Over the summer, we have been carefully considering the University’s next steps on equality, diversity and inclusion. We have also now discussed the matter with Council, our governing body. In addition, we are working with the SU to progress and monitor recommendations from the SU’s anti-racist campus forum report.
As you will recall, following the death of George Floyd, we made a statement as a University, acknowledging that we still have much to do to address issues of racism, inequality and diversity in our own community and wider society. Recognising the importance of tackling racism in particular, we have now agreed to:
- Establish a Race Equality Taskforce which will consider matters relating to staff and students.
- Create and advertise the position of a Head of this taskforce, reporting to the Vice-Chancellor, who will establish and Chair the group once appointed, recognising that this should be inclusive and have as broad as possible a representation from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic members right across all sections of our community.
We have also taken the opportunity to look at equality, diversity and inclusion in our University more broadly, particularly given the intersection of many different factors that may lead to disadvantage or discrimination. Therefore, we will:
- Invest in the leadership capacity for this area of work by creating an Executive Chair post for the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee (EDIC), reporting to the Vice-Chancellor, who will have lead responsibility for the delivery of the University's ED&I commitments, working with relevant teams throughout the University. This committee has representation from both students and staff.
- The Executive Chair will be a member of the University Executive Board, raising the profile of these important issues and enabling them to have a voice at this senior level.
We would like to thank all those who continue to do such important work in this area and in major initiatives such as Athena Swan, including all those involved in the ED&I committee, the SU and student representatives, Georgina Brown and the ED&I team and many other active members of our community. Our hope is that these measures will reinforce, and build on, the hard work done so far.