(SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – October 26, 2017): Yesterday, Universities Canada endorsed the new Inclusive Excellence Principles, which demonstrates Canadian universities’ commitment to championing equity, diversity, and inclusion on campuses. As a leader in diversity, Algoma University publicly endorses this initiative and will continue to champion and promote diversity and inclusivity.
“Algoma University proudly endorses Universities Canada’s seven Inclusive Excellence Principles,” said President and Vice-Chancellor Asima Vezina. “At Algoma U, we are committed to providing a safe, welcoming, and inclusive environment for everyone. We value, respect, and embrace the different cultures, traditions, and perspectives of our community, and the rich learning opportunities provided when we promote and foster diversity across campus, within the teaching and learning experiences of our classrooms, and across our wider community.”
Algoma U continues to be a leader in diversity in Canada, having one of the most diverse student bodies in the nation. Over 23 per cent of the University’s student body consists of international students from over 30 countries around the globe. An additional 13 per cent are Anishinaabe (First Nation, Métis, and Inuit).
Various clubs, organizations, and supports exist on campus to promote diversity. Throughout the school year, cultural dinners celebrate holidays, including Eid, the Chinese New Year, the Hindu Festival of Lights, and more. A multi-faith prayer room is also available.
The University also supports students at risk and those unable to obtain post-secondary education. For over 10 years, Algoma U has supported the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) Student Refugee Program (SRP), providing student refugees with the opportunity to earn a university degree.
Algoma U, alongside Universities Canada, has made a public commitment to seven principles. The principles are:
- We believe our universities are enriched by diversity and inclusion. As leaders of universities that aspire to be diverse, fair and open, we will make our personal commitment to diversity and inclusion evident.
- We commit our institutions to developing and/or maintaining an equity, diversity, and inclusion action plan in consultation with students, faculty, staff and administrators, and particularly with individuals from under-represented groups. We commit to demonstrating progress over time.
- We commit to taking action to provide equity of access and opportunity. To do so, we will identify and address barriers to, and provide supports for, the recruitment and retention of senior university leaders, university Board and Senate members, faculty, staff, and students, particularly from under-represented groups.
- We will work with our faculty and staff, search firms, and our governing boards to ensure that candidates from all backgrounds are provided support in their career progress and success in senior leadership positions at our institutions.
- We will seek ways to integrate inclusive excellence throughout our university’s teaching, research, community engagement and governance. In doing so, we will engage with students, faculty, staff, our boards of governors, senates, and alumni to raise awareness and encourage all efforts.
- We will be guided in our efforts by evidence, including evidence of what works in addressing any barriers and obstacles that may discourage members of under-represented groups to advance. We commit to sharing evidence of practices that are working, in Canada and abroad, with higher education institutions.
- Through our national membership organization, Universities Canada, we will work to generate greater awareness of the importance of diversity and inclusive excellence throughout Canadian higher education.