Board of Trustees EDII Action Plan

Updated as of November 18, 2021

1. Representation

The Board of Trustees will take diversity, equity, inclusion, and Indigeneity into account with respect to both its own composition as well as that of its committees, subcommittees, and working groups.

  • Update: In 2020, the Board endorsed the university’s participation in the federal government’s “50-30” challenge, which acts as a framework to accelerate diversity actions in Canadian organizations. Queen’s Board is close to meeting the 50-30 goal with over 50% of its trustees identifying as female and over 30% as Black, Indigenous, and/or a person of colour.

A revised Diversity Statement will be reviewed by the Governance and Nominating Committee (GNC) in September 2019 with the goal of placing a final version before the Board in December 2019 for its approval.

  • Update: The revised Diversity Statement was approved in 2019 and continues to be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure its continued relevance.  Based on research conducted by the Secretariat, it appears that Queen’s Board was one of the first, and remains one of the only, Canadian university boards with such a statement.

The GNC chair will ensure continued reflection on the Diversity Statement in the work of that committee, especially with reference to excerpts on composition when discussing Board and committee membership.

  • Update: The Diversity Statement is reviewed at all Governance and Nominating Committee meetings that include discussions related to Board and committee membership, Board renewal, and Board succession planning.

2. Role and Mandate

The Board of Trustees will take the diversity, equity, inclusion, and Indigeneity objectives of the university into consideration during its deliberations and discussions, where applicable.

  • Update: In October 2020, the Board approved that the building occupied by the Faculty of Law no longer be known by the name of Sir John A. Macdonald Hall.  This decision was made after detailed deliberation and a special education session on naming, denaming, and renaming delivered by a subject matter expert.
    • At the same meeting, the Board requested that Principal Deane develop recommendations for processes to review commemorations on campus, the university’s existing naming policy, and a specific renaming process for the Faculty of Law building.  This work began in early 2021.
  • The Board approved a revised Sexual Violence Policy and revised Harassment and Discrimination Prevention and Response Policy in 2021, both of which include considerations related to EDII.
  • In September 2021, the Board endorsed the university’s signing of the BlackNorth Initiative and the Scarborough Charter.  Both focus on specific actions that institutions can take to work together for action against anti-Black racism and in support of Black inclusion and excellence.

The University Secretariat will revise the Board report template to include a section requiring information on the consideration of equity, diversity, inclusion, and Indigeneity (EDII) principles when developing submissions for the consideration of the Board.

  • Update: This item was completed for the 2019-20 year.  All units submitting items to the Board must indicate how the proposal will further the university’s objectives as they relate to equity, diversity, inclusion, and Indigeneity, and indicate mitigation plans if the proposal may have a negative impact on the same.

To assist Trustees in understanding the EDII aspects of such matters, EDII objectives and education/training will be part of the Board orientation and the regular continuing education program of the Board.

  • Update: See details under item 4.

3. Policies 

The Board of Trustees’ policies, procedures, and practices will take EDII into account during their development to ensure they are inclusive of a variety of perspectives.  Board deliberations and meetings will be inclusive and accessible to ensure that EDII will be an integrated part of decision-making and strategic planning.  All existing Board policies and procedures will be reviewed in this context as part of the university’s standard five-year policy review process.

  • Update: The University Secretariat will review the Board’s policies and procedures through an EDII lens during the 2022 and 2023 calendar years, as well as those of the university’s academic senate.

The University Secretariat will review Queen’s accessible event planning standards in advance of all Board, Board committee, and Board retreat planning.

  • Update: These reviews have been completed on an annual basis since 2019.

4. Education and Development

The Board of Trustees will ensure that its members have access to EDII education and development opportunities.  The Governance and Nominating Committee and University Secretariat will work with experts at the university to select appropriate training and education for trustees to complete that is delivered in a variety of ways, including online modules, in-person interactive sessions, and relevant and engaging readings, beginning in the 2019-20 academic year. The Board shall have as its goal to move from awareness, to understanding, and ultimately to demonstrated competency in EDII principles, as they relate to the work of the Board.


  • The Board participated in an EDII-focused reading program throughout the 2020-21 academic year, which involved the assignment of various EDII-related texts and discussion sessions facilitated by subject matter experts both internal and external to Queen’s.
  • Trustees completed an educational session related to harassment and discrimination, which included information related to intersectionality, in March 2020.
  • The Board completed sexual violence training in March 2021.
  • The Board regularly receives presentations regarding the university’s EDII work measured against its objectives and goals.
  • Trustees have completed the Kairos blanket exercise, and various training and education sessions offered by the Human Rights and Equity Office