Background and Mandate


The Faculty of Forestry is committed to the creation and maintenance of an inclusive and diverse learning, research and work environment that exemplifies principles of equity across the faculty.  The Faculty has an Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion (currently Professor Hisham Zerriffi). The role of the Associate Dean is both to help the faculty meet its aspirations on EDI but also to handle specific cases of concern around EDI that may arise.  The Faculty also has a committed group of students, staff and faculty that engage in various activities to promote community cohesion, communication, education, and celebration of EDI within the faculty (the “Diversity Crew”). However, until now, the faculty has not had a body dedicated to considering longer-term strategic and structural matters within the faculty related to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.  That has been largely left to the Associate Dean, in addition to their other duties.  At the suggestion of the Associate Dean, the Senior Management Team of the Faculty of Forestry agreed to form an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Council to fill the gap in meeting the faculty’s goals around EDI.


The mandate of the Faculty of Forestry Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Council will be to advise the Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion and the Senior Management Team regarding long-range and strategic planning. This includes but is not limited to three broad sets of activities:

  • Undertake its own initiatives (including surveys and consultations) to identify areas in which the Faculty can improve on its activities and bring those to the Associate Dean and Senior Management Team.
  • Providing feedback and advice on equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives proposed by the Associate Dean.
  • Provide feedback and advice on how the Faculty should respond to and implement University level initiatives (e.g. the Inclusion Action Plan).

As noted above, the mandate of the Council is explicitly not to handle specific cases of concern nor individual disciplinary or investigatory actions. There are existing and more appropriate channels for those wishing to raise these types of concerns. It is, however, within the mandate of the council to consider the underlying causes for these types of concerns to arise and to recommend a general course of action to prevent future concerns of a similar nature.

Membership of the Council will represent, as best as possible, the diversity of the Faculty and include representation of faculty, staff, undergraduate and graduate students with a goal of gaining new perspectives from individuals not currently in management or specific EDI roles. Members will serve two-year terms on a rotating basis, with monthly (or quarterly) meetings.