History of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Our Milestones


Andy Knight takes on the role of the U of A’s first Provost Fellow: Black Excellence and Leadership

Announcing the Provost Fellow in Black Excellence and Leadership

Carrie Smith takes on the role of the U of A’s first Vice-Provost (Equity, Diversity and Inclusion)

Announcing the Vice-Provost (Equity Diversity and Inclusion)

March 18, 2021

The U of A releases the findings of its first Workforce Diversity Census. The results will help serve as a benchmark for future efforts involving the statistical analysis of EDI related measurements in the U of A's workforce.

June 19, 2020

The Board of Governors approves a major revision of the University’s Recruitment and Selection of Employees Policy Suite, further ensuring that the U of A's recruitment and employment are equitable and inclusive, and conducive to achieving greater diversity among the U of A's employees.

Taking Actions to Improve Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Our U of A Community

September 1, 2020

Co-lead by professors Bukola Salami and Andre McDonald the Black Youth Mentorship and Leadership Program, which pairs Black youth with students and faculty at the university, launches for the first time.

Evelyn Hamdon joins the Office of the Provost helping to lead the U of A's EDI strategic direction as the Senior Advisor, Equity and Human Rights.

The U of A launched the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion website.

August 6, 2019

Florence Glanfield takes on the role of the U of A's first Vice-Provost (Indigenous Programming and Research).

Announcing the New Vice-Provost (Indigenous Programming and Research)

The Faculty of Extension incorporates equity into their new Guidelines for Merit Increments, End of First Probationary Appointments and Applications for Tenure and Promotion.

August 12, 2019

President David Turpin endorses the Tri-Agency's Dimensions: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Charter.

U of A signs Dimensions Charter supporting diversity in research

ASSUA ratifies Gender Pay Equity for Professors inline with the report Gender-based Pay Differences Among Faculty - 2014-2017.

Intersections of Gender officially launches, further highlighting the university's cross disciplinary excellence in research and education efforts related to intersectionality and gender studies.


The Board of Governors approves a strategic plan to guide the U of A's equity, diversity and inclusion efforts.

The U of A develops its first Canada Research Chairs EDI Action Plan.

September 26, 2018

Intersections of Gender (nee: Research at the Intersections of Gender) is announced as one of the University of Alberta's first three signature areas.

The First Three Signature Areas

The Equity Survey Advisory Group is established.

Following the conclusion of the Employment Equity Advisory Committee in Human Resource Services, the Institutional Equity Scoping Group is established by the Office of the Provost.


The Board of Governors approves a revised hiring statement.

In consultation with faculty, staff, and the broader community, the Office of the Provost collaborate with the Council of Aboriginal Initiatives to develop a revised Acknowledgment of Traditional Territory.

A revised Disability Management/Health Recovery Support Policy is approved by the Board of Governors.

The U of A renews its commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion in the institutional plan, For the Public Good.

The Sexual Misconduct Review Committee releases its report on the Review of the University of Alberta's Response to Sexual Assault.


The Sexual Violence Review Group is convened by Robin Everall, Interim Vice-provost and Dean of Students.

Catherine Anley, then the university's Equity Advisor in Human Resource Services, launches Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Week.


Women's Studies expands to become the Department of Women and Gender Studies.


The Discrimination, Harassment and Duty to Accommodate Policy and the Duty to Accommodate Procedure take effect following approval of the Board of Governors.

The Council on Aboriginal Initiatives endorsed the use of a traditional territory acknowledgment.


The Office of Human Rights is replaced by the Office of Human Rights and Safe Disclosure.


The Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services launches in the Faculty of Education. The university-community research institute leads research projects and educational programming, including Safe Spaces, Camp fYrefly, Pride Tape, and NoHomophobes.com.


The School of Native Studies becomes Canada's first Faculty of Native Studies.


Indira Samarasekera becomes the first female president and vice-chancellor of the University of Alberta.

In the Faculty of Science, Margaret-Ann Armour is appointed the first Associate Dean of Diversity at the U of A.


The Board of Governors approves the Disability Management/Health Recovery Support Policy.


Archbishop Desmond Tutu gives the U of A's inaugural Visiting Lecture in Human Rights.


The President's Employment Equity Implementation Committee is formed with a mandate to develop an equity plan for the University.


Commissioners A. D'Souza, A. McLellan, P. Smy, and J. Varog release the Report of the President's Commission for Equality and Respect on Campus. The Committee was chaired by Diane Kieren.

The U of A establishes the Sexual Assault Centre, which runs annual sexual assault awareness campaigns each year.

The U of A opens its first Office of Human Rights.


A pay equity announcement is made and the Pay Equity Review Committee is appointed.


General Faculties Council approves the Policies for Students with Disabilities.

The Faculty of Arts introduces Women's Studies as a program of study.


The General Faculties Council Policy Manual (section 48) on Employment Equity is revised and approved by the Board of Governors.

President Myer Horowitz signs the Certificate of Commitment on March 24, 2981, committing the university to uphold employment equity and the Federal Contractors Program.


Professor Doris Badir becomes the Special Assistant on Equity Matter under President Myer Horowitz.


The university's first study and job evaluation for pay equity take place.


The School of Native Studies and the Bachelor of Arts in Native Studies are approved by the General Faculties Council and the Board of Governors.


Women in Scholarship, Engineering, Science, & Technology (WISEST) is formed after Dr. Gordin Kaplan, noted that of the 150 attendees at a seminar on microprocessors, only one of the participants was a woman.


Student Support and Disability Services is established as a student service.


The Standing Committee on Native Studies is established by General Faculties Council. Members include faculty, students, and representatives of interested Indigenous communities.


The Report of the Matched Pair Study on Salaries of Academic Women is released.


Patricia Prestwich begins to teach the first courses at the U of A highlighting the history of women.


The university's first Senate Task Force on the Status of Women is established.


Aboriginal Student Services (now known as First Peoples' House) is established.


Representatives of the Indian Association of Alberta propose a unit for the study of Native Studies during a meeting with the University's Senate.


President H.M. Tory makes the promise for the U of A to "uplift the whole people."


As early as 1926, international students, like Yuichi Kurimoto, were welcomed to the University of Alberta.


Geneva Misener joins the Department of Classics as an assistant professor, becoming the first female academic at the University of Alberta.


Decima Eveline Robinson is the first graduate of the U of A. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1911 and a Masters of Science in 1912.


The U of A opens its doors, providing education to women and men of any denomination.