Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 92.73
Liaison Emmanuelle Jodoin
Submission Date Oct. 24, 2022

STARS v2.2

Université de Sherbrooke
PA-6: Assessing Diversity and Equity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 France Myette
Assistant Vice-President
Office of the President
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution engaged in a structured assessment process during the previous three years to improve diversity, equity and inclusion on campus?:

A brief description of the assessment process and the framework, scorecard(s) and/or tool(s) used:

Université de Sherbrooke aspires to become an exemplary environment in terms of equity, diversity, and inclusion. This is indeed one of the objective being part of the four broad priorities of its Strategic Plan 2018-2022, which is to “Develop pride and engagement throughout the entire university community“ as to make of the University a place to study, work, achieve, and belong. As such, in 2018, an institutional Equity-Diversity-Inclusion (EDI) Strategic Committee was established to structure the various EDI-related initiatives that had previously emerged at the University and to undertake a framed assessment process to ensure continuing to progress towards improving equity, diversity, and inclusion.

The EDI Strategic Committee is based primarily on the work of five institutional committees (2019), each of which has implemented a structured assessment process related to specific equity, diversity, and inclusion issues applicable to students and/or employees. These assessments, aimed at identifying strengths and areas for improvement in EDI at the University, were conducted through a variety of means including surveys, online self-reporting forms, statistical surveys, and focus groups. These five committees are: the Comité d’abolition des barrières à la mobilité [EN: Committee for the Abolition of Barriers to Mobility], the Comité Chaires de recherche du Canada (CRC) EDI [EN: Canada Research Chairs (CRC) EDI Committee], the Comité pour l’inclusion de la diversité sexuelle et de genre [EN: Committee for the Inclusion of Sexual and Gender Diversity], the Comité des compétences interculturelles et linguistiques [EN: Committee on Intercultural and Language Competence], and the Comité institutionnel pour les Premiers Peuples [EN: Institutional Committee for First Peoples].

Although the evaluation process conducted by the five institutional committees resulted in findings and initiatives specific to their respective key priorities, there was a need to broaden the scope of the assessment as the University is required to meet specific institutional targets within designated groups (e.g., by the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse [EN: Human Rights and Youth Commission], to which the University is accountable annually). The EDI Strategic Committee is hence supported since fall 2019 by an EDI Working Committee which oversee the production of an annual statistical profile of the Université de Sherbrooke’s designated group representation.

With this data in hand, representatives of the EDI Working Committee were mandated to tour faculties and administrative units of the University. During these visits, most of which took place in the fall of 2019, faculties and administrative units were informed about the institutional framework for equity, diversity, and inclusion, including the priorities put forward in this context, and were provided with relevant data on the representation of designated groups of their students and employees (i.e., women, First Peoples, visible minorities, people with disabilities, ethnic minorities), compared to the University as a whole and to the chosen regions. These visits also made it possible to take account of existing initiatives related to EDI. Furthermore, faculties and administrative units were provided with the University's targets related to employees based on the representation of designated groups (in the context of the Act respecting equal access to employment in public bodies).

These visits, in addition to portraying the situation and raising awareness about EDI issues, were also intended to assess the level of knowledge, perspective, and experiences in terms of equity, diversity, and inclusion, and to engage with the participants in a reflection on their contribution to help achieve the targets and requirements set, regarding equity, diversity, and inclusion for students and employees. This dialogue was insightful and allowed for the exploration of the different views and angles on the matter. The information gathered during these visits was logged and validated with each faculty and administrative units visited. This information is at the heart of the evaluation process for monitoring progress and for the EDI Working Committee to assist where necessary (support to the faculties and administrative units with assessment tools, etc.).

Faculties and administrative units carry out their own EDI assessments based on their particular context, and this approach has many positive aspects. For instance, disparities between fields of study, and working environments are taking into account in this way, allowing for a more comprehensive assessment of the situation in terms of equity, diversity, and inclusion, and thus to address those more effectively (to this end, it should be noted that several faculties and units have set up structures in this regard (i.e., EDI committees and offices)). Thus, each of the 29 administrative units has developed an EDI action plan with a timetable between the spring of 2020 and the 2021 one, and the indicators are monitored annually. In order to see the progress of equity and diversity (and by the same token, inclusion, notably through the retention of students and employees), a situation report in the form of a statistical profile is drawn up on 30 April each year. These data on the representation of underrepresented groups in the unit is shared with each of these units.

An institutional action plan was also developed in spring 2020 with diversity, equity, and inclusion in mind for students, academic and non-academic staff. An annual statistical profile is used to assess diversity and equity in the institution.

Besides, the climate of diversity and inclusiveness at the Université de Sherbrooke was assessed throughout the entire community in the fall of 2020 as part of the process of calculating the Indice de santé organisationnelle (ISO) [EN: Organizational Health Index (OHI)] of the institution. EDI is one of seven domains assessed within the university OHI. The EDI domain includes several indicators assessed and monitored at institutional and sectoral levels. Specific questions on EDI are part of the survey and serve to evaluate the study and work climate and the inclusiveness of the University. This online survey was distributed to the entire university community (more than 33,000 people), students, academic, professional, and support staff. The participation rate for the survey was 33%, for the staff, and 9%, for the students. The longitudinal survey will be repeated in 2022 and so on every 2 years.

All things considered, the University’s overall assessment process is one of consolidation, considering that assessments in terms of EDI emanate from many different sources in a university setting, according to a variety of contexts and, admittedly, important priorities. That said, the University has, and has had for quite some time, a very good appreciation of what equity, diversity, and inclusion entail and is committed to ensuring that specific measures are in place to support its students and staff in this regard. An assessment process as such is an ongoing process, where everything can be adjusted and modified, bearing in mind that this assessment and the results that emerge from it are there to improve everyone’s experience, in a fair and just environment.




1. Gender representation in various sectors (target of 20% growth in women faculty in Engineering and Science by 2022; men's interest in Education and Health Sciences; gender parity in the institutional bodies as provided for in the Université de Sherbrooke’s Statutes).
2. Achievement of diversity targets (external requirements) related to the presence of five designated groups (i.e., women, First Peoples, visible minorities, ethnic minorities, and persons with disabilities) (from Canada Research Chairs (CRC); from the Equal Employment Opportunity Program).
3. Integration of persons with disabilities.
4. Development of openness and support measures, in particular for the student population of sexual and gender diversity groups (LGBTQ2+) in the University environment.
5. Development of intercultural skills of employees and students.


According to the Charte des droits et libertés de la personne du Québec [EN: Québec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms]:

- Women: any person who identifies herself as a woman.
- First Peoples: any person who is a North American Indian, First Nations, Métis, or Inuit.
- Visible Minorities: a person (other than a First Peoples person or a member of an ethnic minority) who is non-white in colour, regardless of place of birth.
- Ethnic Minorities: any person whose mother tongue is neither English nor French and who is not a First Peoples person or a visible minority.
- Persons with a Disability: a person who has a long-term or recurring physical, mental, sensory, psychiatric, or learning impairment.

Does the assessment process address campus climate by engaging stakeholders to assess the attitudes, perceptions and behaviors of employees and students, including the experiences of underrepresented groups?:

Does the assessment process address student outcomes related to diversity, equity and success?:

Does the assessment process address employee outcomes related to diversity and equity?:

A brief description of the most recent assessment findings and how the results are used in shaping policy, programs, and initiatives:

THE RESULTS OF THE ORGANIZATIONAL HEALTH INDEX (OHI) ON THE PORTION ADDRESSING EDI ISSUES are positive. Both staff and students agree that a climate of diversity exists at the Université de Sherbrooke. In addition, working relationships are good, according to the staff, while the student body emphasizes the sense of belonging they feel towards the University. This does not include the students' perception of the Université de Sherbrooke environment, which they describe as physically and psychologically safe. Certain points of vigilance were also noted, which make it possible to orient actions accordingly, particularly with regard to the support of staff and students in matters of psychological health, as well as the perception of the workload for the entire university community. The highlights and the summary of the results are available online on the institutional website.

(https://www.usherbrooke.ca/decouvrir/a-propos/sante-organisationnelle/faits-saillants-et-orientations-institutionnelles )

It should also be noted that the targets that have been designated for the entire university community serve as objectives, and the annual status reports make it possible to adjust decisions and measures to improve EDI at the University. This exercise allowed, among others, the following ACTIONS:

• The achievement of the targeted increase in the number of women in Science and Engineering. By prioritizing the increase of women professors, their representation has increased from 7% to 21% since 2018.
• The creation of a policy for student parents as well as the creation of a second early childhood centre on campus, adding 144 places to the existing offer of pre-school structures, such as the Brin d'univers pre-school education centre.
• In order to better meet the needs of students from underrepresented groups, two support programs for international students (sponsorship and twinning) have been redesigned. The new guiding program that resulted has the advantage of supporting these students from admission to their academic path on campuses.
• The student community at the Université de Sherbrooke can also count on a network of Aides à la Vie Étudiante (AVE) [EN: Student Life Support]. Spread across all faculties and several services, 160 people listen, support, and guide students with ad hoc needs (including the vulnerable student population) to the appropriate resources.

Based on assessment findings, particularly related to the five EDI institutional committees, the following are some of the STEPS TAKEN BY THESE COMMITTEES AND THE RESULTING INITIATIVES:

1. The Committee for the Abolition of Barriers to Mobility was created in 2018. As a first step, a report on mobility barriers was produced by a team that travelled with a wheelchair user. An inventory resulted, prioritizing actions to ensure accessibility on campuses. The inventory is updated on an ongoing basis, allowing for the verification of accessibility, the state of the facilities, and the improvements to be made. In addition, individual meetings are held with students with disabilities to ensure that the adaptation of the physical environment meets real needs.

2. The Université de Sherbrooke has been dedicated to achieving the targets formulated by the Canada Research Chairs Secretariat which, in May 2017, directed Canadian universities to address the under-representation of four designated groups (i.e., women, First Peoples, visible minorities, and persons with disabilities) among Canada Research Chairs holders (i.e., for recruitment, hiring, and retention). The Canada Research Chairs (CRC) EDI Committee conducted a survey of the research chair teams. These results made it possible to structure the EDI framework for all research activities. In addition, a consultation process with researchers has established their needs in terms of EDI. Based on this information, a research EDI toolkit has been created and launched in autumn 2021.

3. The Committee for the Inclusion of Sexual and Gender Diversity was created following representations made by the Groupe d’action trans de l’Université de Sherbrooke (GATUS) [EN: Trans Action Group of the Université de Sherbrooke]. The participation of trans persons and the GATUS on this committee, during exchange and discussion sessions, was the mean to assess the needs of trans people in a very precise manner. Various changes have been made and are being implemented (e.g., the establishment of an identity designation policy, access to gender-neutral washrooms, inclusion of gender plurality in surveys, the Semaine Arc-en-ciel [EN: Rainbow Week], sexual and gender diversity training, sexual and gender diversity allies network).

4. The Committee on Intercultural and Language Competence was set in late summer 2019. This Committee draws in particular on the progress made by the Table d’orientation et de planification des activités internationales (TOPAI) [EN: Table for Orientation and Planning of International Activities] since 2010. A major survey was conducted with the support of a consultant in intercultural psychology. Her report led to several changes, including the introduction of peer mentoring, the hiring of professional staff, and the development of specialized resources. The work of the Intercultural Committee aims to further developing measures and to better train staff and members of the student community in intercultural skills. Intercultural competence training for staff is under way. Between spring 2021 and May 2022, about 100 people were trained in intercultural skills. These people constitute a network of intercultural allies at the University. Ongoing training, particularly in the form of co-development groups, is planned. A second phase consisting of training the entire student community and all staff in interculturality also is in preparation.

5. The Institutional Committee for First Peoples. The Plan for and with First Peoples was officially launched in November 2021, bringing together members of the University community and First People partners. With some 40 concrete measures, the plan adopts a global vision for teaching, research, and dissemination of knowledge.
https://www.usherbrooke.ca/actualites/nouvelles/details/46461 https://www.usherbrooke.ca/autochtones/fileadmin/sites/autochtones/Plan_action_final.pdf

Consultation and collaboration with First People communities, in particular the Waban-Aki Grand Council and the Atikamekw, has made it possible to identify the pitfalls and needs of these communities with respect to access to university studies and success in them. Various measures aimed at the academic success of First Peoples have been implemented, including a First Peoples contingent in the Bachelor of Law and Doctor of Medicine programs and various other initiatives to promote awareness of First People cultures. Other actions under way include work at the Faculty of Education to include indigenous content in teacher training programs.

In this context, these initiatives are closely aligned with the EDI priorities put forward by the Strategic Committee. In addition, SEVERAL MORE INITIATIVES AND PROGRAMS aimed at equity, diversity, and inclusion also stem, in this case, from the global institutional assessment:

1. Initiatives related to student support (some examples)
• Facilitating accommodation for students with disabilities in the residences (rooms accessible to people with reduced mobility, as well as a bathroom and a kitchen which, in addition, are equipped with Braille to facilitate their use by visually impaired people).
• Health Clinic (adapt practices and forms to respect first name changes according to the University’s guideline).
• The Faculty of Physical Activity Sciences offers students with non-traditional backgrounds and university studies an entry path to a Certificate in Applied Physical Activity Sciences to Sports Training allowing them to better combine sports life and university student life, and eventually qualify for the bachelor’s degree.
• Since 2017, a Bachelor of Laws Admission Policy for First People students and services to support their success are in place. (https://www.usherbrooke.ca/autochtones/enseignement-et-initiatives/faculte-de-droit)
• The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences has implemented a program in 2022 to make room for candidates from underrepresented groups, as one of its objectives is to train health professionals who will represent the society we serve and meet its needs. As such, this program aims to promote diversity and accessibility to medical education for people from lower socio-economic backgrounds. https://www.usherbrooke.ca/etudes-medecine/programmes-detudes/doctorat-en-medecine/admission/contingent-quebecois-categorie-collegiale-voie-medecine-pour-la-diversite-socioeconomique

2. Initiatives related to employee support (some examples)
• Faculty hiring committees are trained on issues related to EDI.
• Representation of women in Science and Engineering (Professor Eve Langelier, Holder of the Québec Chair for Women in Science and Engineering, and her team are actively working to increase the representation of women in Science and Engineering). They offer an online EDI training session as well:
• Workshops to help faculty increase the use of inclusive teaching and learning methods in the classroom:
• Equal employment opportunity (Equal Employment Opportunity Questionnaire - in order to introduce measures to support designated group members in employment by removing systemic bias and barriers in the workplace).
• Program on accommodation and adaptive measures for staff with disabilities https://www.usherbrooke.ca/personnel/soutien/accommodements-et-mesures-adaptatives-pour-membres-du-personnel-en-situation-de-handicap.

3. Other initiatives (some examples)
• Support for students and employees (EDI training and awareness tools put in place - short videos, e-learning modules - What is EDI? What does it involve? How to serve the clienteles of designated groups? Etc.).
• In addition, staff members of Quebec’s higher education institutions are obliged to undergo training on sexual violence, which is offered by the University.
• The Faculty of Law has created and filled a new position of Director Indigenous Affairs.

Initiatives come from very different sources, and there are many of them. However, over the past five years, the institutional action plan has paved the way for the implementation of several other EDI measures resulting from the institutional structured assessment process, both for students and employees. It should be noted that both the institutional plan and the action plans of the faculties and services are monitored, so as to see the evolution of the initiatives and, when necessary, ensure that they are adapted according to the needs of the various environments.

Are the results of the most recent structured diversity and equity assessment shared with the campus community?:

A brief description of how the assessment results are shared with the campus community:

The results of the Indice de santé organisationnelle (ISO) [EN: Organizational Health Index (OHI)] survey, including an area specific to EDI, were communicated through the usual institutional channels (e.g., News Feed, news relayed on institutional social networks). In addition, the sectoral results specific to each environment (administrative unit) were shared with the directorates concerned, who in turn shared them with the staff and students, so as to direct them towards actions and measures to be deployed to improve the organizational health of their respective unit. A new measurement of the OHI will be made in the autumn of 2022 to monitor the evolution and impact of the measures implemented to improve organizational health. The institutional and sectoral results will be communicated to the University community and units in 2023.

Links to some news and institutional pages:

- https://www.usherbrooke.ca/actualites/nouvelles/communaute/details/43899
- https://www.usherbrooke.ca/actualites/nouvelles/details/44620/
- https://www.usherbrooke.ca/decouvrir/a-propos/sante-organisationnelle
- https://www.usherbrooke.ca/decouvrir/a-propos/sante-organisationnelle/notre-indice-de-sante-organisationnelle

Are the results (or a summary of the results) of the most recent structured diversity and equity assessment publicly posted?:

The diversity and equity assessment report or summary (upload):

Website URL where the diversity and equity assessment report or summary is publicly posted:
Website URL where information about the institution’s diversity and equity assessment efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about 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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.