Diversity and Climate Committee | College of Arts

Diversity and Climate Committee

Announcement of the formation of the Diversity and Climate Committee

Dear Colleagues,

As many of you know, philosophy has, in recent years, come under increasing scrutiny due to concerns about the underrepresentation and status of women and minorities in the profession, and the problematic social and professional practices believed to contribute to this unhappy state of affairs. We know that persistent “climate” problems (as they’ve come to be called) discourage some women and minority students from pursuing philosophy degrees at the undergraduate and graduate level, and from pursuing philosophy as a profession. These issues can also contribute to an unsupportive professional environment for those who remain.

In keeping with progressive efforts being made throughout the discipline to rectify these issues, I am pleased to announce that the Department of Philosophy is striking a new standing committee: the Diversity and Climate Committee (DCC). This committee will be dedicated to addressing a broad range of issues connected to diversity and climate, and will work towards maintaining an environment of inclusiveness, equality, and respect for all.

More specifically, the DCC will work towards the following goals:

  1. Gathering information, consulting, and providing education on professional climate and diversity issues;
  2. Executing a department-wide survey;
  3. Generating a resource page on our department website for faculty, staff, and students to access up-to-date information on climate and diversity issues in the profession;
  4. Creating a “Best Practices” document for encouraging respect and professional practices within our department and discipline;
  5. Organizing events designed to foster respect and inclusiveness.


And, in the spirit of inclusiveness, anyone interested in being a member of this committee is welcome to put his or her name forward. Nominations should be addressed to me (qua committee chair) in writing (email is fine) by Friday, June 10th. The term of committee membership will be one year and we will begin meeting this summer.

Committee Membership

Chair: Karyn Freedman

Faculty Members: Monique Deveaux, Maya Goldenberg, Karen Houle, Patricia Sheridan; further faculty members TBA

Staff Member: TBA

Two Graduate Student Reps: TBA

One Undergraduate Student Rep: TBA

I am looking forward to working with you all towards making our department a happy, respectful, and inclusive space!

Thanks & best,


Note: if you want to get a sense of the kinds of concerns that we will be addressing, take a look at the annual Climate Survey conducted by Rutgers Philosophy Department. If you want to see what other departments are doing about climate and diversity, follow these links:

Karyn L Freedman

Associate Professor

Department of Philosophy

University of Guelph

Guelph ON N1G 2W1


The University of Guelph resides on the land of the Between the Lakes Treaty No. 3, the territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit. This land is part of the Dish with One Spoon, a covenant between Indigenous nations to live peaceably on the territories of the Great Lakes region. We recognize that today this gathering place is home to many First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and acknowledging them reminds us of our collective responsibility to the land where we learn, live and work.