Appendix 1: Glossary of terms


Interdisciplinary research and learning addresses subject matter and/or employs methodologies from more than one discipline. In its most developed form, interdisciplinary scholarship presents new and transformative theoretical perspectives resulting from a genuine integration of a multiplicity of disciplinary information and approaches. The Faculty of Arts engages with interdisciplinarity on many different fronts and in many different forms. In the context of this document, ‘interdisciplinarity’ may be seen as an umbrella term that embraces also activities considered multidisciplinary, cross-disciplinary, and transdisciplinary — within our own faculty, with members of other Waterloo faculties, and at other institutions.

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Social impact

Social impact can result from research and learning that directly or indirectly benefits people and societies. Social impacts from the Faculty of Arts are broad and can include advancements in: economies and prosperity; public policy; communication and education; creative and cultural expression; individual and community well-being, both physical and mental; organizational systems; accountability; justice, equity, and other areas.

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Social justice

Social justice implies work that prioritizes addressing and rectifying disadvantage and marginalization experienced by groups and individuals. For example, this work might focus on ability, neurodiversity, gender, and/or race issues. We recognize and value that there are a broad range of views within the Arts community regarding the goals of social justice and approaches to promote those goals. Within this plan, connection and collaboration equally imply principles of equity, diversity, and inclusivity. An overarching goal of this plan is to carry out work that contributes to anti-racism, decolonization, and combating other forms of systemic and personal discrimination within our own institution and well beyond.

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Student agency

Student agency refers to a general principle of supporting and assisting our students in developing a sense of personal responsibility and enabling them to make mindful choices for themselves in their education, their work life, and their personal life. Within this plan, we aim to foster such agency both through encouraging flexibility and choice and through the provision of a supportive and safe environment.

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Sustainability within Arts research and learning encompasses social, economic, and environmental concerns both locally and globally. Work within Arts does or can align with most of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We also refer to sustainable practices in the faculty’s organization, administration, and delivery of our programs.

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NEXT: Appendix 2 Strategic Plan Task Force and Working Groups

Graduate Emily Radliffe, dressed in a flowing orange gown, stands next to the Faculty of Arts banner