Equity and Inclusion at McMaster – New AVP appointed

Last August, Arig al Shaibah was enjoying summer in Halifax and making plans for the year ahead at Dalhousie. Then she heard that McMaster was searching for someone to fill a new role as the University’s first associate vice-president, Equity and Inclusion. “These types of roles don’t come up very often, especially at universities as respected as McMaster. I knew I had to apply,” said al Shaibah. Her appointment to the role has now been approved by both the Senate and the Board of Governors and takes effect April 1.

Currently the vice-provost (Student Affairs) and acting executive director (Human Rights and Equity Services) at Dalhousie, al Shaibah spent many years at Queen’s where she held a variety of positions, including assistant dean, Student Affairs (Student life and Learning) and (Resident, Diversity and Community Development). She holds a PhD in Cultural and Policy Studies from Queen’s and held adjunct academic appointments at both Queen’s and Dalhousie.

The selection committee led a national search to fill the AVP Equity and Inclusion role and in a unanimous recommendation for her appointment highlighted, “Her obvious commitment to supporting, nurturing and giving voice to marginalized communities, her collegial and collaborative approach to decision-making, and her commitment to advancing issues and ensuring thoughtful and ongoing communication with members of the campus community.”

“Equity, diversity and inclusion are well rooted at McMaster’” said al Shaibah. “What I’m looking forward to is helping the University understand more fully what we are trying to achieve, to make sure we are aware of what we mean by equity, diversity and inclusion, and how we can get there together. The issues involved are often complex but we shouldn’t shy away from that complexity.”

The new role reports to the provost and vice-president Academic David Farrar. “Finding the right mix of experience and expertise has been critically important. The Committee took the time it needed to find a stellar candidate and I look forward to working with Arig to ensure the work we do across the University benefits from her balanced approach and insight into how best to help our community continue to strengthen its culture and ethos of equity and inclusion.”

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