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Oct. 24, 2022Print | PDF
This academic year, Wilfrid Laurier University welcomes 10 new tenure-track faculty members through its Inclusive Excellence initiative, which launched in September 2021.
The faculty members will be welcomed on both campuses, and into six of Laurier’s nine faculties, including the Faculty of Arts, Education, Human and Social Sciences, Liberal Arts, Music, and Social Work.
Inclusive Excellence, in which Laurier committed to hiring no fewer than six new Black faculty members and six new Indigenous faculty members, is one of a series of policy changes and initiatives aimed at addressing systemic racism, and fulfills commitments Laurier made in its Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigeneity Action Plan, and in signing the Scarborough Charter on Anti-Black Racism and Black Inclusion in Canada. It also aligns with the vision set in the Laurier Strategy 2019-2024, which calls for accelerated efforts to Indigenize the university and foster a more inclusive community.
“Inclusive Excellence enhances our university’s vision to build a thriving academic community as we strive towards inclusive and comprehensive scholarly exploration,” says Heidi Northwood, interim provost and vice-president: academic. “I am looking forward to the ways in which these scholars will enrich the academic, research, and teaching environments on our campuses.”
“The valuable perspectives our new scholars provide will greatly benefit students, staff, faculty, and the wider community,” says Barrington Walker, associate vice president: equity, diversity and inclusion. “It is important for our students to see themselves reflected in their academic mentors and leaders, and in our university’s culture.”
The initiative is also furthering Laurier’s efforts to Indigenize the university. In addition to hiring new Indigenous faculty, Indigenous forms of teaching, research and scholarship will be included in Laurier’s tenure and promotion criteria, including research and preservation of knowledge consistent with Indigenous traditional practices.
“Welcoming these newest Indigenous scholars to our community advances the university’s role, duty, and responsibilities to reconciliation,” says Darren Thomas, associate vice-president: Indigenous initiatives. “Inclusive Excellence demonstrates a significant step toward Indigenization in the teaching, learning and research at Laurier.”
The Inclusive Excellence program is the result of the collaborative efforts and input of many staff and faculty — including the Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty Association (WLUFA) leadership, the Indigenous Faculty Council, and the Black Faculty and Staff Caucus — who shared their time and expertise to launch the initiative and engage in recruitment efforts.
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