About Us
Strategic Plan Initiatives
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Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
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St. Jerome's University's commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) is embedded in the fifth commitment in the "Our Culture" section of its Strategic Plan, Building on Tradition, 2016-2021. In October 2017, St. Jerome's University and other members endorsed the Universities Canada seven Inclusive Excellence Principles as part of their ongoing commitment to advance equity, diversity and inclusion. At the same time, Universities Canada (UC) committed to a five-year action plan to support members’ progress. UC’s Report was released in late October 2019.


One of the seven Inclusive Excellence Principles highlights the need for universities to develop EDI action plans. To make good on this commitment, the SJU community is engaging in a three-phase process.

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion Phases
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Phase 1 box
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The Working Group will take an inventory of current EDI initatives at SJU, identify current institutional strengths and challenges, review promising practices, and formulate baseline recommendations to be used in the development of SJU’s action plan.








Phase 2
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The development of the SJU EDI action plan. That work will be spearheaded by the President’s Advisory Group, which will be formed once the initial phase has been completed.








Phase 3
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The implementation and assessment phase, which will be administered by the Administrative Leadership Group.





Terms of Reference

Mandate and Scope

Through a consultative and collaborative process, the Working Group will engage the St. Jerome’s University community in preparatory work required for the development of a comprehensive University EDI action plan. The Working Group’s scope should focus on five areas within the University:          

  1. Hiring Systems and Practices
  2. Curriculum and Programs
  3. Outreach, Recruiting, and Marketing
  4. Facilities
  5. Campus Culture

General Duties and Responsiblities

The general duties and responsibilities of this Working Group are the following:

  • Consult with and seek feedback from students, faculty, and staff, as well as other key external stakeholder groups on current EDI initiatives and practices.
  • Identify strengths and unique challenges related to EDI at SJU.
  • Compile meaningful and measurable data, which will be used in formulating success indicators.
  • Conduct an environmental survey of promising EDI practices in other universities.
  • Submit a final report to the President containing recommendations that will form the basis of an SJU EDI action plan.


  • Cristina Vanin, (Interim) Vice President Academic and Dean (co-chair)
  • Mike Gourlay, Executive Director of Finance and Administration (co-chair)
  • Veronica Austen, Associate Dean
  • Michelle Watson, Director of Human Resources
  • John Arnou, (Acting) Director, Student Affairs
  • Martha Fauteux, Director, Campus Ministry
  • Sue Brubacher, Director, Enrolment and Upper Year Transition
  • Two faculty members (elected by SJU full-time faculty and CAS) - Carm DeSantis, Denise Whitehead
  • Three student members (appointed in consultation with the SJU Students' Union) -  Eve Astolfi, Jenny Fu, Leslie Moss


The Working Group should aim to complete its work on or before October 15, 2020.

June 17, 2020 - Dismantling Anti-Black Racism and Academic Freedom
June 11, 2020 - Student Services Responds to Anti-Black Racism
April 20, 2020 - RDI Launch Announcement from the Interim President and Vice Chancellor