Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 76.79
Liaison Mike Wilson
Submission Date Jan. 27, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Victoria
PA-6: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Grace Wong Sneddon
Director Academic Leadership Initiatives and Advisor to the Provost on Diversity and Equity
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Does the institution have a publicly posted non-discrimination statement? :

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

Non-discrimination statements appear in many areas across campus and on the UVic website. Listed below are some locations:

Policy on Human Rights, Equity and Fairness (GV0200): 4. Policy Statement: “The University promotes a safe, respectful and supportive learning and working environment for all members of the university community. The University fosters an environment characterized by fairness, openness, equity, and respect for the dignity and diversity of its members. The University strives to be a place that is free of discrimination and harassment, injustice and violence. The strength and vibrancy of the University is found in the diverse life experiences, backgrounds and worldviews of all its members.” http://www.uvic.ca/universitysecretary/assets/docs/policies/GV0200_1105_.pdf or http://web.uvic.ca/eqhr/policies.htm

Discrimination and Harassment Policy (GV0205): Section 18.00 "Discrimination and Harassment are prohibited at the University of Victoria. members of the University Community have the right to work, study and participate in activities at the university in an environment free of Discrimination and Harassment. Eligible WorkSafeBC claimants also have a right to an environment free of workplace bullying or harassment as it is defined by regulations pursuant to the British Columbia Workers' Compensation Act. See: http://web.uvic.ca/eqhr/assistance.htm or http://web.uvic.ca/eqhr/policies.htm

The university's strategic plan A Vision for the Future: Building on Excellence was renewed in January 2012 after an extensive consultation process led by the university President. The plan includes a clear objective: “To be a diverse, welcoming learning community, with a demonstrated commitment to equity and fairness”. See: http://www.uvic.ca/strategicplan/

All University postings on the university website includes this proactive statement to promote diversity in hiring: "The University of Victoria is an equity employer and encourages applications from women, persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities, Aboriginal Peoples, people of all sexual orientations and genders, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of the university. Persons with disabilities who anticipate needing accommodations for any part of the application and hiring process may contact Grace Wong Sneddon, Director, Academic Leadership Initiatives and Advisor to the Provost on Equity and Diversity at gwongsne@uvic.ca. Any personal information provided will be maintained in confidence." See: http://www.uvic.ca/hr/careers/home/join-uvic/index.php (view any job posting to see statement).

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):

UVic has a Discrimination and Harassment Policy that defines discrimination and harassment, and lays out complaint procedures, see: http://www.uvic.ca/universitysecretary/assets/docs/policies/GV0205_1150_.pdf

The Equity and Human Rights Office employs Human Rights Advisors to consult on, resolve and investigate complaints and concerns about harassment and discrimination from students, staff and faculty. See: http://web.uvic.ca/eqhr/assistance.htm

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:

The guidelines on preferential and limited hiring were used to create a user-friendly guide & competitions were identified as preferential or limited hires. All postings are distributed to organizations for equity seeking groups through Equitek. Many faculty UVic units include an equity representative on hiring committees. Chairs on faculty hiring committees are requested to attend a required workshop on equity and diversity. Many chairs of departments also attend the Provost’s Diversity and Equity Steering Committee. New Chairs are always invited. Most departments have an equity committee.
Many of the programs described in (b) offer development opportunities for diversity group members and assist with retention. Groups like the Academic Women’s Caucus, the Faculty Disability Caucus and the International Employees Support Network are both a resource and an affinity group for employees.

Student Recruitment and Global Engagement also specifically target high schools that are situated in known areas low-income status. For example, one such program targets First Nation's communities and offers an on campus "summer camp" for potential students of indigenous heritage. The purpose of the target outreach program is to provide potential students considering higher education opportunities to have “campus experience” before attending UVic, thus increasing their chance of academic success. Access to funding and student aid tool kits and availability information is part of the recruitment target program.

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:

Mentoring programs are common throughout the university and Human Resources provides a mentoring program that reserves pairings for members of designated groups. In some units successful candidates in preferential or limited competitions are supported through professional development opportunities and/or mentored by senior staff. Various units across campus such as Coop and Career Services provide mentoring buddies to incoming new staff. Training on education and diversity is provided by VPAC, EQHR and HR to staff, faculty and students.

Indigenous UVic students have access to many sources of support on campus. Before, during and after their time at UVic, indigenous students are encouraged to explore programs and services, such as Indigenous counselling services and the Elders in Residence, as well as non-academic programs that may be of interest. UVic has special programming in place to support the recruitment and retention of Indigenous students including Indigenous counselling services, Indigenous Week of Welcome, the Elders' Voices Program and the LE,NONET program (a suite of programs designed to welcome and support Indigenous students). See: http://www.uvic.ca/services/indigenous/students/index.php. The Faculty of Engineering also offer special support for Indigenous students pursuing engineering studies. See: http://www.uvic.ca/engineering/prospective/home/iam/indigenous.php.

In addition to the resources that all faculty have access to, Indigenous faculty are invited to sit on the Indigenous Academic Advisory Council which is a forum, co-chaired by the Associate Vice President Academic Planning and the Director of Indigenous Academic and Community Engagement, that creates space for faculty and academic administrators to discuss existing, emerging and potential academic programs with Indigenous content and/or focus. See: http://www.uvic.ca/services/indigenous/facultystaff/index.php

The University will soon be releasing its first ever Indigenous Plan that also includes a strand focussed on recruiting and retaining Indigenous faculty. Prospective faculty members can view the current opportunities for employment at the university.

Indigenous Cultural Acumen Training (students, staff, faculty): The first module of the Indigenous Cultural Acumen Training (ICAT) is designed to offer foundational information about the colonial context (historical and current) of Indigenous people in Canada to all members of the university community (students, student leaders, staff, faculty, and executive). It is delivered as an 80-minute, face-to-face presentation and discussion, and it serves as the basis for future modules being developed in response to needs identified by participants. See: http://www.uvic.ca/services/indigenous/facultystaff/icat/index.php

Students with a disability are supported through the Resource Centre for Students with a Disability with services that include coordinating academic accommodations, providing alternative text formats, providing assistive technology, and direct learning assistance, coaching and assessments. See: http://www.uvic.ca/services/rcsd/

Central Accommodation Fund: The Central Accommodation Fund has been established by the University to assist in the fulfilment of its legal duty to accommodate University employees with disabilities as regulated by the British Columbia Human Rights Code and to provide departments with a source of funds to assist in their provision of necessary and reasonable accommodations. See: http://www.uvic.ca/hr/services/home/health/central%20accomodation%20fund/index.php

CanAssit is an organization at the University of Victoria that is dedicated both to helping people with disabilities improve their quality of life and to increasing awareness of disability issues. See: http://www.canassist.ca/EN/index.html

The UVic Global Community provides opportunities for students, faculty and staff to celebrate diversity, advance inter-cultural competency and cultivate an inclusive and globally minded campus. Programs support international students with the transition to living in Canada, helping them adjust to embrace Canadian culture. See: http://www.uvic.ca/international/home/global-community/index.php

International and ESL students are supported through the International Commons that designs, delivers, hosts, organizes and co-creates workshops, intensive courses, and groups studies specific to international students' needs, plus offers mentorship. See: http://ltc.uvic.ca/servicesprograms/InternationalCommons.php

UVic values inclusivity and diversity on campus and is working on a number of initiatives specifically developed to support the transgender community. These include:
• Identifying and creating scholarships and bursaries that are non-gender specific
• Developing protocols across faculties and units to educate faculty members and staff about creating safe spaces and including gender-neutral language and name preferences
• Professional and front-line staff in both Counselling and Health Services have been participating in specific professional development opportunities to improve and enhance their practices in support of LGBTQ and transgender students

The Equity and Human Rights offices offers staff, students and faculty services to report issues related to discrimination and harassment. See: http://web.uvic.ca/eqhr/

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:

Support for graduate students (master and PhD levels) from underrepresented groups in the pursuit of a professional career in academia is available in several complementary forms at UVic. Below are some examples:

Programs, Workshops, Conferences:
The Learning and Teaching Centre support tutorial assistants (TA) and graduate students from underrepresented groups through a variety of programming, conferences, workshops, and resources, all of which are designed for students who are either considering or just beginning their academic teaching careers. See: https://www.uvic.ca/learningandteaching/ta/pro-d/index.php
• A variety of TA Conferences and workshops available throughout the academic terms at no cost that introduce and prepare graduates/TAs in teaching at UVic. For example, UVic’s Centre for Academic Communication offers professional development workshops such as “Intensive Lab in English” which is a retreat for students at UVic whose first language is not English. See: https://www.uvic.ca/learningandteaching/ta/pro-d/workshops-courses/index.php; https://www.uvic.ca/learningandteaching/ta/resources/assistants/international/index.php
• Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (LATHE) certificate program focuses on the knowledge and practical skills required to teach effectively in higher education. Many of the students who participate in the program are from underrepresented groups, such as women, persons of colour, and international students. The program goal is to “create a future professoriate fluent in the foundational principles of post-secondary instruction. It challenges participants to reflect on their practical teaching activities in a scholarly way within their disciplinary context.” See: https://www.uvic.ca/learningandteaching/ta/pro-d/programs/lathe/index.php
• Teaching Assistant consultants (TACs) – TACs mentor new TAs; in other words, creating a learning community in which they can help one another become better instructors. Both TACs and TAs consist of persons in underrepresented groups from multiple disciplines. This program supports graduate students and encourages the involvement of International TAs in the program. https://www.uvic.ca/learningandteaching/ta/pro-d/programs/tac/index.php

Service Plans:
The Aboriginal Service Plan (ASP) is comprised of a series of year-round activities, initiatives and events to support Indigenous students in their post-secondary journeys. Such support programs are imperative to the success of indigenous students pursuing a career in academia, as graduate students in research positions, TAs and future faculty. Presently, the Faculty of Social Sciences is piloting a programming for new-to-UVic Indigenous students in collaboration with the LE,NONET Campus Cousins student leadership program. Other Indigenous student support staff and centres across campus (including the Indigenous Student Support Centre in the Faculty of Human and Social Development, the Cultural Support Coordinator in the Faculty of Law and the Indigenous Advisor in the Faculty of Education) continue to collaborate with the Office of Indigenous Affairs (INAF) to plan, implement and communicate programming and events that strengthen the Indigenous community on campus. See ASP: https://www.uvic.ca/services/indigenous/assets/docs/UVic%20ASP%20Three%20Year%20Plan%202016%20Aug.pdf

The Chair in Transgender Studies has developed a new scholarship program that is offering financial scholarships and fellowships in the following categories:
1. Doctoral, master’s or undergraduate degree students pursuing trans-related research in any field
2. Doctoral and master’s degree students who self-identify as trans or non-binary pursuing research in any field
3. Community-base scholars who are pursuing research at UVic in any field which will benefit trans and gender nonconforming people
4. Visiting university-based scholars and professions who are pursing trans-related research at UVic.
For all categories, priority is given to those who self-identify as trans or non-binary, and preference will be given to students who demonstrate financial need. Such scholarships and fellowships support the recruitment and retaining persons of the trans group who could instruct as a TA, professor and researcher. See: http://www.uvic.ca/research/transchair/what-we-do/scholarship/index.php

Best practices:
Robust faculty hiring techniques are practiced that ensure underrepresented groups are considered for the short-list during the hiring process. Through the Advisor to the Provost on Equity and Diversity, annual training workshops and regular consultation is provided to the Deans, Directors, Chairs and Search Committees to recognize non-traditional academic CVs that could lead to the hiring of faculty from underrepresented groups. This best practice has enriched and continues to build the diversity of professors and researchers at UVic. For example students pursuing a faculty position often have unpaid or volunteer work on their resumes, which is now weighted fairly in the hiring process. Often these students are women with family responsibilities, as well as persons of colour, indigenous, disabilities, and transgender. Persons with financial need is also weighted fairly. There are also no age limits to the scholarships and the hiring process that lead to professorship. Preferential hiring statement is included in every job advertisement: “In accordance with the university's equity plan and pursuant to Section 42 of the BC Human Rights code, preference will be given to [members of the following designated groups: Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities, women]. Candidates from [these groups/this group] who wish to qualify for preferential consideration are encouraged to self-identify.” For more info: https://www.uvic.ca/vpacademic/resources/howto/preferential-hire/index.php

Exploration and Pilot Programs:
The Graduate Studies Office, graduate advisors, Deans and graduate students participate in a training workshop that focusses on the mental health of graduate students, with particular attention with the intersection of International Students and pursuing graduate studies. The purpose of this workshop is for staff and faculty to understand the mental health stressors and challenges that can occur for graduate students and support student in their careers in professional academia. This pilot workshop was endorsed by the Advisor to the Provost on Equity and Diversity, with plans to continue with the workshops in order to encourage graduate students to continue learning and pursue academia and instructing as a professional career.

Campus Networks:
UVic’s Academic Women Caucus and the Minority Indigenous Women and Instruction Networks supports students who wish to become faculty through training, mentoring and recruitment preparation.

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 UVic Chair in Transgender Studies aims to act as a catalyst in motivating and supporting academic and community-based scholars, advanced students, transgender community activists, and thought leaders to work together to enhance the lives of transgender people. See: http://www.uvic.ca/research/transchair/

As of September 2016, UVic began implementing more gender inclusive washrooms on campus (from 40 to 75). See: https://www.uvic.ca/ring/2016+gender-neutral-washrooms+ring

Community Living Handbook: See pg. 28 for programs to support the special needs of the diverse residence community: http://www.uvic.ca/residence/assets/docs/Community%20Living%20Handbook.pdf

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.