Laurier to hire more Indigenous and Black faculty members

Wilfrid Laurier University is making a commitment to hiring “no less than six new Indigenous faculty members and six Black faculty members,” according to a Laurier press release posted on May 4.

The hiring strategy is part of the “Inclusive Excellence” initiative which aims to build on the university’s plans for diversity and inclusion.

“Laurier’s Inclusive Excellence hiring initiative is an example of how the university is taking deliberate steps to enhance Indigenization, equity, diversity and inclusion in our teaching, learning and research,” Anthony Vannelli, Laurier provost and vice-president: academic said in an email statement. 

“Increasing the number of Black and Indigenous scholars will allow us to incorporate Indigenous ways of knowing and diversity into our programming in a way that values diverse perspectives and benefits our students and the entire community.”

Under the hiring initiative, Laurier will hire “12 tenured and tenure-track faculty appointments for emerging and established Black and Indigenous scholars within any of the university’s faculties,” the news release said.

Faculty scholarship will follow the six themes outlined in Laurier’s Strategic Plan: “environments and sustainability; psychological and social determinants of health and well-being; governance and policy; Indigeneity, decolonization, equity, diversity and inclusion; business, technology and innovation; and society, culture and community.”

“It is important for our students to see themselves reflected in their academic leaders and in our university culture,” Vannelli said. 

“This initiative was the result of collaborative and deliberate dialogue within our academic community.”

Positions will be posted in September on the university’s website after the summer months when “Laurier’s Indigenous Faculty Advisory Council and Black Faculty and Staff Caucus will advise on posting, recruitment and retention.”

“Inclusive Excellence is one of a number of university-wide, student-focused and faculty and staff-focused initiatives and policy changes currently underway to address systemic racism as part of the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigeneity Action Plan and in support of the inclusive community and Indigeneity themes in the Laurier Strategy,” Vannelli said. 

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