Director, Diversity, Equity & Human Rights

MATTER HERE. At Vancouver Island University, your work matters.


Situated on the traditional territory of the Coast Salish peoples, Vancouver Island University is a comprehensive teaching university with 15,000 students across four campuses. VIU proudly fosters student success, strong community connections and international collaborations by providing access to a wide range of programs, from academic undergraduate and master’s to industry-responsive trades and vocational training. VIU is fortunate to host a large number of Indigenous students and provides a learning environment that is accessible, relevant for all learners, celebrates success and acknowledges history and traditions. To be a part of the VIU community is to know what it is like to matter here. We are currently accepting applications for a Director, Diversity, Equity & Human Rights.



Reporting to the General Counsel & University Secretary, the Director of Diversity, Equity and Human Rights (DEHR) is responsible for providing the direction and oversight required to understand, assess, foster, cultivate and promote Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Human Rights as essential elements of the mission of the University.


Through engagement with university leaders, employees, and students, the Director of DEHR will lead the promotion and implementation of equity, diversity, and inclusion policies, programs, and initiatives all with the view to effect systemic change and enhance a university community that is equitable, diverse, and inclusive. These programs, services, and initiatives are designed to enhance the recruitment and successful retention of employees and students from diverse and under-represented groups.


In collaboration with the President's Committee on Diversity, Equity and Human Rights, the incumbent will assist the University to meet the goals outlined in the Human Rights, Personal Harassment and Educational Equity policies, and ensure the principles of EDI are integrated into the University’s strategic, operational and program planning processes and policies. This role will ensure the University is operating in accordance with human rights and equity legislation and any other related legislation.


At the core of the Director’s work, through the strengthening of diversity, education-equity and inclusion policies, procedures and practices, the incumbent will help to foster a positive learning and working environment. This inclusive environment will continually tackle anti-racism, harassment, discrimination and sexual violence while valuing the diversity of its students, employees, and community members.



·       Lead the implementation of the University’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, which encompasses measures and initiatives promoting institutional diversity, educational equity and respect for human rights. This will include guiding the organization through strategic development and transformation to integrate pressing EDI issues (e.g., anti-racism, decolonization, inclusive excellence) into institutional processes for systemic change.

·       Serving as a proactive, creative resource throughout the institution for diversity-related initiatives, activities, materials, and advice, the incumbent will provide education, training and consultation for the University community related to diversity, educational equity and human rights/harassment. This will include advising and empowering employees in leading conversations and building capacity about equity, diversity and inclusion.

·       Monitor and evaluate effectiveness of the University's Educational Equity initiatives and in partnership with faculty members, encourage diversification of curriculum to ensure incorporation of EDI.

·       Administer the University's policies on Human Rights and Personal Harassment. Implement any complaint process by being available for human rights and harassment related consultations with employees and students and resolving concerns informally when possible.

·       Investigate formal complaints made under the Human Rights and Personal Harassment Policies and Procedures.  Oversee the response to complaints, including and formal investigations conducted by the case manager.

·       Take reports and disclosures of sexual misconduct under the Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures.

·       Hiring and supervision of support staff including the case manager and the Coordinator, DEHR as well as the management of associated budget accountabilities.

·       In collaboration with Human Resources and Student Affairs, work with stakeholders representing the employees and students to review and enhance services and programs to support EDI, and to ensure initiatives that are undertaken with impacts on students, staff and faculty correspond with the University’s EDI goals.

·       Serve as a liaison to University committees (including President's Committee on Diversity, Equity and Human Rights) established to address various dimensions of EDI, creating communication channels and fostering dialogue to engage and address EDI issues and opportunities concerning students and employees.

·       Partner with the Office of Indigenous Education and Engagement to facilitate the inclusion of Indigenous perspectives in teaching, learning and research, and to further respectful and meaningful responses to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action.

·       Maintain knowledge of equity, diversity and inclusion-related issues, legislation and best practices, including knowledge of any municipal, provincial, and federal legislation pertaining to accessibility, equity, diversity, inclusion and human rights (such as the BC Human Rights Code and Workers Compensation Act and Occupational Health and Safety Regulations).



Strong preference will be given to applicants who are Black, Indigenous, or People of Colour (BIPOC); Peoples with diverse gender identities or expressions; and/or, People with disabilities. Candidates from these groups, who wish to qualify for preferential consideration, must self-identify in their cover letter as a member or one of more of these groups.


We acknowledge that those doing effective EDI work may build their EDI knowledge, administrative skills, and competencies in a number of ways. We welcome candidates from a breadth of backgrounds, that bring the experiences, competencies and skills outlined below:

·       Master’s degree in a relevant area of study, preferably with a focus on dispute resolution, human rights, diversity, equity and inclusion or an equivalent combination of education and experience and/or LLB or JD from an accredited institution. Minimum five years of professional experience (or several years’ progressive experience) in complex institutional organizations, preferably post-secondary education institutions. An equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered.

·       Knowledge in all areas of human rights, harassment prevention, employment equity and educational equity, with the proven ability to apply the knowledge to meet the needs and challenges of a complex organization.

·       In-depth understanding of equity, reconciliation, diversity and inclusion issues with particular appreciation of the issues faced by women, gender and sexual minorities, Indigenous people and People of Colour.

·       Experience with human rights and harassment complaint resolution processes in a unionized environment, educational and employment equity programs, and training/group facilitation.

·       Proven experience as an organizational leader, successful record of advancing equity, diversity and inclusion within a complex organization by working effectively with diverse groups, including BIPOC peoples, people with diverse gender identities or expressions, and people with disabilities.

·       Demonstrated experience and competence in developing targeted training to diverse groups.

·       Demonstrated knowledge of relevant law and policy including discrimination and harassment on the prohibited grounds of discrimination as set out in the British Columbia Human Rights Code. Demonstrated knowledge of prohibited conduct, such as sexual misconduct and personal harassment and the guidelines for resolving complaints of prohibited discrimination and discriminatory harassment in the context of higher education.

·       Demonstrated knowledge of issues related to race, culture, faith, spirituality, equity and diversity, sexual and gender diversity, the intersectionality of issues of diversity with issues of accessibility, race, religion, culture and other equity and diversity issues.

·       Demonstrated commitment to and passion for human rights as evidenced by ongoing research to identify and implement best practices of equity, diversity and inclusion.

·       Demonstrated ability to effectively manage sensitive employee and student issues and emergent/critical incidents with tact, diplomacy and expertise while protecting confidentiality of information.

·       Ability to articulate thoughts and express ideas effectively using oral, written, visual and non-verbal communication skills, as well as listening to gain understanding.

·       Demonstrated judgment, analysis and decision-making skills.

·       Ability to work autonomously while ensuring collaboration with colleagues across the institution.

·       Ability to cope with multiple demands and resolve priority conflicts while working under time constraints and deadlines.

·       Ability to rally people around a common vision, build consensus and motivate action.

·       Ability to be resilient, flexible and creative in approaching complex problems.



·       Experience working with marginalized and racialized communities on matters of social justice, equity and inclusion.

·       Training in Violence Risk and Threat Assessment, and Sexual Misconduct/Violence Response and Investigation.

·       Specialized training in ADR and conflict resolution methodologies, procedures and practices



VIU employees are eligible for a comprehensive benefit plan for them and their families; ample holiday time; professional development opportunities and a desirable pension plan that takes the worry out of retirement. As part of the VIU campus community, you will work with supportive colleagues within an encouraging environment and be provided with tools and training that inspires and promotes learning. View the full position description and apply online by the posting close date 19-May-2021.


Preference may be given to applicants with at least one of the following:

o   Lived experience with human rights work, which could be through your own identity and/or personal experiences related to human rights.

o   Lived experience as a member of an under-served, under-represented community, addressing complex equity, diversity and human rights issues.


The VIU community shares its collective gratitude with the Snuneymuxw, Quw’utsun, Tla’Amin, Snaw-naw-as and Qualicum First Nation on whose traditional, unceded territories we teach, learn, research, live and share knowledge. With hands raised to the original stewards, we say Hay ch qa’ sii’em sieye’ yu mukw Mustimuxw.