Area of Selection for the Vice-Principal Academic (VPA) position (2022)


This Briefing note provides background information on the decision to limit the area of selection for the VPA position to those belonging to one of the four federally designated groups.


Diversity within an institution is recognized as essential, to strengthen an enriched and inclusive work environment. The Report on Employment Equity and Diversity in the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) published in May 2022 has highlighted the underrepresentation of all designated groups [Ref A] affecting different sections (from technical fields to management). The report also emphasized deeply embedded barriers to employment equity representation goals, affecting recruitment, career advancement, retention, and culture [Ref B].

In Spring 2022, an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) action plan [Ref C] was published for the Royal Military College of Canada. This action plan was developed based in part on an environmental scan and survey that was tailored to the members of the UT group.

The Action Plan was recently (Spring 2022) validated by the Canada Research Chair Program. The RMC Action Plan document was prefaced and endorsed by the Commandant, the Principal and the Vice-Principal Research. The implementation of this action plan emphasizes RMC’s commitment to inclusion and advancement, and success of the four federally designated groups (Women; Indigenous persons; persons with disabilities; and members of visible minorities) and other equity seeking traditionally disadvantaged groups within our University, which will continue to remain a priority. In addition, this action plan is in line with the need for a diverse workforce highlighted in the recent final Report of the Independent External Comprehensive Review (IECR) of DND/CAF [Ref D]. In her analysis, former Supreme Court Justice Arbour, emphasized that greater diversity must be achieved in order to successfully affect the necessary change of culture. This need for a diverse workforce is reflected in the employment equity goals of the CAF [Ref E], of DND [Ref F] as well as in the RMC EDI action plan [Ref C].

Among the objectives detailed in the RMC EDI action plan, is a strategy to align RMC’s strategic plans, administrative processes (including hiring, nominations and career progression), and ongoing environmental reviews in a synergetic fashion to accomplish EDI goals. Furthermore, the need to embed EDI considerations in the learning culture at RMC and broaden faculty and management’s awareness regarding EDI challenges and opportunities was also highlighted.

RMC'S EDI Action Plan

In the spring of 2022, an EDI action plan was approved by the Canada Research Chair Program as developed by the Royal Military College of Canada. This EDI action plan was based on the following key points:

  • an employment systems review
  • a comparative review provided for all current chairholders
  • an environmental scan
  • an analysis of RMC’s unique opportunities and challenge

The action plan was developed for all members of the UT group and will be expanded in 2023 to include all members of the academic wing. The different reviews highlighted challenges at RMC in terms of EDI and objectives were developed to correct or mitigate these issues. The objectives are specific, measurable, aligned with the desired outcome, realistic and timely. Each objective is linked to an indicator that will allow to evaluate progress in reaching the goals of the specific objective as detailed in the EDI action plan.

Objective 3 specifically states: “Embed EDI considerations in the learning culture at RMC and broaden faculty and management’s awareness regarding EDI challenges and opportunities.”

The indicator linked to this objective focuses on “Increased representation of members of the FDGs, other equity seeking groups, or members representing the interest of above groups at every organizational level (within committees, departments, faculties, heads of departments and management), meeting the CRC and government goals.”

In line with this objective-associated indicator, a study was conducted in the early Fall of 2022 by the Interim Principal on the representation of members of the FDGs at the management level in the past 15 years. Due to the small numbers (actual numbers of groups composed of 5 or less members and associated percentages) are not reported following best practices and in alignment with the Privacy Act.

Positions in management were defined as:

  • Principal
  • Vice-Principal AcademicNote *
  • Vice-Principal ResearchNote *
  • Dean of Social Sciences and Humanities (or Arts)
  • Dean of Science
  • Dean of Engineering
  • Dean of Graduate StudiesNote *
  • Dean of the Division of Continuing StudiesNote *

Table1 provides information from the early Fall 2022 study on representation at the management level as well as the goals and targets for the RMC EDI action plan (established using the CRC equity target-setting tool), DND [Ref G] and CAF [Ref G] for the 4 FDGs.

Table 1 – Goals and Targets for EDI Action plan as well as Management Levels
Designated Group CRC target DND goals CAF goals Management RMC
Women 29% 44.0% 25.1% Below goals/targets
Indigenous peoples 1% 4.2% 3.5% Data not available
Persons with disabilities 4% 9.0% - Data not available
Visible minorities 15% 11.4% 11.8% Below goals/targets

The data obtained revealed a gap at the Management level at RMC between actual representation and the goals of DND in terms of representation of women and members of visible minorities.

In accordance with the RMC objectives for the EDI action plan, an active approach should be used to increase representation of the 4 FDGs at the management level. Only limited data was available for 2 of the 4 FDGs, therefore it is recommended to include all these groups in the active approach to increase representation. The assignments at the management level range from 3 to 8 years in terms of duration of assignments and a delay in action would translate to a lack of diversity and inclusivity at the management level and would impede RMC’s vision for an equitable, diverse and inclusive work and research environment.


The employment equity goals of the CAF, of DND and of the RMC EDI action plan are not reflected at the management level at RMC. This equity gap needs to be addressed in order to welcome different perspectives and experiences to fulfill our commitment towards an enriched and inclusive work environment.

The crucial role of a diverse and inclusive work environment is at the heart of a university and to actively promote diversity through representation at the management level is consistent with actions taken by other Canadian universities following the “Inclusive Excellence Principles” adopted by Universities Canada [Ref H]. Both RMC and DND have endorsed the Dimension Charter [Ref I] and are committed to all the principles of the charter. In addition, unconscious bias training and coaching and more recently the equity and anti-oppression workshops presented at RMC have underlined the need for an active approach in creating senior leadership teams.

Prepared by: Dr. Cécile Malardier-Jugroot (Interim Principal)
Date: 30 Dec 2022

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