Commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

The University of Northern British Columbia is committed to the federal government’s policies on non-discrimination and employment equity for the four designated groups (women, persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities, and Indigenous peoples) as well as the LGBTQ2+ communities and individuals with intersectional identities, and has endorsed the Tri-council Dimensions: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Canada Charter and the Universities Canada Inclusive Excellence Principles.

The Tri-Agency Programs Secretariat (TIPS) requires all institutions with five or more chair allocations to develop an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan for the Canada Research Chairs Program (CRCP). This webpage details UNBC’s equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives and fulfills TIPS’ public transparency requirements.

UNBC's Canada Research Chairs Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan

The UNBC Canada Research Chairs (CRC) Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Action Plan has been developed by Office of Research and Innovation and Human Resources staff along with members of senior administration, has been endorsed by the President and is a work in progress with several processes currently under review. As such, as part of our community consultation process, please send any feedback on the UNBC CRC EDI Action Plan via This feedback will be reviewed by the CRC EDI Working Group and taken into consideration for plan modification.

Strategy for Raising Awareness

UNBC’s Office of Equity Affairs and UNBC’s President’s Executive Council are collectively leading and supporting efforts to build a culture of inclusivity at UNBC. To support a more diverse representation within the CRC program as well as in the broader university workplace in which chairholders are nested, UNBC has taken significant steps towards understanding its own environment, including an employment systems review, a comparative review, an environmental scan and university-wide consultations.

UNBC’s strategy to raise awareness of its commitment to equity within the university, and the benefits of EDI within the Canada Research Chairs Program and the broader research enterprise include:

  • Appointment of an Associate Vice President of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Spring 2022 leading the Office of Equity Affairs
  • Communication of equity and diversity objectives of the CRC EDI Action plan to faculty, staff, and students through UNBC Research website, and email communication from the Office of Research and Innovation
  • Sponsoring information sessions on EDI matters during UNBC’s Research Week
  • Launch of the “EDI in Research” web page which provides definitions, guidelines for grant applications and additional resources
  • Requirement for training in Employment Equity and Unconscious Bias for all employees who serve on hiring committees
  • Additional webinar-based training in 2021

Governance for approval of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan

UNBC established a CRC EDI Action Plan (EDIAP) team comprised of several groups:

  • CRC EDIAP Working Group, comprised of academic and administrative members, prioritizing representation from equity-deserving groups.
  • President’s Executive Council, comprised of Senior Leaders at UNBC including the President, Vice-President Research and Innovation, Vice-President Academic and Provost, and Vice-President Finance and Administration.
  • Consultation group, comprised of CRC chairholders and other members of the broader university community including faculty, staff and students.

To ensure appropriate methodology and a robust plan, members of the CRC EDIAP Working Group participated in the Developing an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan webinar and the Universities Canada workshop Strengthening Equity, Diversity and Inclusion on Campus: Best Practices for Senior University Leaders. The Working Group also reviewed the Canada Research Chairs “Institutional Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plans: A Best Practices Guide”, and all the committee and expert reviews that have been received. An employment systems review, a comparative review, and an environmental scan were carried out in 2019.

Recommendations for effective and efficient advancement of the EDIAP were provided by an external consultant and will continue to be drawn on to maintain progress. The Action Plan was approved by the Executive group, and oversight of the CRC program at UNBC, including allocation of chairs and monitoring of equity targets resides with the Vice-President Research and Innovation. Final approval of chair allocations requires Executive approval.

Monitoring Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Concerns

UNBC aims to provide a supportive, safe, and inclusive workplace for all employees, including chairholders. A person who believes that they have experienced discrimination or harassment based on a prohibited ground of discrimination, sexual harassment, or personal harassment can direct their complaint to the Director of Human Resources. UNBC's Respect in the Workplace Policy and Procedures provides guidance and procedures regarding complaints of bullying and harassment.

UNBC’s Vice President Research and Innovation oversees the Canada Research Chair Program and is responsible for monitoring and responding to equity, diversity, and inclusion concerns in relation to the Program. The Office of Equity Affairs ( is UNBC’s first point of contact for bringing such concerns forward to the VP Research and Innovation.

The Office of Equity Affairs at UNBC is responsible for:

  • Creation of and communication of EDI strategic plan: An institution-wide EDI strategic plan is essential to build department-specific EDI strategies moving forward and empowering leaders within their portfolios.
  • EDI data collection, analysis, and data-informed decision-making: A robust collection and analysis of the demographics of the UNBC community are essential to inform EDI-related actions and key measurables at all levels of the institution. 
  • Embedding EDI principles into exempt roles and supporting them in understanding their responsibility in institutional EDI commitment: Institutional and individual commitment needs to be established and understood to create an inclusive community for students, staff, and faculty alike. 
  • Creation of the Office of Equity Affairs website: Site for EDI relevant information, trending topics, education, resources, and submission of safe disclosures for students, staff, and faculty.
  • Review all policies and procedures through an EDI lens: Ensuring policies and procedures at the institution are attentively and consciously reducing barriers to equity-deserving and under-represented groups across the institution.
  • Review institution procedures for recruitment, retention and onboarding of staff and faculty to incorporate EDI supports, structures and focus into onboarding at the institution: Collaborate with the HR department to evaluate, plan and change the culture of the institution, especially in key areas where exclusive policies exist.

Office of Equity Affairs Website

UNBC Equity Targets and Gaps

UNBC is currently allocated seven Canada Research Chairs, four of which are vacant.

Designated group

Target* Dec. 2022 (%)

Representation Dec. 2022**

Meeting target

Gap # of Chairs

Target Dec. 2025 (%)

Target Dec. 2027 (%)

Target Dec. 2029 (%)


2 (36)




2 (41)

3 (46)

3 (50.9)

Racialized minorities

1 (16.8)




1 (18.5)

1 (20.2)

1 (22)

Persons with disabilities

NA (4.87)




NA (5.74)

NA (6.61)

NA (7.5)

Indigenous peoples

NA (2)




NA (3)

NA (4)

NA (4.9)

*If number required is less than 0.5 cell indicates NA
**For cell counts less than 5 information withheld (W) to protect privacy of chairholders 

Policies and Procedures that govern staffing of Canada Research Chairs

The Canada Research Chairs program provides UNBC with the opportunity to recruit world-class scholars across all disciplines. UNBC’s policies that support recruitment and retention of Canada Research Chairs as well as other faculty and staff hires include the following:

Canada Research Chairs Program Utilization Table

UNBC CRC Utilization Table - August 2023

Canada Research Chairs Program Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Information 

Annual Reporting

UNBC reports to the Canada Research Chairs Program on progress on the UNBC Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, including our efforts to meet and maintain CRCP Equity targets and university-wide initiatives to enhance equity and inclusion.

UNBC CRC EDI Progress Report 2019 and 2020

UNBC CRC EDI Progress Report 2020 and 2021

UNBC CRC EDI Progress Report 2021 and 2022

Advertisements for all current Chair positions for internal and external recruitment

Canada Research Chair (Tier II) Technology Adoption for Aging in the North
Posted: April 17, 2024

Previous Chair position advertisements (past 3 years)

There have been no previous Chair position postings within the past 3 years. 

Contact information and support

UNBC’s Office of Equity Affairs leads the development and implementation of plans, policies and procedures that promote equity, diversity and inclusion in employment and education. This includes:

  • Education opportunities on EDI, human rights and sexualized violence
  • Advising Chairs, Deans and other supervisors on investigations of complaints
  • Providing information and support
  • Consulting on equity plans
  • Advising other departments in the university on EDI matters

Staff Contacts

Paula Wood-Adams, VP Research and Innovation

Office of Equity Affairs