Building on ongoing progress promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) at the University, Trent has appointed Dr. Rona Jualla van Oudenhoven as the inaugural director of EDI, effective September 2023.
“Trent’s strength lies in our diversity, highlighting broad perspectives and diverse ways of learning, knowing, and discovery. Dr. Jualla van Oudenhoven’s appointment builds on our commitment to human rights, equity, diversity, and inclusion and will amplify our ongoing initiatives in EDI,” said Stephanie Williams, vice president of Human Resources at Trent. “The committee was impressed with Rona’s depth of knowledge and experience in implementing equity, diversity, and inclusion strategic plans across campuses. She demonstrated a compelling ability and commitment to creating and supporting an inclusive and safe campus.”
As director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Dr. Jualla van Oudenhoven will play a central role in all areas of human rights, equity, and accessibility across Trent’s campuses in Peterborough and Durham. She will provide strategic leadership in developing and implementing EDI policies, programs, practices, and a university-wide EDI action plan. She will play a key role in moving the recommendations of the University’s Anti-Racism Task Force and the Joint Report with the Trent University Faculty Association on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigeneity forward in collaboration with departments across campus.
“EDI can be very complex work, and at the same time, we can keep the underlying philosophy of equity for all quite simple, as a basic rights entitlement for everyone,” said Dr. Jualla van Oudenhoven upon her appointment. “In fact, the measure of any institution, person, or entity is visible in how we treat our most marginalized groups. This is EDI advocacy.”
Dr. Jualla van Oudenhoven is a passionate leader in equity, diversity and inclusion, with extensive experience at postsecondary institutions in Canada and around the world. She is currently the chief diversity officer at Radboud Universiteit in Nijmegen, Netherlands. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of West Indies with undergraduate specializations in psychology, management, and higher education. Her doctoral research focused on violence studies and rights-based approaches to addressing inequities, forming a natural backdrop for her EDI work. She continued her professional development achieving certifications in project management, coaching, human rights theory and practice, and restorative justice, and is a Canadian-certified inclusion practitioner.
This inaugural appointment is part of the University’s ongoing commitment and comprehensive work to support equity, diversity and inclusion on Trent’s campuses. Other initiatives have included reviews of policies and procedures, an expansion of academic programming and EDI committees across the University, enhanced student support initiatives, advances in our Indigenization strategy, and the exploration of fundraising opportunities and community partnerships. A few of the specific accomplishments Trent University has made to date on EDI and anti-racism commitments include: mandatory EDI and bias training for individuals on personnel committees; new appointments of racialized faculty; new academic programming including specializations in Racial and Social Justice, and Global Migration and Refugee Studies; the establishment of equity committees within academic units; expanded peer support programs and the Multifaith Network; updated communications guidelines formalizing an approach for gender neutral language; and the creation of a new BIPOC scholarship through the Trent Fund. In addition, Trent is now completing the fifth year of its Indigenous Course Requirement and continues to be one of only three universities in Canada requiring all students to take an Indigenous course during their degree studies.
About Trent University
One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.
For more information contact:
Nate Lewis, Communications & Media Relations Officer, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x7747 or firstname.lastname@example.org