Inclusive Excellence Cluster Hiring Initiative

Oct. 21, 2022

UCalgary launches Inclusive Excellence Cluster Hiring Initiative to open doors for equity-deserving academics

Hiring initiative takes data-driven approach to close equity gaps

The University of Calgary recognizes the importance of creating and maintaining a welcoming, equitable, diverse, inclusive and accessible working, research, teaching, learning and living environment that enables every member of our campus community to thrive. Increasing the diversity of people and ideas enhances our pursuit and achievement of excellence in research and scholarship, teaching and learning, and community engagement.

UCalgary is committed to inclusive excellence and is taking a major step forward to advance equity and excellence, with the hiring of 45 qualified academics across 12 faculties over the next three years, creating a more diverse scholarly community on campus.

The initiative, supported by senior academic leadership, will build a critical mass of scholars who reflect the diversity of the student body and broader community. This initiative promises to expand curriculum innovations, and generate new research and scholarship.

This Inclusive Excellence Cluster Hiring Initiative reflects our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) journey to create more equitable pathways for those who continue to be underrepresented at UCalgary, and to address equity gaps.

"Achieving equity is shared work, and UCalgary is committed to being a leader in recruiting, hiring and retaining academics from equity-deserving groups. By creating equitable pathways and enhancing equity on our campuses we are also enriching our teaching, learning and research and ensuring UCalgary reflects the diversity of our city, province and country," says Dr. Malinda Smith, vice-provost and associate vice-president research (equity, diversity and inclusion).

While UCalgary is not alone in working to reduce the under-representation of scholars from equity-deserving groups (e.g., women, Indigenous Peoples, racialized/visible minority persons, and persons with disabilities), UCalgary has led Canada’s post-secondary institutions in making EDI goals and existing shortfalls transparent through initiatives such as creating an online EDI dashboard portal, the new EDI Data Hub, and the publicly available Inclusive Excellence Cluster Hiring Initiative EDI Data Report.

UCalgary is engaged in many steps to advance a more equitable, diverse, inclusive and accessible campus. This initiative is a key step to ameliorate the systemic under-representation of members of equity-deserving groups while supporting the closing of equity gaps through the identification and removal of obstacles, barriers and biases equity-deserving groups face in their academic careers and informing policy with evidence-based analyses.

Further data from the Canadian post-secondary sector clearly shows that increasing equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in research environments enriches excellence, innovation and creativity.

As a research-intensive university we recognize that the preponderance of research, scholarship and experience highlights how the diversity of peoples, ideas, perspectives and heuristics makes us smarter, improves critical thinking, enables the cultivation of a wider range of knowledge and skills, enhances intercultural insights and capacity, improves problem-solving and decision-making, and fuels creativity and innovation.

Through this cluster hiring initiative, the university will create links between faculty members and allow for the expansion of curriculum innovations, transdisciplinary teaching, research, and Indigenous ways of knowing, while also enhancing community engagement.

The Inclusive Excellence Cluster Hiring Initiative is supported by UCalgary’s executive leadership team and deans from all faculties who are committed to ameliorating the systemic barriers continuously experienced by some academics.

“UCalgary’s academic and research personnel are integral to our campus community. The Inclusive Excellence Cluster Hiring Initiative allows the university to take steps toward a more equitable, diverse, inclusive and accessible campus, which better reflects the student body as well as the greater Calgary community," says Dr. Ed McCauley, president and vice-chancellor.

"This is an important measure for us, as we continually seek out the highest level of talent to lead our students to becoming educated graduates, key contributors and leaders in the community.”

The university has made foundational commitments to inclusive excellence, attracting and supporting diverse talent and creating equitable pathways and parallel paths within the institution. These include the university’s signing of the Dimensions EDI Charter, the National Scarborough Charter on Anti-Black Racism and Black Inclusion, and the Indigenous Strategy, ii’ taa’poh’to’p, which commits to institutional transformation by reimagining ways of knowing, doing, connecting and being.

“Diversity fuels excellence, ingenuity and entrepreneurial thinking, which is part of our culture here at UCalgary," says Dr. Penny Werthner, interim provost and vice-president (academic).

"It contributes to better scholars, researchers and learners. The university is looking forward to welcoming a new generation of outstanding academics, who will transform our campus through a greater diversity of people, ideas and perspectives.”

As the university implements the Inclusive Excellence Cluster Hiring Initiative, we will continue to work collaboratively and collectively toward strategies, policies, and decisions that foster the continued growth of equity, diversity, inclusion, accessibility and Indigenous engagement at UCalgary.  

Equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility are vital to excellence in all aspects of research practice and design and across the UCalgary research ecosystem. These values, commitments and practices are highlighted in many institutional strategies, including our Eyes High Strategic Plan (2017-2022), Academic Plan (2018-2023), Research Plan (2018-2023), and our Framework for Growth (2021-) recognize that great cities, and great societies, are anchored by great research universities and commits to applying the framework with consideration of the effect on efforts towards Indigenous reconciliation and equity, diversity and inclusion.

At the University of Calgary, our excellence is inextricably connected to equity, inclusivity and the rich diversity of the people who fuel ingenuity, creativity and innovation in our city and province