The Equity Committee

The Equity Committee is concerned with equity issues at Waterloo, in line with the protected grounds of Ontario’s Human Rights Code

The committee engages in education and advocacy activities to promote equity on campus, maintains a watching brief on equity issues, and makes recommendations to the Faculty Association Board of Directors about policy changes to pursue.

Inquiries may be directed to Mario Boido, committee chair, or to the FAUW office.

Current work

In 2022–23, the Equity Committee is focused on supporting new faculty hired through the Black Excellence and Indigenous Excellence 'cluster hire' initiatives.

Since 2021, the committee has worked with the Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Anti-racism (EDI-R) to provide Equitable Recruitment and Selection Training to hiring committees.

Equity Committee reports

The Equity Committee provides feedback on a range of University policies, procedures, and initiatives, both directly and through the Faculty Association.

Student course perceptions

The Equity Committee [SWEC at the time] has made specific recommendations to help address concerns highlighted in the Course Evaluation Project Team (CEPT) report as well as additional concerns raised by the campus community. Our primary concerns focus on bias.

EC response to the Course Evaluation Project Team's draft report (PDF) – January 16, 2017

Salary anomalies

The Equity Committee commends excellent work by the salary anomalies working group and recommends further actions to address systemic bias.

On the Salary Anomalies Report and Response (PDF)  – January 6, 2017

Event reports

Equity & Inclusivity Awards

The Equity & Inclusivity Award is a celebration of excellence in equity, inclusivity, and diversity. Inaugurated in 2012, the Equity & Inclusivity Award recognizes a member, group, or affiliate of the University of Waterloo community. The award is meant to further support individuals or groups who have demonstrated an exemplary commitment to improving equity, inclusivity, and/or diversity at the University of Waterloo. 

Award criteria

  1. Nominees will normally be an individual, group, or unit associated with the University of Waterloo (Waterloo) or the Affiliated and Federated Institutions of Waterloo (AFIW). It may occasionally be appropriate to consider nominees who, although not formally affiliated with the University, have nonetheless made a demonstrable impact on equity, inclusivity, and/or diversity at Waterloo.
  2. Nominees will have shown an exemplary commitment to improving the lives of equity-seeking groups on campus. The impact of their efforts or actions should be demonstrable and shareable. These efforts or actions could be in, but are not restricted to, the following areas: outstanding academic or administrative service; policy development or improvements; education or awareness-raising efforts; political, legal, or collective bargaining advancements; relevant scholarship; and organizational leadership.
  3. Current members of the Equity Committee will not be considered.

Award guidelines

  1. The award will normally only be awarded once to an individual, group, or unit.
  2. The award will normally be awarded on an annual basis.
  3. The nominations will be adjudicated by an arms-length subcommittee of the FAUW Equity Committee struck for that purpose.
  4. Nominations, once received, will be retained and may be supplemented in future years.
  5. Nomination packages may include the following: a cover letter by the nominator, a C.V. or resume, additional letters of support, and any other evidence deemed relevant by the nominator(s). The committee will not undertake to gather missing or additional material in support of nominations. The onus is on the nominator(s) to submit a complete package.
  6. The award will be announced in the Daily Bulletin and at Senate.
  7. Awardees will receive a gift, to be selected by the award committee.
  8. Recipients will be given the lifetime title of Equity Fellow, in recognition of their ongoing commitment to equity and inclusivity.

How to nominate someone

A call for nominations will be issued each year (normally early in the calendar year), at which point you can send a nomination package in a single PDF file to the chair of the Equity Committee.

What to include:

  • a cover letter that describes the equity, inclusivity and/or diversity work the person or group you're nominating has done, the impact of that work, and how it relates to theaward criteria 
  • a C.V. orrésumé (if applicable) 
  • additional letters of support 
  • any other relevant evidence you'd like to include (e.g., links to news articles or videos, photos, reports, testimonials) 

The strongest nominations are those that clearly demonstrate the impact of the nominee's contributions. Letters of support don't need to be lengthy or formal.

Committee membership

The Equity Committee strives for representation across all faculties and aims to have members who identify as or advocate for underrepresented groups.

You are welcome to contact committee members about the committee's work or equity concerns.

Name Department
Mario Boido (chair) Spanish and Latin American Studies
Clive Forrester English Language and Literature 
Sharon Kirkpatrick School of Public Health Sciences
Amy Li Civil and Environmental Engineering
Elizabeth Meiering Chemistry
Aimée Morrison English Language and Literature
Stephanie Mutch Librarian and Archivists' Association of University of Waterloo
Zelalem Negeri Statistics and Actuarial Science
Zhu (Joe) Qian School of Planning
Rowland Keshena Robinson Political Science
Barbara Schmenk Germanic & Slavic Studies
vacant Renison Association of Academic Staff

Interesting in joining?

Serving on the Equity Committee involves attending monthly meetings from September through June, contributing to one or more committee projects, and providing feedback on issues and initiatives in meetings and via email as they arise.

Members typically join for a renewable two-year term. Calls for new members are posted each spring. You must be a voting member of FAUW to join the committee.

Recent Equity & Inclusivity Award recipients

Inaugurated in 2012 by the Faculty Association’s Equity Committee (then the Status of Women & Equity Committee, or "SWEC"), the Equity & Inclusivity Award recognizes a group, member, or affiliate of the University of Waterloo community whose actions have demonstrated an exemplary commitment to improving equity, inclusivity, and/or diversity at the University of Waterloo. The award has recently shifted to emphasize supporting continued equity work, rather than providing a reward for past work.