grievances, Rights, and Responsibilities can be found within the BUFA Collective Agreement. Additional policies, such as the Employment Equity Policy and the Employment Accommodation Policy are administered by Human Resources.
Brock University has established institutional goals for the recruitment, promotion, and advancement of women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and members of visible minorities based upon the target-setting tool used by the Tri-Agency Institutional Programs Secretariat.
Brock University is required to report each December on progress in implementing the Brock University Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan, including efforts made to meet or exceed the CRCP equity targets and university-wide initiatives to enhance equity and inclusion.
Brock University’s CRCP Utilization Spreadsheet, generated by the Canada Research Chairs Program, outlines how many chair allocations Brock has, how many are filled and by which chair holders (with their term end and start dates), type of flex moves used and which allocations are available.
Brock University is actively committed to diversity and the principles of employment equity and invites applications from all qualified candidates. Women, Indigenous peoples, members of visible minorities, people with disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) persons are encouraged to apply and to voluntarily self-identify as a member of a designated group as part of their application. Differing career patterns may be more common among members of designated groups and this shall be taken into account in assessing the experiences and qualifications of members of these groups.
Brock will be recruiting for the following positions:
- CIHR Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Mechanisms of Health and Disease
- NSERC Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Bioinformatics/Computational Biology
- SSHRC Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Art Practice.
Please check this space again in early February 2019 to see full postings.