EDI Strategic Planning Process Question & Answers

WHY is an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion strategic plan needed at Western University?

Of all the aspirations voiced by the Western community through the University strategic planning process to develop Towards Western at 150, the expectation of a more inclusive Western stood out.  Accordingly, a priority goal in the university plan is to create a more equitable and inclusive Western, where everyone has an equal opportunity to thrive and succeed.  The EDI strategic planning process will engage communities across campus in conversations about equity, diversity and inclusion and together we will develop our EDI roadmap for the future.

WHY is EDI Important?

There are many benefits derived from creating an equitable and inclusive Western.  Here are a few examples:

  • All students, staff and faculty will be part of an environment and culture and will feel a strong sense of belonging.
  • Everyone will experience fair treatment and equal opportunities.
  • Prejudice and discrimination will be reduced, creating a safe and welcoming environment where everyone can do better.
  • Students, staff and faculty will be able to share ideas openly, explore disagreements safely, make mistakes and contribute to decision making.
  • By fully engaging the diversity of our students, staff and faculty, our creative thinking and level of innovation will be strengthened.
  • Work, learning and life will be easier for people who have been underestimated, marginalized or discounted in the past.

WHAT are the guiding principles for the EDI strategic planning process?

We will:

  • Ensure the strategic planning process is integrated, trust-based and inclusive, actively engaging students, staff and faculty and our broader communities.
  • Intentionally and thoughtfully engage with equity deserving communities, and ensure that their lived experiences, goals and ideas are embedded in our planning.
  • Provide accessible venues for students, staff and faculty to listen, learn and share. Be open and transparent through wide-ranging and timely communications and by providing ample ways to contribute input.
  • Encourage reflection and mutual learning, supported by internal and external environmental scanning and data from existing reports and data sources.
  • Be bold, courageous and aspirational, naming and challenging systemic and cultural barriers to equity, diversity and inclusion, and focusing on transformational change and impact.
  • Align the strategic planning process and outcomes to Western’s strategic plan.

HOW can I get involved in the strategic planning process?

We are excited to engage the hearts and minds of Western students, staff, faculty and alumni to develop the EDI Strategic plan.  This plan will shape Western’s future and place in the world, so we need to hear from everyone.  There are multiple ways for you to share your input in the coming months, including:

Image displaying ways to be involved. Top (Left to Right): Focus Groups, Surveys - Large Scale and Mini, Social Media. Bottom (Left to Right): Community Forums, Submissions.

Watch for website, social and email announcements about upcoming engagement dates.  We look forward to hearing your ideas, hopes and insights

Data Collection and Distribution Questions

Why do I need to self-identify?

Self-identification is a critical tool that allow students, staff and faculty to share their diversity data anonymously and confidentially with Western University. When analyzing the survey results, the identification information will help us to better understand the data and to identify barriers to EDI and opportunities for improvement at Western. We can then implement strategies towards building a more equitable and inclusive Western community and combatting all forms of discrimination.

Do I have to answer all questions?

Although we hope that respondents will answer all our questions, you can skip questions or select the “I prefer not to answer option" in surveys as well as let the moderator know in focus groups that you do not wish to answer the question.

Is my data safe?

The EDI Strategic Plan survey is distributed via Qualtrics, a highly secure survey platform. Qualtrics adheres to the highest technical and security practices and processes to protect the privacy of all data. All notes and answers from focus groups are kept on a secure server at Western following the data governance policies in place at Western.

Who has access to the data?

Survey data will be collected through the Qualtrics survey platform and aggregated summary reports will be generated.  The aggregated summary reports will be accessed and utilized by an independent consulting firm in collaboration with the EDI Steering Committee to inform and develop the Western EDI Strategic Plan.