Our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion

Photo of Dean Robert Helsley
Posted 2020-07-07

Dear members and friends of the UBC Sauder community,

Recent global events and, sadly, incidents on our own campus, serve as painful and urgent reminders that we must stand united against all forms of racism and inequality. The Black Lives Matter Movement and the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted the burdens placed on Black and Asian members of our community, and we recognize the continued oppression of Indigenous people in our society. We must dismantle barriers for those who have been systemically, historically, and persistently marginalized. A collaborative and respectful culture within which all members of our community can thrive is a key principle in our strategic plan, and one that underpins our educational mission.  We recognize that there is more to be done.

President Ono recently summarized the University’s responsibility to lead change on these issues:

As a public sector institution, we have an obligation and commitment towards the public good; and as a place of learning and engagement, we are uniquely positioned to generate and mobilize knowledge that can transform systems of oppression and support emerging leaders that can help shape not only our campus, but workplaces and communities beyond our campuses.”

Educating responsible leaders who can help organizations develop strategies, policies and operations that support inclusion and reject all forms of racism and inequality is central to our vision as a school. We also recognize that we have an obligation and a commitment to model these practices at UBC Sauder.

Accordingly, we are taking further action to ensure that everyone in our UBC Sauder community feels welcomed, respected and valued. Specifically:

  • We will work to address systemic barriers which may impede qualified racialized faculty and staff from applying to, being hired into, and being retained in leadership roles at UBC Sauder.
  • We will collaborate with our partners across UBC and in the broader community to develop policies, practices and training and identify new initiatives to address racism and inequality.
  • We will continue our work to integrate Indigenous perspectives into business education because we believe that Indigenous identities, culture, values, and ways of knowing should be respected and reflected in our approach to teaching and learning.
  • We will establish an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) committee led by Senior Associate Dean Kai Li. The broad mandate of the committee is to develop initiatives that promote a diverse and inclusive community of faculty, staff and students.

At UBC Sauder, respect for diversity and the dignity of all people is critical to our mission as an educational institution. We firmly believe we must eliminate racism and inequality in all its forms in order for faculty, staff and students of all backgrounds to reach their full potential. We dedicate ourselves to this goal.


Robert Helsley

Dean, UBC Sauder School of Business
Grosvenor Professor of Cities, Business Economics and Public Policy