The charter endorsement is part of the Dimensions pilot program, the goal of which is to foster increased research excellence, innovation and creativity within the post-secondary sector across all disciplines through greater equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI).
In signing the charter, Aurora College is publicly stating its commitment to embedding EDI principles in its policies, practices and action plans. Aurora College is now recognized nationally and internationally as a post-secondary academic community dedicated to promoting EDI principles.
EDI principles will be inherent in the transformation to a polytechnic university and will foster a culture of openness and respect to allow the College community, including students and staff, to be the best they can be in their respective roles.
The Dimensions pilot program is an initiative supported by the three federal research granting agencies: the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).
Signing the Dimensions Charter Endorsement is the most recent step in Aurora College’s work to increase EDI within the institution. In 2019 Aurora College received an NSERC grant to develop an internal EDI policy and process to address obstacles faced by, but not limited to, women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible minority/racialized groups and members of LGBTQ2+ communities.
Since that time the College has developed and implemented a five-year strategic plan to advance EDI principles. This plan will enable the College to foster increased organizational, teaching, and research excellence, as well as innovation and creativity through greater equity, diversity and inclusion.
As part of the strategic plan, an EDI Steering Committee was formed in the spring of 2022. The committee, comprised of members from across the College, is actively working to champion and achieve the goals identified in the strategic plan, working to embed EDI principles into College policies and processes.
“Creating a culture of equity, diversity and inclusion is not a linear process, requiring students, faculty, staff and community members to consciously advocate for safe learning and working spaces.”
– Dr Kathie Pender, Co-chair – Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Aurora College
“The establishment and active thought processes to create safe spaces is a tool that will create and preserve psychological safety for all Aurora College students and employees. This tool allows different voices to be heard, acknowledged and valued. Adopting this approach across the college reminds all of us that the expression of our honest impressions, thoughts and attitudes are acceptable without the fear of ridicule.
– Dr Glenda Vardy Dell, President, Aurora College