McMaster University AVP Equity and Inclusion Dr. Arig al Shaibah appointed to same role at UBC

Dr. Arig al Shaibah will serve as UBC’s new associate vice-president (AVP) Equity and Inclusion starting July 1.

President Santa Ono, UBC Vancouver Provost and VP Academic pro tem Gage Averill and UBC Okanagan Provost and VP Academic pro tem Rehan Sadiq announced her appointment in a UBCBulletin sent to university leadership earlier today.

“Over the last 15 years, Dr. al Shaibah has maintained her commitment to addressing systemic inequities, promoting intercultural dialogue, and fostering accessible, inclusive, and dignified learning and working spaces where campus community members can thrive,” they wrote.

Al Shaibah currently serves as the AVP Equity and Inclusion at McMaster University.

Following the departure of former AVP Equity and Inclusion Dr. Sara-Jane Finlay in November 2021, the Equity and Inclusion Office (EIO) was expected to undergo structural changes, including the creation of a new Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) role to assist with the office’s mandate.

In a November 2021 interview with The Ubyssey, interim AVP Equity and Inclusion Dr. Margaret Moss said the CDO would become the head of the EIO, meaning her position as AVP would “go away by the end of the summer.”

In a phone call with The Ubyssey, Matthew Ramsey, director of university affairs at UBC Media Relations, said the university was no longer considering replacing the AVP position with the CDO. "The AVP is the Chief Diversity Officer," he said.

Ramsey also said al Shaibah was selected by a search committee — which included students — as outlined in university Policy AP-15.

Ono, Averill and Sadiq added that al Shaibah will work on implementing recommendations from the Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence task force — which were released in April of this year — and the university’s Inclusion Action Plan.

“We look forward to working with Dr. al Shaibah, as she brings broad and deep experiences in advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion in community and in higher education,” they wrote.

This article was updated at 5:34 p.m. on June 13 to include an updated comment from Matthew Ramsey. A previous version included an email from Ramsey.

Senior Staff Writer

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