In spring 2021, an EDI Task Force was established in response to the global anti-Black racism protests, incidents of systemic racism in Canada, and calls within the UBC Psychology community for immediate, concrete and meaningful change.

The Task Force published a comprehensive report with over 45 recommendations to advance equity, diversity, inclusion and related priorities in our department.

The report offers the following recommendations:

Psychology faculty members voted to approve the recommendations in the EDI Task Force Report in fall 2021. The department aims to implement these recommendations strategically across a 5-year period initially, with annual internal reviews and a 5-year external review.

PSYCHOLOGY EDI Task Force Recommendations by the Numbers
group

16 recommendations regarding faculty hiring

accessibility

25 recommendations for inclusivity in our department

visibility

4 recommendations to monitor our progress

A. Faculty Hiring Recommendations

A1. Increasing Racial Diversity of Those who Apply

 

Recommendations

Progress

Hiring 1: Preferential Search
Adopt a preferential search model for the next hire in each area of the department, whereby members of under-represented demographic groups (especially Indigenous and Black, then racialized) are considered ahead of the general pool.
In progress
Hiring 2: Commitment to EDI in Job Ad
Revise job ads to articulate a more meaningful and explicit commitment to overcoming long-term systematic problems that have kept underrepresented scholars out of traditional academic positions.
In progress
Hiring 3: Reach of Job Ad
Advertise faculty positions in a way that reaches more applicants from underrepresented demographic groups.
In progress
Hiring 4: Track Demographics of Applicants
Formally evaluate the demographic information of the applicant pool, with the ideal long-term target for the applications we receive being the demographics of the recent PhD graduates in psychology.
In progress
Hiring 5: Opening Jobs to PhDs in Other Disciplines
Consider opening job applications to candidates who have completed doctoral degrees in neighboring disciplines.
Not yet applicable
Hiring 6: Re-evaluate Adopting Limited Search Model
Future strategic hiring plans discuss whether to adopt a limited search model (restricting applicants to under-represented demographic groups).
Not yet applicable

A2. Keeping Diverse Applicants under Consideration

 

Recommendations

Progress

Hiring 7: Orientation to Initial Screenings
Approach initial screenings with an orientation to remove applicants who do not meet a minimum standard as opposed to an orientation to search for the most exciting or top applicants.
Fall 2022
Hiring 8: Number of Thorough Reviewers
Have each application thoroughly reviewed by as many different people as is feasible (at minimum, two reviewers per applicant).
Fall 2022
Hiring 9: Track Demographics of Long, Short, and Interview Lists
Compare the racial demographics of the applicant pool to the distribution on the long lists, short lists, and interview lists (and re-evaluate these lists where needed).
Fall 2022
Hiring 10: Additional Reviewer for Racialized Applicants
An extra reviewer goes over each racialized applicant in the pool, paying particular attention to every racialized applicant who was not included at each cut.
Fall 2022
Hiring 11: Number of Candidates Interviewed
Increase the number of candidates who are interviewed so as to keep more racially diverse applicants in consideration.
Fall 2022

A3. Evaluating Applicants in the Context of EDI

 

Recommendations

Progress

Hiring 12: EDI Champion
Elect an "EDI Champion" within the Search Committee whose role is to ensure that EDI goals and considerations are discussed throughout the applicant evaluation process, and to offer insights into the EDI contributions of candidates.
Fall 2022
Hiring 13: EDI Statement Instructions in Job Ad
Change the wording of the EDI statement prompt in the job ad to communicate that a broader type of experiences and future research plans are applicable to our EDI goals.
In progress
Hiring 14: Evaluate Candidates’ EDI Contribution
Explicitly review applicants’ EDI contribution and include a question about this in the department-wide candidate evaluation survey.
Fall 2022
Hiring 15: Reconsider “Fit”
A focus on current “fit” may inadvertently push away good candidates, as those who will bring more diversity to a department may appear to “fit” less well with the existing department structure.
Fall 2022
Hiring 16: Evaluate Candidate Materials in Context of EDI
Review and discuss the recommended guidelines for evaluating each document in the applicant’s dossier (cover letter, CV, research statement/reprints, teaching statement, recommendation letters) within the context of EDI.
Fall 2022

B. Inclusion Recommendations

B1. Enhanced EDI Leadership and Personnel

 

Recommendations

Progress

Inclusion 1: EDI Committee Chair elevated to Associate Head EDI
Elevate the position of EDI Committee Chair to the status of Associate Head of EDI, including a course release, to enable the person in this position to manage a broader range of programs.
Starting Fall 2022
Complete: July 1, 2022
Inclusion 2: EDI Programming Assistant Position
Create a new full time staff position for an EDI Programming Assistant to support the administrative and financial aspects of new and expanded EDI programming and resources.
Starting May 2022
Inclusion 3: Expanding the EDI Committee
Double the size of the Department’s EDI Committee so that all areas have faculty representation on the committee, broadly distributing responsibility for EDI throughout the department.
Starting Feb 2022
Meet the committee
Inclusion 4: Paid EDI Graduate Consultants
Offer a within-department consultation service, loosely modelled after the Statistical Consultation service, for department members who want individualized support in implementation of EDI goals and practices in research, teaching, and other roles.
Related goals and actions:
EDI Consultation Working Group
Starting April 2022

B2. Enhanced EDI Training and Resources

 

Recommendations

Progress

Inclusion 5: Monthly EDI Workshop Series
Launch a new monthly EDI Workshop containing programming to increase our opportunity for training, discussion, and sharing research relevant to EDI in our department.
Related goals and actions:
EDI Dialogue & Learning Working Group
In progress
July 25, 2022
Oct 27 & Nov 1, 2022
Inclusion 6: Revamping Content on the Departmental Website
Overhaul the Departmental Website to make resources and information relevant to EDI more widely accessible to interested and potential members of our department.
Related goals and actions:
EDI Consultation Working Group
EDI Website & Resources Working Group
Ongoing
UBC Psychology EDI Website UXR Summary Report 2022

UBC Psychology EDI Resources WG UXR Summary Report 2022
Inclusion 7: JEDI Shares of Evidence-Based Action
Providing ongoing access to evidence-based research on Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) and recommendations through brief infographics broadly distributed in the department.
Related goals and actions:
EDI Dialogue & Learning Working Group
Not started

B3. Decolonizing Curriculum

 

Recommendations

Progress

Inclusion 8: CTLT Anti-Racism and Inclusive Teaching Sessions
Provide easy access to regular training workshops to equip instructors with strategies to decolonize their courses and create inclusive classrooms.
Related goals and actions:
EDI Consultation Working Group
EDI Dialogue & Learning Working Group
In progress
Inclusion 9: Webpage to Advertise EDI-Focused Courses
Advertise courses offered by the psychology department with an EDI-focus on the departmental website.
Not started
Inclusion 10: EDI Statement and Land Acknowledgement in Syllabi
Include a land acknowledgement in course syllabi as well as a statement aimed to promote inclusion in the classroom.
Related goals and actions:
EDI Consultation Working Group
Starting Jan 2022
Inclusion 11: All Areas Review EDI in Graduate Training
Encourage all research areas to review their graduate training with the goal of diversifying the topics, methods, and researchers to which our students are exposed.
Related goals and actions:
EDI Consultation Working Group
EDI Mentorship Working Group
Starting Jan 2022
Inclusion 12: Place and Power Course
Develop a new, lower-level and/or upper division undergraduate course that provides students a decolonized treatment of psychology.
Not started
Inclusion 13: Graduate Minor in Psychology of Diversity
Establish a working group to investigate the feasibility and design of a new graduate minor in the Psychology of Diversity.
Not started

B4. Diversifying Research

 

Recommendations

Progress

Inclusion 14: Access to Resources on Diversity Research
Create a Diversifying Research page on our Departmental website which includes links to existing online training opportunities, funding opportunities, and existing EDI-relevant research programs for researchers seeking greater competence or awareness of EDI issues.
Related goals and actions:
EDI Consultation Working Group
EDI Website & Resources Working Group
In progress
EDI Research
EDI Resources
Inclusion 15: Funding for Diversity Research
Create new and leverage existing funding opportunities aimed at increased research on EDI topics and/or research in traditionally marginalized communities at the local, national, and international context.
Starting March 2022
Inclusion 16: Funding More Diverse Graduate Student Researchers
Establish new fellowships that will help attract and support more graduate students of diverse backgrounds.
Related goals and actions:
EDI Dialogue & Learning Working Group
EDI Funding Working Group
EDI Mentorship Working Group
Starting Fall 2022
Inclusion 17: Diversifying Research Exchange Program
Create a funding pool or program that would be reserved for racialized visiting students from other universities or exchange programs between students in the department and racialized students from other universities.
Related goals and actions:
EDI Mentorship Working Group
Not started
Inclusion 18: Centralized RAship Application Portal
Create a centralized Research Assistant (RA) application portal, to allow students to see the list of labs that are currently recruiting and apply to them directly.
Completed Fall 2022

B5. Community Partnerships for Capacity Building

 

Recommendations

Progress

Inclusion 19: Community Advisory Board
Establish a Community Advisory Board to advise the Department Head and Associate Heads on departmental community engagement.
Not started
Inclusion 20: Community-Engaged Undergraduate Courses
Create or adapt existing courses to include community engagement activities or assignments, including service learning courses and/or the eventual development of a field school.
Not started
Inclusion 21: Funding More Diverse Incentives and Support for Community Partnerships
Incentivize and support community-engaged partnerships through workshops, networks of scholars, administrative support, and all equity-related decisions.
Related goals and actions:
EDI Mentorship Working Group
Not started

B6. EDI Funding

 

Recommendations

Progress

Inclusion 22: UBC Psychology Department Diversity Fund
Establish a new Departmental Diversity Fund that will help fund several initiatives described in this report and provide an annual operational budget for the EDI Committee of $30,000.
Related goals and actions:
EDI Funding Working Group
Ongoing
Psychology Inclusive Excellence Student Fund

Inclusion 23: Diversity Fundraiser with Alumni and Faculty
Launch a fundraiser with the goal of raising an additional $200,000 to support EDI initiatives over the next 2-3 years.
Related goals and actions:
EDI Funding Working Group
Starting March 2022
Inclusion 24: Working Group to Set Funding Initiatives
Establish a working group to set funding priorities and programs that will allocate funds from the new Departmental Diversity Fund and the Diversity Fundraiser.
Related goals and actions:
EDI Funding Working Group
Starting March 2022
Inclusion 25: EDI Endowment with Donor Funding
Create plans to establish a permanent endowment equivalent to the Quinn Endowment ($1.6 million) that would provide a self-sustaining source of funding for ongoing EDI efforts.
Not started

C. Progress Monitoring & Accountability Recommendations

C. Progress Monitoring & Accountability Recommendations

 

Recommendations

Progress

Progress Monitoring 1: Annual Internal Evaluation
Establish a regular annual assessment of progress on EDI goals within the department, and creation of an annual EDI report for review by department leadership and stakeholders, and share progress and timelines for EDI goals on the department website.
Related goals and actions:
EDI Progress Monitoring Working Group
In progress
Progress Monitoring 2: Periodic External Evaluation
Hire an outside EDI consultant once every 5 years to evaluate the department’s progress toward EDI goals.
Not yet applicable
Progress Monitoring 3: Working Group on Equity
Create a working group to evaluate and make recommendations for merit evaluation, space allocation, and promotion and tenure for faculty, to align with departmental EDI goals.
Not started
Progress Monitoring 4: Departmental Complaint Process
Create a working group to develop a departmental complaint process to receive and respond to reports of EDI-related incidents.
Related goals and actions:
Website & Resources Working Group
Not started

Task Force Members

The EDI Task Force consisted of 16 members, selected to represent a broad cross section of areas and roles within our department, including faculty, staff, and students.

Hiring Sub-Committee
Bana Ashour (Former Staff)
Natalie Brown (Graduate Student)
Denitza Dramkin (Graduate Student)
Amori Mikami (Co-Chair and Faculty)
Ara Norenzayan (Faculty)
Darko Odic (Faculty)
Azim Shariff (Faculty)
Grace Truong (Faculty)

Inclusion Sub-Committee
Nina Abizadeh (Former Staff)
Sunaina Assanand (Faculty)
Silvain Dang (Graduate Student)
Lucy De Souza (Graduate Student)
Travis Hodges (Postdoctoral Fellow)
Eric Kim (Faculty)
Toni Schmader (Co-Chair and Faculty)
Victoria Wardell (Graduate Student)

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