Our Purpose

Community & Culture

Our university builds connections across the campus community and pursues opportunities to advance sustainability in our day-to-day activities.

We envision all members of the university community sharing responsibility for our future. Through orientation, community and campus partnerships, outreach and community-building initiatives, the university provides resources for individuals to be ambassadors for sustainability and global citizenship. Individuals understand how their daily activities contribute towards the university’s sustainability goals. Developing sustainability leadership is a priority for all. To this end, the university offers financial support, programming, coaching, tools and opportunities to pilot and implement projects across the institution.


  • Goal 4.1

    Demonstrate that diversity and equity are institutional values by strengthening a culture of inclusion within the campus community.

    1. Strategy: Work to embed principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion in the university’s strategic guiding documents, policies and practices.
  • Goal 4.2

    Enhance awareness of the university’s sustainability features, practices and resources to the campus community and to the public.

    1. Strategy: Communicate sustainability features of campus to the public.
    2. Strategy: Feature sustainability messages, resources and tools in student and staff orientation.
    3. Strategy: Purchase the university’s branded clothing from producers registered with the Fair Labor Association.
  • Goal 4.3

    Improve accessibility and opportunities for success in post-secondary education.

    1. Strategy: Develop strategies to provide improved services from application through to graduation.
    2. Strategy: Increase number of students and faculty from traditionally underrepresented groups, including Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and visible minorities.
  • Goal 4.4

    Seek opportunities to ensure the university is an inclusive place for work and learning with full participation from diverse, historically underrepresented communities.

    1. Strategy: Provide support and opportunities for building community and social justice to individuals and groups who experience discrimination, exclusion and/or oppression.
    2. Strategy: Develop and communicate respectful engagement principles for work and study spaces.
    3. Strategy: Improve the campus community’s understanding of diversity and inclusion.
    4. Strategy: Encourage inclusion of underrepresented groups in advisory and planning committees at the institutional, faculty and unit level.
    5. Strategy: Explore opportunities to gather information and report on attitudes, perceptions and experiences of campus stakeholders as they relate to diversity.
  • Goal 4.5

    Deliver activities that improve understanding and engagement in actions for climate change and healthy eating, including research, interactive programs and strategic planning.

    1. Strategy: Educate the campus community about participating in a sustainable food system.
    2. Strategy: Explore opportunities to enhance collaboration between campus community gardens.
    3. Strategy: Participate in and host conversations on climate change mitigation and adaptation on campus and across Alberta.
  • Goal 4.6

    Provide frequent, diverse and motivational opportunities for students, staff and faculty to engage in change-making for sustainability.

    1. Strategy: Continue to increase opportunities for students living in residence to engage in sustainability initiatives.
    2. Strategy: Tailor sustainability programming and communications to reach diverse audiences.
    3. Strategy: Encourage development of and participation in professional development opportunities that enable staff and faculty to be effective sustainability champions.

Progress Highlights from 2016–17

Connects to Goal 4.1, Strategy i

The University of Alberta has been working towards implementing the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Executive Summary in a thoughtful, meaningful and sustainable way. With that goal in mind, the Office of the Provost & Vice-President (Academic) has established an Indigenous Initiatives Office. The office has been busy: establishing three variations of territorial acknowledgements in both English and French; commissioning the Sweetgrass Bear, a sculpture by Indigenous artist Steven Steinhauer; and organizing the Building Reconciliation Forum, a two-day leadership forum dedicated to research that is meaningful to Indigenous people.

Connects to Goal 4.3, Strategy ii

In 2016-17, the university saw a 9.6 per cent increase in self-identified Aboriginal student enrollment, compared to the previous year. Applications rose 16 per cent and the number of new-to-university Aboriginal applicants increased by 20 per cent, the largest yearly increase since 2011.

Connects to Goal 4.4, Strategy i

In June 2017, the university took another step forward by signing a memorandum of understanding with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR). As part of the agreement, the university will contribute its Indigenous archival material to the NCTR’s collection and conduct further research into residential school experiences.