Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 80.17
Liaison Mike Wilson
Submission Date May 5, 2020

STARS v2.2

University of Victoria
PA-7: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Cassbreea Dewis
Executive Director
Equity and Human Rights
"---" 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:

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.”

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.

The University of Victoria Strategic Framework: 2018-2023 Strategy 1.2 “Embed practices of equity, diversity, accessibility, inclusion and dialogue throughout the university community so that all members feel welcomed, valued and supported to achieve their highest potential.”

Finally, the revised employment “Equity Statement” provided by the office of Equity and Human Rights, approved in spring of 2018: “Consistent with UVic’s values, we acknowledge with respect the Lekwungen peoples on whose traditional territory the University of Victoria stands and the Songhees, Esquimalt and WSÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.”

UVic is committed to upholding the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion in our living, learning and work environments. We know that diversity underpins excellence, and that we all share responsibility for creating an equitable, diverse and inclusive community. In pursuit of our values, we seek members who will work respectfully and constructively with differences and across levels of power.

UVic actively encourages applications from members of groups with historical and/or current barriers to equity, including, but not limited to,
 First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, and all other Indigenous peoples;
 members of groups that commonly experience discrimination due to race, ancestry, colour, religion and/or spiritual beliefs, or place of origin;
 persons with visible and/or invisible (physical and/or mental) disabilities;
 persons who identify as women; and
 persons of marginalized sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions.

UVic recognizes that many of these identities intersect and that therefore, equity, diversity and inclusion can be complex. We value the contributions that each person brings, and are committed to ensuring full and equal participation for all in our community.

Does the institution have a discrimination response protocol or committee (sometimes called a bias response team)?:

A brief description of the institution’s discrimination response protocol or team:

UVic’s Discrimination and Harassment Policy (GV0205) sections 4.00 through 17.04 outline complaint procedures pertaining to discrimination and harassment at UVic.

In addition, the Equity and Human Rights office (EQHR) provides a Case Management Officer who is the first point of contact for university community members who are seeking information and support from EQHR. They provide information, referrals, guidance, and support to all those that find their way to EQHR, with specific emphasis on Sexualized Violence Prevention and Response Policy (GV0245) and the Discrimination and Harassment Policy (GV0205). To follow through on these cases, EQHR also has a Case Resolution Manager who oversees, coordinates and implements EQHR’s responsibilities under Discrimination and Harassment and Sexualized Violence Policies. They are responsible for case resolution under these policies.

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

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

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

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

At UVic, we believe that each individual and unit has responsibility and a role to play in creating an equitable, diverse and inclusive community. Embedding equity is not only the right thing to do but essential for attracting and retaining people with the knowledge, perspectives and skills we need to achieve excellence. To this end, a new initiative called “Embedding Equity at UVic: Expand. Engage. Encourage.” is designed to embed responsibility for recruitment, retention and valuing of diverse students, staff and faculty in al units of the university. The initiative provides practical tools for leaders and others to:

1. Get informed. Learn more about Indigenization, anti-racism initiatives, sexualized violence prevention, gender diversity, disability and accommodation, and mental health support and fair hiring.
2. Become a bias buster. Learn about unconscious bias, its impacts and how to overcome it.
3. Inclusive vision. Work with your team to create a shared vision of inclusion.
4. Integrate best practices. Draw on resources to support all stages of hiring, assessment and employment.
5. Set goals. Review online goal-setting tools.
6. Build it in. Factor equity into every decision you make.
7. Include it. Make a standing item on equity, diversity and inclusion at your meetings.
8. Build community. Plan an event focused on equity, diversity and inclusion.
9. Become champions. Create and support an equity committee in your unit.

Additionally, for faculty and staff, some searches use preferential or limited hiring to foster equity and diversity. Preferential and limited hiring invites candidates who are members of underrepresented groups to apply to the university and gives them priority over other applicants. In order to better communicate these preferential and limited searches as well as job ads in general, the adds are often sent to a series of organizations and listservs that focus on underrepresented groups. UVic currently has approval from the BC Human Rights Tribunal to use preferential or limited hiring for Indigenous Peoples, women, members of visible minorities, and persons with disabilities. The preferential and limited hiring program aids the university in reaching its hiring goals outlined in the Employment Equity Plan 2015-2020. Guidelines for preferential and limited hiring at UVic can be found at https://www.uvic.ca/equity/employment-equity/preferential/index.php . More resources for recruitment that is focused on equity and diversity can be found at https://www.uvic.ca/hr/manager-support/hiring/recruitment/index.php under “Make diversity and equity a priority”.

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", called Mini-U 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.

The Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science, is an example of one of the very active Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committees on campus. The committee meets regularly to implement new strategies to attract and retain a diverse community of students. Some of the newest initiatives are two entrance scholarships aimed at female and Indigenous students applying to either Computer Science or Engineering. Indigenous students who have a GPA of 85% or higher will be eligible for up to $6,000 towards their UVic studies, which they are able to combine with other entrance scholarships. Similarly, female students who have a GPA of 85% or over will be eligible for up to $3,000 towards their UVic studies, which they can also combine with other entrance scholarships. These new initiatives have been effective in encouraging students who may have been considering other institutions to choose UVic.

The University of Victoria Indigenous Plan: 2017-2022 provides two goals which directly relate to Indigenous student recruitment and retention. Goals and actions for the recruitment and retention of Indigenous Students can be found on pages 14-15 (goal 1 and goal 3). The Indigenous Plan additionally provides three goals directly related to recruitment and retention of Indigenous faculty and staff, which can be found on pages 17-18 (goals 1, 3 and 4).

Read more at https://www.uvic.ca/assets2012/docs/indigenous-plan.pdf

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

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

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

A brief description of the institution’s programs designed specifically to support students, academic staff, and/or non-academic staff 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 Vice-President Academic and Provost (VPAC), EQHR and HR to staff, faculty and students.

Indigenous students have access to an array of support resources on campus before, during and after their time at UVic. Support services include Indigenous Counselling Services, Elders in Residence, the LE,NONET program, Talking Circles, Noon Networking, and Financial Aid in the form of Bursaries and Scholarships specific to Indigenous Students.

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 for faculty and academic administrators to discuss existing, emerging and potential academic programs with Indigenous content and/or focus. The Office of Indigenous Academic and Community Engagement also provides support to the Indigenous community at UVic, including students, faculty, and non-academic staff, which all Indigenous employees are made aware of in their UVic Guide for Indigenous Employees.

Students with a disability are supported through the Centre for Accessible Learning which works with faculty and students to promote educational equity and accessibility for students with disabilities. They provide academic accommodation, funding, learning assistance and adaptive technology to students in need of their services. Additionally, the Society for Students with a Disability (SSD), which runs out of the University of Victoria Student Society (UVSS), provides support to students with a disability including a computer lab where each computer is equipped with adaptive technology. They are also developing a resource section in their office in which students will be able to have access to an array of on-campus and off-campus guides as well as a multitude of disability-related brochures. Finally, SSD has a Respite Room in which students can relax away from environmental sensory stimulation.

To accommodate university employees with disabilities, the university has established a Central Accommodation Fund (CAF). This fund was made to assist in the fulfilment of UVic’s legal duties, regulated by the British Columbia Human Rights Code, to provide departments with a source of funds to assist in their provision of necessary and reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities.
CanAssist is an organization of the University of Victoria and is dedicated to helping people with disabilities improve their quality of life and increase awareness of disability issues. CanAssist takes a client-focused approach to provide customized technologies and innovative programs where there are gaps in existing services. Located on campus in the CARSA facility, they are a resource available to students and employees with a disability at UVic.

The UVic Global Community initiative provides opportunities and creates space for international and domestic students, staff and faculty to share perspectives, celebrate diversity, foster intercultural connections, and cultivate an inclusive and globally minded campus. Specifically, the Global Community aims to connect international, indigenous and domestic students; support all students’ well-being, social inclusivity and academic success; respect the beliefs, values, abilities, sexual orientations and gender identities of all people; empower students to get involved and take on leadership roles; and unify and enrich our global citizenry. There support programs include Conversation Partners, the Mentorship Program, and the Holiday Dinner Program.

The Gender Empowerment Center (GEM) is affiliated with the UVSS, and provide a safe and supportive space for self-identified women, non-binary, and gender non-conforming folks to organize, network, access resources, attend workshops and events, study, and relax. Their space is open to both UVic students and community members. They aim to build an anti-oppression community through sharing, learning, and teaching. They welcome critical feedback so that they may better practice being an intersectional feminist, queer positive, Trans- positive, decolonizing, anti-racist space.

UVic is host to the world’s only Chair in Transgender Studies, which is a research and community outreach office dedicated to community-building and to fostering and sharing scholarship by and about Trans, non-binary, and Two-spirit people. They support and build healthy communities by facilitating activities of interest to the aforementioned groups as well as their allies.

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:

There are several doctoral scholarships offered by UVic aimed at students from underrepresented groups. Examples include but are not limited to:
• Chair in Transgender Studies Doctoral Degree Research Scholarship for Trans, Non-binary, and Two-Spirit Students
• Chair in Transgender Studies Doctoral Degree Research Scholarship
• Dean’s Award for Indigenous Graduate Students (one award of $15,000 for Doctoral level students)
• Dean’s award for Indigenous Graduate Students (three awards of $6,000 for Doctoral level students)

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?:

Website URL where information about the institution’s support for underrepresented groups 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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.