New Name for Human Rights Office
April 25, 2014 - Campus Bulletin
The University of Guelph’s Human Rights and Equity Office has been renamed as the Office of Diversity and Human Rights (DHR) to reflect more appropriately its mandate and services, says U of G president Alastair Summerlee.
“The ultimate goal is to support a campus culture where all individuals take responsibility for creating an inclusive community, and to ensure that all people are treated with respect,” Summerlee says.
The new name was chosen based on considerable input from across the U of G community. Support was overwhelming to keep “human rights” in the title, as it defines a key function of the office, says director Jane Ngobia.
Community members also liked the word “diversity,” as it celebrates and acknowledges differences, she says. "I would like to thank the U of G community for all the guidance and thoughtful input provided.”
Along with the name change, the office has undergone a review of services and reporting structure. Started in 2012 with an operational review, the renewal process has included surveys, focus groups, forums and calls for written submissions.
“The purpose was to determine how the office can best serve the community across all areas of academic, work and campus life,” Summerlee says.
DHR’s renewed mandate is to build an engaged, inclusive community that supports and advances accessibility, human rights, and employment and educational equity.
The office will respond to individual and collective needs of the community and work proactively to create an inclusive culture, Ngobia says.
Ngobia has been asked to review the operations and committee structure of the unit to ensure not only efficient use of resources but also functional representation on its committees, Summerlee says. This type of approach is aligns with best practice, he says.
New members have also joined the DHR team. They are: human rights advisers Sonja Christopherson and Anny Mary Strojin; office administrator David Gibson; and administrative assistant Marybeth Dietrich.
The DHR office will move to a more central campus location later this year.