UPEI Action Plan outlines University’s efforts to build a culture of trust, safety, and inclusion

| University
Image of the cover page of the UPEI Action Plan

The UPEI Board of Governors approved the UPEI Action Plan: Building a Culture of Trust, Safety, and Inclusion at a special meeting of the Board this afternoon.

The five-year action plan is the University’s response to the recommendations outlined in the University of Prince Edward Island Review (UPEI Review) released in June 2023. The independent third-party review, which was requested by the UPEI Board of Governors in 2021 and completed by external law firm Rubin Thomlinson, reviewed UPEI’s policies, procedures, and programs concerning harassment, discrimination, and fair treatment.

The UPEI Action Plan is the result of a highly consultative process carried out by the University over the past 10 months. Consultation included campus townhalls; listening sessions with faculty, staff and students; input and guidance from a diverse community-based Action Plan Advisory Group; public feedback on the preliminary draft action plan; and input from the UPEI Senate and a newly formed Campus Culture Oversight Committee of the UPEI Board of Governors.

“I am grateful to our campus members and those in the broader community for providing the candid input needed to guide the development of the UPEI Action Plan,” said Dr. Greg Keefe, UPEI President and Vice-Chancellor (Interim). “We have learned a great deal over the past 10 months. It has been humbling to witness the courage, compassion, and collective strength of our community. As we work to implement the action plan, we will continue to learn from—and reconcile with—our community members.”

The UPEI Action Plan outlines numerous initiatives that focus on realigning the University’s actions with its institutional values. Central to the plan is the commitment by the UPEI Board of Governors and UPEI’s senior executive team that initiatives will be carried out with enhanced governance, transparency, and accountability. The UPEI Action Plan is structured around four key goals that aim to

  • acknowledge and demonstrate accountability for the issues within the UPEI Review,
  • strengthen UPEI’s governance and leadership structure,
  • improve UPEI’s campus culture, and
  • put in place new policies and processes that focus on preventing and addressing discrimination, harm, and violence at UPEI.

“The UPEI Action Plan outlines our commitment to do better and be accountable for the changes that are needed at UPEI to build trust and safety,” said Shannon MacDonald, Chair of the UPEI Board of Governors. “The Board of Governors is committed to strengthening UPEI’s governance and leadership structure. We recognize the crucial role that improved oversight and accountability play in addressing the recommendations of the UPEI Review and the needs of our campus community.”

The University has already initiated a number of action plan initiatives such as the renewal of the UPEI Board of Governors; a governance review of the Board of Governors; hiring of additional staff to support EDI, Human Rights, Sexual Violence Prevention, and Security Services units on campus, and work to finalize and implement a revised sexual violence policy.

In keeping with its commitment to create a culture of listening, UPEI continues to hold consultation sessions across campus. In addition to the UPEI Board of Governor’s Campus Culture Oversight Committee playing a role in reviewing action plan progress and reporting to the Board on a regular basis, the University will also publicly report on progress through annual audits.

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