Wilfrid Laurier University’s Strategic Plan for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is currently in development as a key element of Laurier’s Action Plan for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigeneity. The strategic plan will be reviewed for approval by the university’s Senate and Board of Governors in spring 2022. The strategy builds upon and is to be read in conjunction with Wilfrid Laurier University’s strategic plan the “Laurier Strategy: 2019- 2024: Today, Tomorrow, Together” and the Strategic Academic Plan (2015-2020).
The Wilfrid Laurier University Strategic Academic Plan (2015-2020) cites diversity as one of its core three academic pillars among the other two key pillars of academic excellence and experiential learning. Diversity will indeed be a key part of the Laurier’s Comprehensive Strategy for EDI but diversity itself is insufficient without an understanding of how equity and inclusion are key to critically engaging with and grounding the concept of diversity
The Strategic Plan for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion will chart a course for how Wilfrid Laurier University can continue to distinguish itself as one of the emerging comprehensive universities in Canada with a continued emphasis on the student experience and the university’s growing research profile. One of the ways in which Wilfrid Laurier University can distinguish itself amongst its peers is to enhance our stated priority of being a community facing university through embedding principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion throughout its four campuses.
Offices of the Provost and Vice-President: Academic and the AVP EDI put out a call for individuals interested in serving on the EDI Strategic Planning Committee (SPC-EDI). The strategic planning committee brought together 17 individuals representing stakeholder groups across Laurier who helped guide the creation and implementation of an institutional EDI strategic plan.
The group’s mandate was to identify existing inequities on the campus, to think of opportunities for greater inclusion of equity-seeking groups, and to make recommendations on how to best address them.
Members of the SPC-EDI frame conversations around seven identified groups and thematic areas that reflect the breadth of the university: students, faculty, staff and alumni; governance and administration; curriculum; research; teaching and learning; and community.
Key thematic areas:
An anonymous online survey was created in an effort to encourage as many people as possible to share their ideas about how Laurier can best shape its structures and processes to ensure EDI becomes firmly rooted in all aspects of the university. Open to the Laurier community from early February 2021 to May 14, 2021, there were more than 400 completed responses over that period. It is important to note that all consultations and survey questionnaires were voluntary and that measures were put in place to allow participants to express their views openly and honestly in the strictest confidence.
Communications were sent to all Laurier faculty, staff, students, and alumni inviting them to participate in one-on-one consultations with members of the SPC-EDI. Over a period of 4 ½ months, nearly 100 individuals voluntarily reached out to schedule a virtual meeting led by both co-Chairs of the committee.
Consultations with the Laurier community and Dean’s Advisory Councils for the draft Strategic Plan for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.
Staff, faculty, and students may register for one of the following consultative World Café Sessions to provide feedback on the plan and its implementation:
The Strategic Plan for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion will be submitted to Senate and Board for approval.
Barrington Walker, Associate Vice-President, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
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