Implementing Inclusion report

The Implementing Inclusion Report for UBC was released in May 2013 along with the university’s Phase 1 Response and Phase 2 Response.

Read the full report, Implementing Inclusion: A Consultation on Organizational Change to Support UBC’s Commitments to Equity and Diversity and answers to questions you might have about the process and the final report.

University of British Columbia, May 30, 2013

In January 2013, UBC engaged in a broad-based consultation that considered the structure of existing equity and diversity activities across the University. The consultation was led by human rights lawyer Nitya Iyer and UBC Ombudsperson Shirley Nakata, whose mandate was to seek feedback on the current structure and provide recommendations that would enable UBC to fulfill its commitment to equity and inclusion as a core value of Place and Promise: The UBC Plan. The consultation concluded in February and following that, their report, entitled Implementing Inclusion, was presented to the UBC Executive. The report includes observations, analysis, and two possible models for strengthening equity and inclusion at UBC: a single Vice President model, and an integrated Associated Vice President model.

Overall, the report indicates there is passionate support for equity and inclusion as core values across UBC, and examples of innovative initiatives exist on both campuses. However, the report also reveals that the current structure is not sufficiently supportive of equity and inclusion activities. In order for the university to respond to current and future needs, a more integrated, university-wide approach with greater focus on proactive education and capacity building is necessary. The report recommends the integrated Associate Vice President (AVP) model as the best to improve accessibility, coherence, transparency and accountability in order to cohesively strengthen UBC’s capacity to fulfill its commitment to equity and inclusion.

The UBC Response

The UBC Executive has accepted the proposed AVP model and all of its associated recommendations. As well, the Executive acknowledges that the implementation of a more responsive structure is the first phase towards a longer term vision of making significant progress in equity and inclusion on our campuses. The accepted model will establish stronger champions and accountability at the executive level, provide for greater coordination and integration of the wide range of current activities, and focus more resources in education and prevention. By adopting this recommendation, the University embraces a framework that values equity, diversity and inclusion.


As a first step to implementing this new vision, the current Equity Office will transform into the Equity and Inclusion Office with strengthened system leadership resources, and Access & Diversity will be repositioned to provide greater capacity for informal conflict resolution, accommodation and educational programs.

The work required to fully implement this new Associate Vice President - Equity and Inclusion model is significant. A reorganization of the current structure on both campuses is being implemented immediately, with a target completion of August 1, 2013.

In this new structure the number of resources dedicated to equity and inclusion will increase from 6.8 full-time equivalents to up to 10 full-time equivalents. Funding for the additional resources will come from existing budgets.

Elements of the new structure include the following, and may be refined during implementation:

Broader Executive Responsibility

Institutional responsibility for equity and inclusion will be shared among four Executive portfolios: the Provost and VP, Academic; Provost and Vice-Principal (UBC’s Okanagan campus); VP, Students; and VP, Human Resources. One of the four portfolios will take the lead on a rotating basis, beginning with the VP, Human Resources, who will be the lead for the next two years.

Integrated Program Leadership

The AVP, Equity and Inclusion will hold overall responsibility for leading equity and inclusion at UBC, through the Equity and Inclusion Office. The AVP will report to the equity and inclusion lead on the UBC Executive—for the next two years, this will be the VP, HR. The four Executive leaders will meet with the AVP on a frequent basis to determine strategy, priorities and resource commitments.

Dr. Gurdeep Parhar, who was the Acting AVP, Equity, will take on this AVP role in the immediate term, until the search for a new AVP, Equity and Inclusion, is complete.

Strengthened Program Functions

Existing roles are being fundamentally changed, and new roles are being added. All roles have institution-wide responsibility unless otherwise indicated below. The new roles build capacity and position the university to be proactive in delivering on its commitments to equity and inclusion.

Subject Matter Experts

  • Senior Advisor on Women Faculty, Dr. Rachel Kuske, will continue in this role on the Vancouver campus, and will provide support to colleagues on the Okanagan campus.
  • Director, Intercultural Understanding, Alden Habacon, will have an intensified focus on supporting students.

Office of Equity and Inclusion

  • A new, part-time senior equity and inclusion role at the Okanagan campus will be filled. The position will be responsible for education/training, triage, complaints, and building bridges to the academic community including scholars working in inclusion.
  • Communications Co-ordinator – A new, full-time role will be recruited. In the interim, communications resources in the VP, Students, HR, and Public Affairs portfolios will provide support. This is in response to the need expressed by many, including the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Equity and Diversity (PACED), that communication about the various diversity and equity initiatives at UBC needs to be better coordinated.
  • Data Analysis Support - PAIR will provide dedicated support in this capacity.
  • Workforce Planning – A new part-time role focused on equity will be filled.
  • Provost's Faculty Associate (Vancouver campus) – A one year, part-time faculty secondment. This role will be responsible for faculty outreach and helping to build programs that support equity and inclusion. A comparable position is being considered for the Okanagan campus.
  • Executive Assistant, Equity and Inclusion - This is an existing role, and the incumbent Executive Assistant, Equity Office, will fulfill this role.

Access & Diversity

  • Educator/Trainers – A new role intended to enable UBC to take a more proactive approach to equity and inclusion by providing expertise, learning initiatives and resources for students, staff, and faculty. These positions are specific to the Vancouver campus, but learning resources, templates, etc., will be shared between campuses. Two full-time positions will be filled as part of the Access & Diversity team.
  • Informal Resolution/Triage – A new full-time role on the Access & Diversity team on the Vancouver campus will be filled.

Office of the Ombudsperson

  • The Office of the Ombudsperson will now serve students, faculty, and staff at the Vancouver campus (previously the office had responsibilities for only students). As this role is new to the Okanagan campus and the first Ombudsperson will not be in place until mid-August, this campus needs more time to consider the implementation of this model.

Compliance (Policy 3)

  • A new role reporting to University Counsel will be created. Until recruitment for this role is complete, this role fill be filled on a contract basis.


The UBC Executive wish to express their gratitude to the report authors for their thoughtful and inspiring work, and the UBC community for actively participating in the process. Our campus communities will be better served as a result of this broad effort and the new structure.

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University of British Columbia, December 12, 2013

> UBC Response to the Implementing Inclusion Report_PhaseII

On May 30th, 2013, UBC released Phase I of its response to the Implementing Inclusion Report. As outlined in Phase I, to date, the UBC Executive has accepted and implemented the proposed AVP model as well as some of its associated recommendations. As there are several phases to unfold, this document is intended as Phase II of UBC’s response, outlining activities that have taken place since Phase I of UBC’s response and the plan forward.


1.       Renaming the Equity Office
As outlined in the Phase I response, the Equity Office has been renamed the Equity and Inclusion Office (EIO).

2.       Broader Executive Responsibility and Integrated Program Leadership
Institutional responsibility for the Equity and Inclusion Office is now shared among four Executive portfolios: Provost and VP, Academic; Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal (UBC’s Okanagan campus); VP, Students; and VP, Human Resources.

The AVP, Equity and Inclusion has overall responsibility for leading equity and inclusion at UBC, through the Equity and Inclusion Office.  The AVP reports to the three VPs and DVC & Principal, and the VP, HR is chairing the group for the first two years.

It is important to note though that as the Implementing Inclusion report recommended and as the UBC Executive accepted, the responsibility for equity and inclusion does not reside in a single office.  Rather, in order to be part of the way we think about matters at UBC, it is shared across the University with faculty-based roles and equity committees, campus-wide committees, as well as strong, clear relationships with other units such as the Ombudspersons, Office of University Counsel, Access & Diversity (Vancouver) and the Disability Resource Centre (Okanagan), and Human Resources.

3.       Consultation Process
Consistent with the commitment made in Phase I of UBC’s response to the Equity and Inclusion Report, there were 10 consultation sessions held (6 at UBC Vancouver and 4 at UBC Okanagan) over the past several months.

During these consultation sessions, and from additional comments provided through email and through the Equity and Inclusion Office web page, insightful and thoughtful feedback was provided by many members of the UBC community.  Input was sought on three particular areas:

1)    Reaction and response to the Implementing Inclusion report authored by Nitya Iyer and Shirley Nakata
2)    Feedback on UBC’s Phase I Response to the Implementing Inclusion report
3)    The ideal qualities and attributes that should be sought in the incoming AVP-Equity and Inclusion

The information gathered on these three topic areas from students, staff and faculty has been posted on the Equity and Inclusion Office website:

Consultation on a number of specific matters, as well as seeking general feedback, will continue in future phases.

4.     University wide responsibilities for Equity and Inclusion
For the Equity and Inclusion Office to assume its leadership role, much effort has been focused since the spring in strengthening the Office by building the complement of staff and solidifying relationships with other units.  In addition to the Acting AVP Equity & Inclusion, the complement of staff in the Office has developed as follows:

Reporting to the Acting AVP Equity and Inclusion:

1)    Executive Assistant
2)    Director, Conflict Management
3)    Equity and Inclusion Educators (2)
4)    Communications Coordinator
5)    Equity and Inclusion Office Educator UBC Okanagan (Position posted)

Reporting to the Provost & Vice-President Academic:

6)    Senior Advisor on Women Faculty
7)    Administrator to Senior Advisor on Women Faculty
8)    Director of Intercultural Understanding Strategy Development
9)    Administrator to Director of Intercultural Understanding Strategy Development
10) Provost’s Faculty Associate (Vancouver campus):  This one-year, part-time faculty secondment is under development.  This role will be responsible for faculty outreach and helping to build programs that support equity and inclusion.
11) Data Analyst in Planning and Institutional Research (PAIR).

Reporting to the Vice-President, Students:

12) Access & Diversity
13) Director, VPS Portfolio Initiatives (assessment of student experience)

Reporting to the Office of University Counsel:

14) Director, Equity Complaint Management (Formerly titled Director of Compliance) – this role remains filled on a contract basis.

Reporting to Human Resources:

15) Workforce Analyst - Equity (recruitment process underway)
16) VP, HR (Chair of the DVC and VPs committee)

Education Strategy of the Equity and Inclusion Office
Going forward, the education strategy of the Equity and Inclusion Office will be consistent with its new name, with an emphasis on both equity and inclusion.  Educational activities undertaken by staff will raise awareness of UBC policies, statements and commitments, and promote practices to strengthen both equity and inclusion on campuses.

In response to the Implementing Inclusion report and UBC’s strategic plan: Place and Promise, a proactive education strategy will be implemented over the next six months focusing on three groups:

1)    New UBC community members: New faculty and staff will be engaged through training and materials available on-line.  Efforts will be aligned, as appropriate, with those supporting new students being led by the Office of the VP, Students.

2)    Key UBC community members: Key administrators and faculty members will be identified for training on UBC policies and matters relating to equity and inclusion.

3)    Interning UBC community members: Where training/education does not already exist, the EIO will offer training and on-line resources to prepare UBC students for their various course requirements to be served in the broader community (i.e., co-op students, placement students, etc.).

The goal of this focused, proactive approach to equity and inclusion education at UBC is to ensure a developed understanding of equity and inclusion amongst UBC staff, faculty and students.

The Equity and Inclusion Office will also continue to deliver on the following existing services:

1)    Positive Space Program and its Advisory Committee
2)    Training requests from faculty, students and staff
3)    Outreach through campus events and list-servs

Evaluation will be a central feature of the education services and other roles of the Equity and Inclusion Office, with evaluation strategies designed to gauge learning and behavioural change amongst participants.  This will be a shared effort with the Office of the VP, Students (Director, Portfolio Initiatives), PAIR and HR.

6.     Search for AVP, Equity and Inclusion
The main focus of the Executive in Phase II will be to continue to evolve the structure of how we navigate equity and inclusion at UBC, and to complete the search for the AVP, Equity and Inclusion.  After posting the position, a selection committee (to be constituted) will begin its deliberations as it is anticipated that the position of AVP, Equity and Inclusion will be filled in spring of 2014.

7.     Equity Concerns and Complaints
Faculty, staff, or students with concerns relating to a Member of the University Community or to a University sanctioned program, event or activity, may consult with the Equity and Inclusion Office for information, advice, support and referrals relating to matters of Discrimination or Harassment.

Members of both campuses may contact:

Equity and Inclusion Office
2306- 1874 East Mall (Brock Building)
Tel: 604-822-6353

Disability-Related Services for Okanagan campus students

Disability Resource Centre
UNC 227, University Centre
Tel: 250-807-9203

Services for Okanagan faculty and staff
Human resources
3rd Floor of the Reichwald Health Science Centre (RHS)
Tel: 250-807-8833


This Phase II report outlines the new initiatives within UBC to address the Implementing Inclusion Report.  In its strong commitment to equity and inclusion, the UBC Executive will continue to pursue implementation of the Report recommendations in a manner that best sustains and advances the important role of equity and inclusion at UBC.

The Executive will give the highest priority in the next several months to the recruitment of the AVP, Equity and Inclusion.  The establishment of the Equity and Inclusion Councils recommended in the report is also important, and these Councils will be a priority for the new AVP.

Consultation will continue as questions arise and future phases unfold.

As part of our commitment to provide further consultation and collaboration into the UBC Equity and Inclusion strategy, we held a series of consultation meetings during summer 2013 to engage students, staff and faculty.

Meetings were held at both the Vancouver and the Okanagan campuses. Our discussions were quite robust and enlightening and provided further input into the Equity and Inclusion Office as well as insight into the attributes of the future Associate Vice President - Equity and Inclusion.

Summary of recommendation from UBC Vancouver consultations:

  • Need to promote the services offered by Equity and Inclusion Office
  • Clarify issues around governance, accountability and responsibility at EIO
  • Build a sense of community, equity and inclusion at UBC
  • Promote visibility and access to equity & inclusion information across campus
  • Create a structural model that is flexible and responsive to needs of UBC community
  • Support for UBC’s broader equity concerns ie. In curriculum, intercultural understanding
  • How can UBC support diversity in all units, ie. in existing and new departmental Equity Plans
  • Share examples of best practices and success stories

Read more >

Summary of recommendations from UBC Okanagan consultations:

  • Improve awareness of UBC Okanagan Equity and Inclusion Office (UBCO-EIO):
  • Cultural issues need to be factored into new structure
  • Clearly communicate equity and diversity as a priority
  • Embed activities in courses and campus life that support better engagement and awareness of benefits of equity and diversity
  • Capacity of the UBC-O EIO
  • Tap into existing resources and expertise across campus; training for faculty/staff/student reps

Read more >