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K.W. Michael Siu, Kaye Johnson, Jeff Berryman, Douglas Kneale, Kirsty DuncanInterim president Douglas Kneale makes the University of Windsor the latest signatory of the Dimension Charter, with federal science minister Kirsty Duncan and (standing) VP research K.W. Michael Siu; Kaye Johnson, executive director of the Office of Human Rights, Equity, and Accessibility; and acting provost Jeff Berryman.

University inks commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion

The University of Windsor is the latest signatory of the federal government’s Dimensions Charter. Interim president Douglas Kneale and Minister of Science and Sport Kirsty Duncan signed the document during the minister’s visit to the University on June 26 to officially open the Essex Centre of Research (Essex CORe).

In May, Duncan launched Dimensions: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Canada, a pilot program inspired by the United Kingdom’s internationally-recognized Athena SWAN program. Dimensions aims to address systemic barriers, particularly those experienced by members of underrepresented or disadvantaged groups, including, but not limited to, women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible minority/racialized groups, and members of LGBTQ2+ communities.

Minister Duncan also unveiled the Dimensions Charter, which is available to all research disciplines and fields of study at all post-secondary institutions (universities, colleges, CEGEPs and polytechnics). Institutions that endorse the Dimensions Charter commit to embed principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion in their policies, practices, action plans, and culture.

“The launch of Dimensions, along with new grants and a robust charter, will help remove systemic barriers and improve access for everyone to equal opportunities, treatment and recognition in research,” Duncan said. “This truly is a critical and transformational step for Canadian post-secondary institutions. We know that when we bring together diverse points of view, our health, environment, communities and economy can thrive.”

Dr. Kneale noted the University of Windsor’s roots in Canada’s fourth-most culturally diverse city in pledging it to be a leader in equity, diversity, accessibility, and intentional inclusion.

“Part of what makes our universitas special is our diversitas, in which we embrace the students, staff, faculty, and alumni from nearly 100 nations, representing many different backgrounds, languages, faiths, orientations, and identities,” he said. “We are pleased to affirm the principles articulated in the Dimensions Charter.”