119 SPEC Kit 356: Diversity and Inclusion
Statement on Equity, Diversity, and Excellence
Statement on Equity, Diversity, and Excellence December 14, 2006
University of Toronto Governing Council—Web version 2
Statement on Equity, Diversity, and Excellence
The purposes of this statement are to express the University’s values regarding equity and diversity, and
relate these to the institution’s unwavering commitment to excellence in the pursuit of our academic
Equity and Human Rights
At the University of Toronto, we strive to be an equitable and inclusive community, rich with diversity,
protecting the human rights of all persons, and based upon understanding and mutual respect for the
dignity and worth of every person. We seek to ensure to the greatest extent possible that all students and
employees enjoy the opportunity to participate as they see fit in the full range of activities that the
University offers, and to achieve their full potential as members of the University community.
Our support for equity is grounded in an institution-wide commitment to achieving a working, teaching,
and learning environment that is free of discrimination and harassment as defined in the Ontario Human
Rights Code. In striving to become an equitable community, we will also work to eliminate, reduce or
mitigate the adverse effects of any barriers to full participation in University life that we find, including
physical, environmental, attitudinal, communication or technological.
Diversity and Inclusiveness
Our teaching, scholarship and other activities take place in the context of a highly diverse society.
Reflecting this diversity in our own community is uniquely valuable to the University as it contributes to
the diversification of ideas and perspectives and thereby enriches our scholarship, teaching and other
activities. We will proactively seek to increase diversity among our community members, and it is our aim
to have a student body and teaching and administrative staffs that mirror the diversity of the pool of
potential qualified applicants for those positions.
We believe that excellence flourishes in an environment that embraces the broadest range of people, that
helps them to achieve their full potential, that facilitates the free expression of their diverse perspectives
through respectful discourse, and in which high standards are maintained for students and staff alike. An
equitable and inclusive working and learning environment creates the conditions for our diverse staff and
student body to maximize their creativity and their contributions, thereby supporting excellence in all
dimensions of the institution.
Excellence at the University of Toronto is predicated on core freedoms that are at the heart of every
university’s mission --- freedom of speech and expression, academic freedom and freedom of research.
The creation of an equitable community, one that is diverse as well as inclusive and that is respectful and
protects the human rights of its members, requires the work of every member of the community, across all
of our sites and campuses, including students, teaching staff, administrative staff, visitors, alumni and
For its part, the University will strive to make considerations of equity a part of the processes of setting
policies, developing procedures, and making decisions at all levels of the institution. While for governance
purposes, responsibility for the Statement resides with the Vice-President of Human Resources and Equity,
daily responsibility for ensuring that the values expressed in this Statement live and breathe throughout the
University will also rest with the President, the Vice-President and Provost, the Vice-Presidents and Vice-
Provosts, and each Principal, Dean, Chair and Manager, within the scope of each person’s role in the
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