University of Ottawa announces members of Task Force on Respect and Equality

Posted on Monday, March 17, 2014

Caroline Andrew, a distinguished professor and a nationally recognized expert in feminist studies, will chair the University of Ottawa Task Force on Respect and Equality.

University of Ottawa President Allan Rock made the announcement today.

“I am delighted that someone of Professor Andrew's stature and experience has agreed to lead this very important initiative,” said Mr. Rock. “She will enable the task force to approach their mandate in a focused and effective way.”

Professor Andrew's career at the University of Ottawa spans over 30 years and includes serving as dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences from 1997 to 2005. She is currently an emeritus professor at the School of Political Studies and the director of the Centre on Governance. Her lengthy and distinguished research career has focused on urban and feminist studies as well as on cultural diversity.

The University of Ottawa Task Force on Respect and Equality will make recommendations to the President on how to foster a campus culture that encourages respectful behaviour, prevents sexualized violence and ensures that everyone, particularly women, can learn and work free of harassment and sexualized violence.

“I am pleased to have been asked to chair the Task Force. I feel strongly that the entire University community needs to engage in serious and broad- ranging conversations about what needs to be done. From these conversations, we need to move to concrete proposals to make meaningful changes,” said Professor Andrew.

“I look forward to working with the members of the Task Force and the whole university community on this important initiative.”

The Task Force's mandate includes assessing university policies and practices, such as training and awareness-raising, that aim to prevent or respond to threats or acts of sexualized violence.

It will also examine how to broaden and strengthen these policies and practices, and whether new measures are needed.

The Task Force will present its recommendations in the fall of 2014, but may release interim recommendations before then.

Mr. Rock also announced the names of other Task Force members. Please see below for details.

“I am grateful that so many qualified and dedicated people have agreed to be part of this,” he said. 

Information for media:

Néomie Duval
University of Ottawa
Cell: 613-863-7221


Task Force on Respect and Equality


Caroline Andrew, Distinguished University Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences
Caroline Andrew is a lifelong advocate for equality for women. She was dean of the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Social Sciences from 1997 to 2005, and is currently an emeritus professor at the School of Political Studies, as well as director of the Centre on Governance and co-chair of the Women and Leadership Series.


Véronika Bernard, BA, student experience supervisor
Véronika Bernard's extensive professional career is in the field of post-secondary education. In her current position, she assesses and improves the student experience for those enrolled in the Faculty of Arts. She is responsible for managing academic success services and initiatives that aim to improve student retention and success.

Lacy Caron, undergraduate student
Lacy Caron is a fourth-year student pursuing a BASc in mechanical engineering and computing technology. She has worked as a coordinator for Dr. Catherine Mavriplis, the NSERC/Pratt & Whitney Chair for Women in Science and Engineering.

Eugene Celac, undergraduate student
Eugene Celac is a fourth-year student who is pursuing a BASc in mechanical engineering.

Kelly Gordon, graduate student
Kelly Gordon is a third-year student pursuing a PhD in Political Science.

Shari Graydon, catalyst, Informed Opinions
Shari Graydon is an award-winning author and advocate. She founded and currently leads Informed Opinions, a social enterprise that partners with organizations across Canada to amplify women's voices and support their increased participation in the public discourse.

Karin Hinzer, associate professor at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Karin Hinzer holds the Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Photonic Nanostructures and Integrated Devices and is a founder of SUNLAB, a research laboratory that uses nanotechnology to create high-efficiency solar cells. Her work in the field of green optoelectronics aims to develop broad-spectrum, higher efficiency solar power systems.

Pam Hrick, BSocSci (uOttawa), JD (Queen's)
Pam Hrick was president of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa in 2007-2008. Her academic and professional interests are in the field of equality rights, with a specific focus on violence against women. She recently served as vice-chair on the Board of Directors of Sexual Assault Centre Kingston.

Holly Johnson, Associate Professor, Department of Criminology
Holly Johnson's research interests include legal and societal responses to sexual violence and intimate partner violence. She served as expert advisor to the Secretary-General's report on violence against women and is member of the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women and the International Evaluation Advisory Group for the Safe Cities Free of Violence against Women and Girls Global Programme at UN Women.

Miroslav Kljajic, graduate student
Miroslav Kljajic is a graduate student pursuing an MA in Economics.

Simon Lapierre, associate professor at the School of Social Work
Simon Lapierre is an expert on feminist intervention and on the theoretical foundations of social work. His research focuses on violence against women and child abuse prevention.

Sunny Marriner, executive director of the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre
Sunny Marriner has over 16 years' experience as a member of Ottawa-based movements to end violence against women, and has provided direct support to survivors in conjunction with community leadership and outreach initiatives, such as lectures, training programs, policy analysis, and articles on issues related to sexual violence.

Sonya Nigam, director of the Office of Human Rights
Under Sonya Nigam's guidance and leadership, the Office of Human Rights manages campus-wide policies that promote diversity and inclusion, including employment equity and accessibility policies, and administers policies, procedures and complaints that involve harassment and discrimination under the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Michael Orsini, director of the Institute of Women's Studies
Michael Orsini is an associate professor at the School of Political Studies who conducts research in critical approaches to public policy, citizen engagement, the role of social movements in policy processes, as well as autism, HIV/AIDS and illnesses that affect marginalized people.

Elizabeth A. Sheehy, full professor and Shirley Greenberg Chair for Women and the Legal Profession at the Faculty of Law
Elisabeth Sheehy is a leading scholar whose research, consultancy and advocacy work has focussed on legal responses to violence against women. In 2013, she was awarded the Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Law by the Canadian Bar Association, an annual award that recognizes outstanding contributions to law in Canada.

The University of Ottawa Task Force on Respect and Equality (“Task Force”) will provide recommendations to the President about how to foster a culture on campus that encourages respectful behaviour, prevents sexualized violence and ensures that members of the community, women in particular, can learn and work free of harassment and sexualized violence.

Areas of Inquiry
In addition to other areas of inquiry that the Task Force may choose to pursue, the Task Force will:

  1. set the stage for its work by exploring attitudes and behaviour on campus in relation to violence by men against women;
  2. assess the University community's policies and practices, including training and sensitization, that aim to prevent or respond to threats or acts of sexualized violence, and explore ways to broaden and strengthen them;
  3. articulate the values relating to respect and equality that we, as a University community, share and promote;
  4. consider whether, and by what means, sanctions should be imposed when a member of the University community is found to have behaved in a way inconsistent with those values; and
  5. examine best practices at universities in Canada and beyond in relation to the matters within the Task Force's mandate.

Reaching Out
In carrying out its mandate, the Task Force shall:

  1. liaise with the student associations and unions on campus and whatever work they may undertake on subjects related to the Task Force's mandate;
  2. look for opportunities to engage with other Canadian universities in relation to subjects within its mandate, encouraging a broader discussion of these issues; and
  3. link with women's groups outside the university and especially those knowledgeable about sexual assault and its consequences, in order to determine whether they have advice on matters within the Task Force mandate.

The Task Force will include students, faculty, staff, alumni and participants from beyond the University community.

The Task Force will report to the President in the autumn of 2014.

Back to top