Strategic Plan for EDI

Learn about the University of Alberta's Strategic Plan for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity.

The University of Alberta's Strategic Plan for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity (Updated 2019)
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This strategic plan aims to embed Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity into the culture of the University of Alberta community, from the grassroots to the senior-most levels. It sets out strategic directions and senior-level accountabilities that are intended to empower faculties, departments, and administrative units across the university to develop and implement their own Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity plans and initiatives. It includes a set of proposed structures and approaches with explicit desired outcomes that will support efforts across our community as we seek to become more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. However, this is not a top-down plan; to achieve our goals, every member of the University of Alberta has a role to play.


To weave Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity into the fabric of our culture, each of us must develop plans and initiatives at the local level. We must take deliberate action informed by the best available evidence and institutional data. Working together, we can ensure Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity thrives in our community and enriches the lives of all.


Our Vision

The University of Alberta is committed to cultivating an institutional culture that values, supports, and promotes equity, human rights, respect, and accountability among faculty, staff, and students. In our inclusive community, we encourage and support individual and collaborative efforts to identify and address inequities, and we welcome and enable contributions of all voices as we engage with diverse ideas, knowledges, and perspectives in the pursuit of inclusive excellence for the public good.

Our Mission

The University of Alberta will work to achieve an accessible, equitable, and inclusive community of students, faculty, and staff that supports our learning environment shaped by curiosity, rigorous inquiry, and evidence-based decision making, respect, and a culture of human rights.


We are committed to achieving equitable access and opportunities in admissions, employment, retention, and advancement; and to a working, learning, and living environment free from discrimination, bullying, and harassment. It is only through such a commitment that the University of Alberta can reach our larger vision of being a space that actively fosters intellectual curiosity, rigorous inquiry, and ingenuity.


We envision-and will cultivate-a community that recognizes equity and diversity as fundamental to achieving inclusive excellence in learning, teaching, research, service, and community engagement.


We acknowledge this commitment requires identifying and addressing formal and informal obstacles, barriers, and biases that limit equitable access and opportunities, as well as intentionally pursuing and implementing system-wide equity initiatives to embed diversity in all university structures, programs, policies, and practices, as well as in our visual and text identities.


Determined to influence those formal and informal structures and mechanisms that limit access and opportunities, we will use principles of fairness and evidence-based policies and practices to support decision-making; collect and analyze diversity data; establish equity goals, targets, and benchmarks; and develop and implement policies. Recognizing that achieving EDI goals requires responsible and accountable leadership at all levels of the university, we will regularly evaluate and report on progress toward achieving an equitable and inclusive university.

Our Principles

All of our principles and actions are underpinned by respect for the dignity, rights, and full participation of all those who live, work, and learn within the university. The university's Strategic Plan for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity is guided by the following principles:


  • Diversity
  • Equity
  • Inclusion
  • Human Rights
  • Equality - substantive
  • Intersectionality
  • Accessibility
  • Respect for reconciliation with Indigenous peoples

Click on a principle to learn how the university defines them in relation to equity, diversity, and inclusivity.

Our Themes

The U of A's Strategic Plan for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity identifies themes and benchmarks of excellence, goals, outcomes, and directions to help us achieve our vision. The plan is organized around five core themes:

Vision and Leadership:

The university's leadership, communications, and statements about itself reflect a high-level, consistent, and reliably strong commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusivity (EDI).

Research, Teaching, and public Service:

Research, teaching, and public (academic) service are understood to be implicated in the development of equity, diversity, and inclusivity. They are also major functions of the university and areas of work for academic staff. Faculty are encouraged to do, and are recognized for, work that thoughtfully and rigorously incorporates or contributes to equity, diversity, and/or inclusivity.

Workforce (all faculty and staff):

The university's commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusivity is reflected in recruitment, retention, and advancement of faculty and staff; faculty and staff are prepared to work in a diverse environment and to have the knowledge and skills to contribute to equity and inclusivity.

Students, (Research) Trainees, and Students Life:

The university strives to provide equitable access for students and trainees, including post-doctoral fellows, to disciplines of study and scholarly opportunities; to study and disseminate knowledge about equity, diversity, and inclusivity; and to provide an environment attentive to, and that addresses, barriers to inclusion, access, and success, (especially of historically excluded groups).


The university strives to create an equitable and inclusive environment and culture for all members of its community.


Overall accountability for this plan resides with the President and the Provost and Vice-President (Academic). On an annual basis, the university will evaluate its progress, report to the community, and update the plan as necessary.


The plan itself contains specific commitments to develop and report on targets and benchmarks, and establishes specific expectations and accountabilities for senior level leaders. These accountabilities will be incorporated into the formal performance evaluations for senior positions, with the expectation that these leaders, in turn, hold their own units accountable for developing and implementing their own strategies to support the EDI goals laid out in this plan.