Objectives, Indicators, and Actions
The University of Alberta has aggressive equity, diversity and inclusion objectives, indicators, and actions that will facilitate swift progress towards meeting the goals of the CRC Equity Action Plan. The university is reviewing its processes and taking corrective actions as needed. As part of its Equity Action Plan, the university is working collaboratively with deans, department chairs, administrators, and human resource services (HRS) to implement a comprehensive plan that addresses all CRC equity requirements.
The university is addressing disadvantages currently experienced by individuals of the FDGs. The Institutional Strategic Plan, For the Public Good, sets out as its first strategic goal to build “a diverse, inclusive community of exceptional students, faculty, and staff…” This goal is supported by a number of objectives relevant to the university. The first objective is to “build a diverse, inclusive community of exceptional undergraduate and graduate students from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and the world.” The second objective is to “[c]reate a faculty renewal program that builds on the strengths of existing faculty and ensures the sustainable development of the University of Alberta’s talented, highly qualified, and diverse academy.” These objectives will be implemented using the following strategies: “Attract and retain a diverse complement of faculty and post-doctoral fellows from around the world, with initial attention on increasing the proportion of assistant professors;” and “Review, improve, and implement equity processes and procedures for recruiting and supporting faculty to ensure a balanced academy, representative of women, visible minorities, sexual and gender minorities, Indigenous peoples, and people with disabilities.” These objectives and strategic actions have been communicated across the university. The provost & VP (academic) and the vice-president (research) are working with deans to address faculty recruitment and hiring in line with these objectives. The Office of the Provost monitors hiring of academics across campus and these hiring indicators are discussed with deans at individually or at regular meetings. These objectives, indicators and actions will ensure that the University of Alberta is addressing disadvantages currently experienced by individuals of the FDGs.
The University of Alberta is committed to meeting its equity targets and goals by December 2019. The University of Alberta has set aggressive objectives using this timeline based on the number of chair allocations that are (or will become) available to the institution within the next 18-to-24 months (the 18 months starts as of December 15, 2017, when the action plan is implemented). The offices of the Provost and Vice-President (Research) have communicated precise equity targets for all faculties. The university has given the following targets for female researchers across the institution: 35% for CIHR faculties, 21% for NSERC faculties, and 45% for SSHRC faculties. These targets were communicated to deans at a general meeting and then by the deputy provost and vice-president (research) at individual meetings with faculties in the summer of 2017. These meetings were used to discuss the aggressive equity targets, upcoming CRC renewals, upcoming CRC recruitments, upcoming CRC end dates, and CRC submissions in the next 18-24 months necessary to meet these targets. Once the targets had been discussed and accepted, faculties were then asked to submit a detailed faculty equity plan to the university for approval. Each faculty equity plan addressed specific actions related to how the faculty would use its CRCs, and modify its retention or recruitment activities, to meet its equity target by December 2019. The approved faculty equity plans now form a critical component of the University of Alberta CRC management system (see Management of CRC Allocations in this Equity Action Plan).
The equity targets for members of visible minorities, persons with disabilities, Indigenous peoples are set, respectively, at 15%, 4%, and 1%. The University of Alberta is committed to meeting these targets. As these statistics are based on self-identification it can be difficult to obtain accurate data as some chairholders choose to withhold this information. The University of Alberta is improving its processes and strategies for collecting and protecting data on members of FDGs. These improvements are discussed in this Equity Action Plan under the section titled, Collection of Equity and Diversity Data. Once the statistical data are representative of the campus community, the CRC Allocation Committee will review these data, consult with deans, and act accordingly requesting that faculties update their equity plans (see section titled Management of Canada Research Chair Allocations for information on how faculty equity plans are used).
On November 2, 2017, the CRC announced new agency distributions of regular chairs for the program. The new agency distributions are 39% CIHR, 39% NSERC, and 22% SSHRC (the old distribution was 35% CIHR, 45% NSERC, and 20% SSHRC).The university has begun to study its current allocations in order to comply with these recent changes. The university awaits the details regarding how these new targets are to be implemented at the national and institutional levels, and will adjust equity targets accordingly.