President's Steering Committee for EDI

President’s Steering Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

1.0 Purpose

The purpose of the President’s Steering Committee (PSC) is to support the advancement of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) initiatives at RRU. Advisory to the President, the PSC will involve members of RRU’s faculty, staff, and executive in the accountability structure for supporting the elimination of systemic barriers that impede the career advancement, recruitment, and retention of underrepresented groups at RRU, within and beyond the research enterprise.

The PSC will guide the work of staff members working to advance EDI; discuss and understand the findings of the data gathered; and help to develop and execute an EDI plan and recommendations specific to RRU. With representation at staff, faculty, and executive levels, the PSC will ensure that there are champions of new training, policies, and procedures related to EDI at RRU at all levels.

The work overseen by the PSC will also be used to revise and expand the existing EDI Action Plan for the Canada Research Chairs Program (CRCP) and focus on developing and supporting institutional understanding and expertise of EDI. 

The purpose of the PSC is to ensure that RRU advances a culture of inclusion in the research enterprise and beyond; to integrate EDI into practice and policy development; and to improve the institution’s EDI standing in order to attract and retain talented, engaged employees and students.

2.0 Strategic Priorities

  • To assess the current environment at RRU as it relates to EDI;
  • To review and enact policies, procedures and training for EDI compatibility, development and potential updates;
  • To assess strategies for the development of EDI in the research enterprise and beyond;
  • To ensure alignment between best practices and the strategic direction of the institution.

3.0 Governance Structure

The PSC represents the cross-departmental interests of the university. The PSC, chaired by the President, shall assist with the fulfillment of specific responsibilities and duties assigned. The PSC shall act in advisory capacity, recommending decisions to the executive. Decisions will be made by quorum as described in section 4.1. A member of Research Services shall act as Secretary to the PSC.

4.0 Composition

Role / Title (alphabetical by role) - 2019-2021 representative

  • Associate Director, Human Resources - Lisa Robinson
  • Associate Vice President Human Resources - Terrie Klotz
  • Director, Research Services - Deborah Zornes
  • Diversity Action Group representative – Donneil McNab
  • Faculty Representative: College of Interdisciplinary Studies - Runa Das
  • Faculty Representative: Faculty of Management - Frances Jørgensen
  • Faculty Representative: Faculty of Management - Ajnesh Prasad
  • Faculty Representative: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences - Frederic Fovet
  • Faculty Representative: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences - Wanda Krause
  • Faculty Representative: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences - Athena Madan
  • Human Resources representative - Pamela MacIntosh-Snell
  • Human Resources representative - Alejandro Campos-Garcia
  • Indigenous Education and Student Services representative - Russ Johnson
  • Manager, Indigenous Engagement - Asma-na-hi Antoine
  • President and Vice-Chancellor - Philip Steenkamp
  • Research Services  - Gwen Hill
  • Secretary: Research Services - Tabitha Rutherford
  • Student Representative - Tutchone Dunfield
  • Vice President Research and International - Pedro Marquez
  • Vice President Communications and Advancement - Susan Gee
  • Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer - Cheryl Eason




















Representatives from Communications and Marketing departments may attend meetings as invited in order to be able to best represent the interests of the PSC, and EDI at RRU in general, in their work.

4.1 Terms of Service

The terms of the President, Vice President Research, International, Marketing and Business Development, Vice President and CFO, Associate Vice President Human Resources, and Director of Research Services shall remain permanent unless the PSC votes otherwise at an annual review and assessment of these terms of reference.

Terms are two years in length and renewable once. With the inaugural establishment of the committee, one half of the initial membership shall have an initial term of three years to ensure continuity of membership. The current representation of faculty members is in keeping with the relative size of the faculties and colleges represented; this is to be reviewed and assessed for required changes annually during the review of these terms of reference.

4.2 Meetings

Meetings will adhere to the PSC EDI Charter of Values and Behaviour.

Meetings will be held a minimum of 4 times per year, with sub-committees meeting as necessary.

A 50%+1 Members will constitute a quorum for approvals.

The agenda and associated materials shall normally be sent to each member of the committee four (4) business days prior to the day of such meeting. Minutes from meetings will normally be circulated within five (5) business days of the meeting.

5.0 Roles and Responsibilities

Each voting member of the PSC is responsible for:

  • attending meetings as best their schedules allow;
  • ensuring that they are prepared to address agenda items at meetings;
  • contributing meaningfully to the purposes of the PSC;
  • championing EDI advancement within their own networks and beyond;
  • participating in sub-committees of interest dedicated to specific action items; and,
  • adhering to the Ways of Being document (See Appendix A).

6.0 Strategic and Business Planning

The work of the PSC connects to the following anchors of the 5-Year Business Plan.


Workplace of Choice – an engaged, inclusive and caring workplace that supports professional and personal success and effectively advances Royal Roads’ strategic objectives.

Diversity – a university committed to appreciating, acknowledging and celebrating the diversity of its students, faculty and staff


Strong Reputation – a university strongly supported by and engaged with its students, alumni, donors, government, business and other partners and communities it serves.

7.0 Accountability

The PSC shall review the Committee’s terms of reference on an annual basis.

8.0 Risk Assessment

The PSC will assess the risks to which the EDI initiative is exposed and provide its input to the President for review.

9.0 Confidentiality

All deliberations of the Committee, and all records, material and information pertaining to the university obtained by a member of the Committee shall be considered confidential. Committee members shall maintain the confidentially of such deliberations, and shall safeguard such records, material and information from improper access.

Appendix A: Ways of Being

Charter of values and behaviours for the President’s Steering Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

Members of the President’s Steering Committee for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at Royal Roads University are committed to creating and supporting an inclusive, non-hierarchical environment in which members are supported in the expression of  ideas, opinions, challenges, and respectful disagreement. When we come together, we will be present[1] in service of the work that needs to be done. We agree that what is shared in the room (personal or sensitive information) stays in the room; but that the work we do will be shared with our networks in order to champion equity, diversity and inclusion across the RRU campus.

Each member of the PSC EDI commits to the values and associated behaviours below.

  1. Respect. All members will endeavour to:
  • Recognize and acknowledge traditional lands in each meeting and event related to the committee and its work.
  • Value the different backgrounds, knowledge, strengths and skills of all committee members.
  • Seek to recognize their own biases and challenge their own assumptions at the table.
  • Speak and behave in ways that are polite, constructive, positive and professional.
  • Prepare for meetings in ways that allow the committee to make the most of the time at the table.

  1. Collaboration. All members will endeavour to:
  • Support a ‘permission to fail’ environment that allows for open expression of ideas and innovation.
  • Communicate their needs and challenges clearly.
  • Keep an open mind and embrace potential changes/opportunities.
  • Work together on sub-committee groups to achieve the goals of the PSC EDI.
  • Try to understand other perspectives through genuine curiosity.
  • Leave ego at the door – the committee exists to contribute to the greater good of RRU and the communities we serve.

  1. Transparency. All members will endeavour to:
  • Speak and behave honestly, with kindness and integrity.
  • Share learning and opportunities beyond the committee to their own networks but keep personal or identifiable information confidential.
  • Share what has worked and what has not worked in achieving our goals.

[1] To be present is to leave the demands of deadlines, e-mail, etc. at the door and to give one’s attention to the people in the room.