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Information Topics

In this section you will find information on a range of topics relevant to Smith’s EDII efforts including: Smith’s overall approach to advancing EDII; school process and systems such as Commerce admissions, financial aid, sexual violence prevention and response, student support and mental health resources, and staff and faculty hiring; and background on school data and demographics; and the student government.

Smith’s Approach to Progress on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Indigenization (EDII)

Smith School of Business has made it a strategic priority to expand its EDII initiatives to address implicit and systemic barriers to access, inclusion and thriving in all aspects of the School’s operations. The stories shared recently by Smith students and alumni about their experiences of inequity, exclusion and racism during their school experience cannot and will not be ignored.

Smith is committed to taking action and making meaningful and transformative changes necessary to cultivate an exceptional academic and work environment. Without true diversity and inclusion, we cannot be a world-class business school.

The elements to be addressed include: in-classroom atmosphere and instructional content; respectful interactions; student government, clubs and events; accessibility of degree programs (outreach, admissions processes, and financial aid); inclusivity and equity for in-program students; diversity of faculty members and staff; the responsibility of members of the Smith community to advance EDII; and physical and virtual spaces that afford a sense of belonging.

There is much work to be done. Superficial or performative actions will not result in progress. It is thoughtful approaches, intentionality and execution of planned actions that will drive short, medium and long-term change with measurable impact. This is Smith’s strategy.

In addition to the oversight and existing governance structures of the University Senate and the Board of Trustees, the Dean established the Smith EDII Task Force and a working group structure to accelerate progress on a number of fronts and amplify the participation of students, staff, faculty and alumni. Currently there are five working groups and they are focused on:

  • Physical spaces (public spaces in Goodes Hall in Kingston and SmithToronto), virtual spaces (e.g. the Smith web site, student portals) and safe spaces;
  • Incorporating EDII into teaching and learning;
  • Research and thought leadership in EDII;
  • Policy, process and practice reform;
  • Advancement and alumni engagement in EDII initiatives.

More working groups may be established as required.

Working groups draw on student, faculty, staff, and alumni for membership. Further, the working groups operate consultatively and collaboratively welcoming and inviting others to participate and share their experiences and perspectives.

Each working group addresses their respective area of focus through an EDII lens, reviews relevant university reports and existing actions plans, identifies issues and how they may be resolved. Recommendations require concrete action plans with timelines, defined performance indicators and metrics. This work is overseen and coordinated by the Task Force.

The plans and progress of the Task Force and working groups are being made public via our EDII web site.