Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 85.48
Liaison Emmanuelle Jodoin
Submission Date Dec. 6, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Université de Sherbrooke
PA-6: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Lucie Durand
Institutional Research Advisor
Management - Support Service
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a publicly posted non-discrimination statement? :

The non-discrimination statement, including the website URL where the policy is publicly accessible:

The Université de Sherbrooke has a policy against harassment and discrimination, publicly posted on its website: "Policy on the promotion of the fundamental rights of individuals and the prevention of all forms of harassment and discrimination" (Politique sur la promotion des droits fondamentaux des personnes et la prévention de toute forme de harcèlement et de discrimination), which states:

The purpose of this policy is to provide the university community with a framework to protect the human rights of individuals by promoting respect for these rights, by preventing their possible transgressions, by helping people to resolve their differences, by facilitating the routing of requests for assistance and the handling of complaints, by correcting and sanctioning misconduct, as necessary.

The University recognizes the right of every member of the university community to be respected, heard, helped and defended, and in all fairness in the matters covered by this policy.

The University intends to create and maintain, for all its members, an environment conducive to the fulfillment of its mission of teaching and research, as well as a harmonious workplace, of study and of harmonious service delivery, free of harassment, where everyone is entitled to respect, dignity and the protection of his or her physical and psychological integrity.

The University considers that harassment causes or may cause harm to the harassed person and contributes to the creation of a harmful work environment, of study or of service to the community.

Consequently, the University disallow any manifestation of harassment towards its members as part of a university activity or towards anyone who uses its services. It undertakes to take reasonable measures to prevent, stop and sanction harassment.

Silence and inaction of the university community members can contribute in maintaining harassing behaviors. They are therefore encouraged to intervene and must collaborate in dealing with alleged harassment situations, including providing all the information required by this process. They have the duty to notify the persons in authority of all the situations they witness.

University representatives will work with all stakeholder groups, including employee and student associations, to prevent and respond to harassment.

The University advocates the path of prevention, of problem solving and of conciliation in matters of harassment and discrimination. As a result, it provides the university community with resources for this purpose.


Does the institution have a discrimination response protocol or committee (sometimes called a bias response team) to respond to and support those who have experienced or witnessed a bias incident, act of discrimination or hate crime?:

A brief description of the institution’s discrimination response protocol or team (including examples of actions taken during the previous three years):

The Université de Sherbrooke's privileged approach is to promote prevention, problem-solving and conciliation in the area of harassment and discrimination and makes resources available to the university community accordingly.

Guided by its Policy on the Promotion of the Fundamental Rights of Persons and the Prevention of All Forms of Harassment and Discrimination (Politique sur la promotion des droits fondamentaux des personnes et la prévention de toute forme de harcèlement et de discrimination), the University established the Respect for Persons Office (Bureau du respect des personnes). The Office team, represented among others (e.g. Student Ombudsman's team) by two Respect for Persons Advisors, collaborates with all faculties, services or associations of the University. Indeed, all members of the university community can call upon the services offered by the Respect for Persons Office. Its mandate is defined in two main categories: prevention and files management.

In order to preserve the independence necessary for the performance of their duties, the Respect for Persons Advisors, who are part of the Independent Functions administrative unit, report to the University's Board of Governors. Their role includes welcoming, advising, educating and managing files pursuant to the Policy in place. They are also required to publish an annual report on the activities of the Respect for Persons Office, which documents, for instance, occurrences for support requests, types and nature of support requests (e.g. for collaboration, consultation, information, prevention, intervention (with respect to actual incident reporting and official complaints) and cases closed, etc.

The Respect for Persons Office website provides considerable information and resources to the university community with regard to conflict, discrimination and harassment, such as tools to support individuals in the event of conflict, harassment or other disrespectful behaviour. For instance:
Information on ways to prevent such situations (e.g. paying attention to the impact of one's behaviour on others);
Information on ways to solve such situations (e.g. reflect and fully understand the situation);
Resources to support people in such situations (e.g. either for students or staff, people who can intervene);
Information on how to file a complaint;
Information on what to do as a witness of such situations (e.g. how to intervene, to denounce);

In the case where an incident is reported, informal procedures (conciliation, mediation) will be encouraged in order to determine the possibility to identify the risk of drifting and help correct the problem at the source. Should the informal procedure not provide the expected results, the University takes all the necessary measures (with the support of the Respect for Persons Advisors) to stop the vexatious conduct. In addition, preventive measures are put in place to avoid other similar situations.

By privileging a prevention approach with regard to harassment and discrimination, the Respect for Persons Office sees to organize prevention activities (e.g. awareness-raising and training) intended for the university community. To make the Policy and its content known also serves the purpose of raising awareness with regard to harassment and discrimination. The Office also provides, again via its webpage, a toolkit and promotional tools encouraging respect.

Through its Policy and mandate of the Respect for Persons Office, the Université de Sherbrooke provides its community with a framework to protect the fundamental rights of individuals by promoting respect for these rights, preventing possible transgressions, assisting individuals in resolving disputes, facilitating the referral of requests for assistance and the processing of complaints, and correcting and sanctioning wrongdoing where appropriate.

Respect for Persons Office:

Respect for Persons Office - Conflict, Discrimination and Harassment:

2018-2019 Annual Report (including historical data):

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit students from underrepresented groups?:

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit staff from underrepresented groups?:

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit faculty from underrepresented groups?:

A brief description of the institution’s programs to recruit students, staff and/or faculty from underrepresented groups:

Various programs exist at the Université de Sherbrooke to recruit students from underrepresented groups. Here are some examples:

The admission policy to the Bachelor of Law intended for First Peoples candidates. This policy aims to promote access to undergraduate studies in Law for First Peoples. The Faculty of Law is therefore making considerable efforts to improve access to higher education for First Peoples and to make courses and activities accessible to promote exchange and cultural diversity. This measure is part of a series of actions undertaken to support success and integration.

Access to co-op programs for international students. Since 2017, as a pilot project, several co-op programs offered in different Faculties/Schools have opened their doors to international students (subject to obtaining the appropriate work permit). These so-called “co-op” programs are characterized by an alternation between studies and paid internships during the academic training. The admitted students have to follow a preparation and integration training course, which aims to familiarize international students with certain cultural characteristics of Québec society and organizations, so that they can successfully progress in their internship. This new access seeks to attract students from outside the country, but moreover, to allow them to take advantage of the benefits of paid internships, enrich their resume with concrete experiences and graduate with at least one year of experience, which is a step ahead in the labour market.

The Jeanne (Lisette) and Clement Racicot Fund (Fonds Jeanne (Lisette)-et-Clément-Racicot). The purpose of this fund is to encourage women to undertake studies in a program of study where they are underrepresented and, subsequently, to pursue their studies at the graduate level. The goal is to increase the number of female models and to promote women's access to key positions in such sectors of activity, consequently overcoming gender stereotypes related to certain university programs.

The Université de Sherbrooke also has programs to recruit staff and faculty from underrepresented groups, for instance:

The Université de Sherbrooke Equal Access Employment Program. As part of an application submission, individuals are invited to complete a questionnaire on equal access to employment via the University's website. This voluntary identification questionnaire allows for people from underrepresented groups (i.e. women, First Peoples, visible minorities and people with disabilities), who are often victims of discrimination in employment, to identify themselves as such. This allows the Université de Sherbrooke not only to analyze its recruitment system and adjust it accordingly but also to keep its workforce profile up to date and to evaluate the effectiveness of the measures put in place to promote equity, diversity and inclusion. This Program is set within the framework of the Québec Respecting Equal Access to Employment in Public Bodies Act.

Equitable access to grants managed by the Tri-Agency Institutional Programs Secretariat. In keeping with the Canada Research Chairs Program (CRC), the Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC), the Canada 150 Research Chairs and the Canada First Research Excellence Fund approach, the Université de Sherbrooke is committed to a transparent, open and fair recruitment process related to these grants. To do this, the Staffing Guide for Federal Tri-Agency Programs - Transparency and Fairness (Guide de dotation pour les programmes interorganismes fédéraux – transparence et équité) assists faculty members and department heads, researchers and managers with the selection process of grant recipients as well as paid staff, and that in a spirit of equity and inclusion.

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support, academic support, or other programs to support students from underrepresented groups on campus?:

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs to support staff from underrepresented groups on campus?:

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs to support faculty from underrepresented groups on campus?:

A brief description of the institution’s programs to support students, staff and/or faculty from underrepresented groups:

Université de Sherbrooke students have access to various services and support programs, for instance:

The web page Respect, Prevention and Support on Conflict and Harassment (Respect, prévention et soutien en matière de conflits et de harcèlement). This University web page provides to the entire university community information of any type pertaining to conflict or harassment situations. It is possible to find, for instance, toolboxes on active listening and teamwork, or realistic conflict scenarios with tips and tricks on ways to solve them. A list of resource contacts for students and employees is also available on the web page.

The Ombudsman for students. The Ombudsman is a neutral and objective person, independent of the University's higher management, who can intervene when the rights of students are violated. Among other things, he or she offers students information about their rights as well as a consulting and coaching service to analyze the issues related to their file and evaluate the appropriate actions to take. The Ombudsman can also lodge complaints if needed.

The Sponsorship Program. The purpose of this sponsorship program is to facilitate the arrival of new international students by pairing them with students who know more about the university setting, and who are from a different culture. This pairing allows international students to better integrate the university life and get to know the city more quickly. In addition, this program promotes cultural exchange between participants.

The Integration Program of Students with Disabilities or Learning Disabilities. This program seeks to assist students with disabilities or learning disabilities for them to succeed in their university studies by providing them with qualified resource persons and personalized services and technical support. In addition, several scholarships, ranging from $ 500 to $ 10,000, are made available to them by the University.

Université de Sherbrooke staff and faculty members also have access to various services, such as:

The "First name, last name and gender chosen" program. This program was created to ensure optimal integration and facilitate interaction by recognizing the right for employees (as well as students) who wish to be identified by a first name, surname and gender of their choice differing from their legal documents to do so. The related institutional guideline on the choice of first name, surname and gender came into force in 2019. For the University, it is customary for anyone in the university community to use the first name, surname and gender chosen to designate the student or the employee.
Choice of First Name, Surname or Gender Guideline:

Faculty Mentorship Program (Programme de mentorat des professeures et professeurs). The goal of this mentorship program is to help integrate new faculty members, help them plan their courses and teaching strategies, and support them in their research projects. Thus, newly arrived professors are matched with a mentor proposed by the department's management. This program seeks to ensure the support, inclusion and retention of new Université de Sherbrooke’s faculty members.

Does the institution have training and development programs, teaching fellowships and/or other programs that specifically aim to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members?:

A brief description of the institution’s programs to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members:

As part of the Claire Deschênes Postdoctoral Fellowships competition launched in 2019, the Université de Sherbrooke offers 8 postdoctoral fellowships to 8 women, with the added bonus of a guaranteed faculty position within the Faculty of Engineering. With this competition, the Université de Sherbrooke aims to achieve 20% of women faculty representation by 2022. As part of the University's equity, diversity and inclusion target, this competition will increase the number of female faculty members in Engineering, an area in which they are underrepresented.

Does the institution produce a publicly accessible inventory of gender-neutral bathrooms on campus?:

Does the institution offer housing options to accommodate the special needs of transgender and transitioning students?:

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.