Diversity and Equity Task Force (DET)

Note: The Diversity and Equity Task Force completed its work Fall 2011; the material below is available for information purposes.

A growing team organized to establish a plan of action for implementing recommendations and to develop a comprehensive and coordinated strategy for enhancing diversity and achieving educational equity goals.


In November 2009, Vice-Principal (Academic) Patrick Deane announced the appointment of Dr. Adnan Husain as Director, Educational Equity & Diversity Projects, within the Office of the Vice-Principal (Academic).

“In preparing to report to Senate on progress made to date on recommendations made in the PAC and Henry reports I have concluded that a comprehensive, university-wide accounting of initiatives in this area is both more urgently needed and more difficult to accomplish than has hitherto appeared to be the case,” said Vice-Principal (Academic) Patrick Deane. “I am very grateful that Dr. Husain had agreed to do this and will serve as Director of Educational Equity and Diversity Projects.”


In his new role, Dr. Husain directs a small team, the Diversity and Equity Task Force (DET), which will complete an assessment of the various diversity and equity reports that have been tabled at Queen’s in the last two decades, as well as determine the present status of the recommendations outlined in those reports. Priorities for implementation will then be identified and timelines set for completion over the short and longer terms. Finally, measures will be developed and proposed for insuring accountability and for integrating diversity and equity more fully into the governance and structure of university decision-making.

One of the first steps of the DET will be to meet with members of the university community to learn more about the work currently being done and to discuss ideas going forward.

“Our excellence as a university is critically connected to our ability to foster a climate in which everyone feels both included in and stimulated or challenged by a diverse academic and institutional culture,” said Dr. Husain. “I will be looking to members of the Queen’s community to help devise strategies to enhance diversity and improving equity in their domains of expertise and responsibility.”


Name Status
Adnan Husain Chair of Senate Educational Equity Committee/Director of Educational Equity and Diversity Projects
Gordon Smith Chair of Council on Employment Equity/Associate Dean, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Irene Bujara Director of Equity and Human Rights Offices
Arig Girgrah Assistant Dean, Student Affairs
Greg Lessard Special Advisor to the Principal
Charles Sumbler Office of the Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic)

A letter from Dr. Adnan Hussain...

I am very heartened that Dr. Deane has chosen to shift the limited resources that are dedicated to Educational Equity and Diversity concerns at Queen’s in this direction, toward implementation of the many recommendations offered in reports stretching as far back as 1991. We have before us, then, an opportunity to achieve now some long standing and, frankly, necessary objectives. To do so, however, requires the committed support and cooperation also of the university community at large.

The Diversity and Equity Taskforce will be conducting a survey of diversity and equity initiatives at the university. Comparative research to determine the best equity and diversity policies and practices in Canadian institutions of higher education has been commissioned to inform and guide deliberations.

We will be assessing the recommendations from:
(links to these public reports are available through the pages of this website)

the PAC Report (1991),
the “Henry Report” (2004),
The Systems Review or “Norton” Report,
the DARE Panel Report (2009),
and the Employment Systems Review or Breslauer Report (2009), among others.

We intend to develop a plan of action that identifies recommendations that can be easily implemented in the short term and prioritizes remaining recommendations and assesses the needs and resources for longer term implementation of programs and measures over the next few years.

To accomplish this the taskforce will be consulting broadly across the university administration, faculties, student groups and other bodies to devise a strategy to implement together the best policies and practices for enhancing diversity and improving educational and employment equity. In other words, the taskforce will rely on your expertise in your domains of responsibility to assist in implementing recommendations in your domains of expertise and responsibility.

I hope you will agree with me that incorporating these concerns is actually crucial to performing our work better and achieving our educational mission more successfully and fully. Our excellence as a university, I believe, is critically connected to our ability to insure that Queen’s recruits a diverse student body, faculty, and staff and fosters a climate in which everyone feels both included in and stimulated or challenged by a diverse academic and institutional culture. In this way, can everyone best achieve their potential.

We look forward to working with you and to reporting soon to the university community and in appropriate bodies like Senate on our progress in outlining what will be needed to achieve these important goals at Queen’s.

Look for announcements for upcoming events on this website.

The task force is eager to hear from you and will respond to inquiries about the work it is undertaking.

DET Activities

During its initial phase, the DET is meeting weekly to prepare for consultations with various university administrators, faculty and staff.

Information gathering meetings will take place with these groups throughout January and February.

Collaboration will be ongoing with the Senate Educational Equity Committee, Council on Employment Equity, and various other groups and units.

An open-invitation meeting is also being planned for sometime in February or early March to allow the Queen's community to participate in establishing priorities for implementation in the short and long term.

DET will share its insights after having completed its survey of current diversity and equity activities and highlight recommendations that have been implemented.

First Phase to May 30th

1. Assessment: survey of present status of equity and diversity at Queen’s

2. Identification of recommendations: priority and short/long term

3. Implementation of Action Plan and Timetable

4. Start implementation of shorter term recommendations and measures

Diversity and Equity Task Force Action Plan (2010-2011)

The Diversity and Equity Task Force (DET), the Alma Mater Society (AMS) and the Society of Professional and Graduate Students (SGPS) all released equity plans for 2010-2011.

Inventory of Equity and Diversity Programs and Initiatives (Summer 2010)

The purpose of the inventory is to identify programs and services at Queen’s that enhance equity and diversity. It highlights various programs and initiatives undertaken across the University that attempt to address issues of inequity and racism. The inventory does not assess the extent to which these actions have fulfilled past recommendations. Rather, the inventory serves as a resource for the University and a guide for the Diversity and Equity Taskforce as they identify priority areas and develop an action plan for the University.

If there are any measures that are not included in the inventory that you would like to see included, please do not hesitate to let us know. Since this inventory is a work in progress, we would be pleased to update the file to incorporate new suggestions

The inventory is organized by the various reports that have been produced since 1991:

Educational Equity Guidelines for the Academic Planning Exercise

In response to the Principal’s vision statement and, in particular, section 1. c. of the academic planning report form, the following are some suggested considerations for incorporating diversity and equity dimensions more completely in departmental and faculty reflections on “curriculum reform and inclusivity.”

As the new Senate policy articulates, the values of diversity and equity intrinsically contribute to the educational enterprise and its academic quality. Consequently, these concepts and approaches should inform the academic planning exercise currently taking place, particularly in re-thinking curriculum and insuring an inclusive educational environment.

These suggestions are by no means comprehensive guidelines encompassing the full range implied by the broad concepts of diversity and educational equity; these are simply initial points of departure that develop concepts articulated in the vision statement.

  1. Generally, what does your department/faculty do to prepare students to live and work in an increasingly multicultural society and globally integrated world? How are these objectives reflected in curriculum or in plans for curricular development? How are these goals expressed in attempting to foster an inclusive learning environment inside and outside the classroom? What ideas do you have for enhancing this preparation and what resources and measures are needed?
  2. How does your department/faculty meet the educational needs and interests of an increasingly diverse student body? Consider both the changing Canadian demographics as well as international students. How can your department/faculty attract and support students of diverse backgrounds, ethnically, culturally, linguistically, …? What issues and challenges arise and what measures and resources are needed to insure that students of all backgrounds are valued and included successfully in the educational enterprise?
  3. How are diverse approaches, perspectives, and knowledges integrated in your department/faculty’s curriculum? For example, in disciplines in the social sciences and humanities: how does your curriculum incorporate global perspectives in conceptualizing your discipline? How does or might more effectively your curriculum contribute to the understanding and appreciating of diverse cultures, ethnicities, and religions and to issues of difference and identity, whether gender, sexual orientation, or race? Similarly, in applied and scientific disciplines, how does or might global perspectives, cultural contexts, social values and ethics inform teaching and research? What opportunities and challenges are there for cross-faculty collaboration to achieve curricular goals in these areas?
  4. What efforts, and with what success, has your department/faculty enhanced the diversity of its staff and their capacity to engage and improve educational equity? What measures could be taken to achieve greater equity and to support faculty and staff members of equity-seeking groups in their teaching, research, and career development?

We urge you to consider these issues in departmental and faculty discussions and to incorporate them in your responses.

Background Materials

The Diversity Equity Task Force is consulting the following reports/documents. The documents that are linked have been approved by Senate.

 Achieving Employment Equity at Queen’s Part 1 (PDF 700 KB)


 Achieving Employment Equity at Queen’s Part 2 (PDF 900 KB)


 Queen's University Diversity, Anti-Racism and Equity (D.A.R.E.) Report (PDF 200 KB)


 Review of the Harassment/Discrimination Complaint Policy and Procedure of Queen's University (PDF 50 KB)


 Senate Educational Equity Committee response to the Report on "Understanding the Experiences of Visible Minority and Aboriginal Faculty Members at Queen's University (PDF 500 KB)


 Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) Student Advisor Case Summaries: 2004-2000 (PDF 200 KB)


 Towards Diversity and Equity at Queen's: A Strategy for change (PDF 1 MB)