Presidential Task Force

Jan. 26, 2023

Presidential Task Force on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility launches

Group will lead the co-creation of UCalgary’s first institution-wide EDIA strategy

UCalgary is embarking on an initiative to become a more welcoming, equitable, diverse, inclusive and accessible institution, where every member of the campus community can flourish. Today, the university advances that commitment with the launch of the Presidential Task Force on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility (PTF-EDIA).

“I’m pleased to announce the launch of the Presidential Task Force on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility,” says Dr. Ed McCauley, president and vice-chancellor. “This work is the critical next step in our journey of transformation towards inclusive excellence. Our commitment to EDIA must be woven into each element of our campus, and I strongly support this work as part of our long-term commitment to EDIA at UCalgary.”

The mandate of the PTF-EDIA is to:

  • undertake a consultative and collaborative engagement with UCalgary representative bodies and communities;
  • conduct internal and external research;
  • analyze qualitative and quantitative EDI data and relevant materials, in order to co-constitute an institutional EDIA strategy and action plan, and the relevant systems and processes for monitoring progress and impact.

The EDIA strategy and action plan will go through our bicameral governance processes (General Faculties Council and Board of Governors) for approval.

“Equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility are vital to teaching, learning, research and the workplace,” says Dr. William Ghali, vice-president (research). “Together, we will strive to create an inspiring and impactful EDIA strategy for UCalgary.”

“This Presidential Task Force is vital for UCalgary at this stage in our EDIA journey,” says Dr. Penny Werthner, interim provost and vice-president (academic). “This work will create pathways for all members of our campus community to flourish in their research, teaching and learning, and work environments.”

Foundational principles of task force approach

The task force and the resulting strategy will be guided by foundational principles and practices already embedded in UCalgary’s initiatives including our Dimensions EDI pilot program: "Nothing about us, without us," and "One-size-does-not-fit-all."

“To ensure that our EDIA strategy and action plan are co-constituted with our community, we have assembled a representative task force that reflects our campus associations and governance bodies as well as the diversity and lived experiences of both our campus and the broader community we serve,” says Dr. Malinda Smith, vice-provost and associate vice-president research (EDI), and co-chair of the PTF-EDIA.

The task force is composed of representatives from our campus governance bodies and associations, and is intentional in its inclusion of voices from members of equity-deserving groups: women, Indigenous peoples, racialized/visible minority persons, persons with disabilities, and LGBTQ2S+. A list of the task force membership is posted on the PTF-EDIA webpage.

The task force will utilize internal and external data, strategic planning best practices, and consultation with our communities via focus groups, workshops, and written feedback. Opportunities for engagement will be announced in the coming months. If you wish to be involved, please email

Disaggregated data collection and analysis will be central to the task force’s activities, to ensure that the strategy and action plan are reflective of and responsive to all members of the campus community.

“We need good data to support evidence-based decision-making,” says Smith. “We are committed to EDI data transparency, developing an evidence-based strategy and we have a good foundation to draw upon with our EDI dashboard, EDI Data Hub and the PTF-EDIA Data Book. The gold standard for EDI data is disaggregated quantitative and qualitative data as well as stories – that is, data that has been gathered to help us better understand the experiences of all members of the campus community.”

“So, while it is helpful to have data about all women on campus, for example, we can make better decisions if we have data on women professors, women support staff, women students, and so on. Even moreso if we have data that can help us understand their intersections. Comprehensive disaggregated data is key to the success of this strategy.”

Task force is the next milestone in UCalgary’s EDIA journey

The task force is the next milestone in UCalgary’s EDIA journey, one that started in 1989 with the Employment Equity Policy. Prior milestones include:

“A number of these milestones have been achieved in just the last few years,” says Smith. “There is growing momentum at UCalgary towards systemic change. Now is the time for us to build on our past efforts and join together to co-constitute a future-focused EDIA strategic plan and action plan to advance and embed all of these commitments institution-wide as well as in the faculties, departments and administrative units.”

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