Tanisi Pooran joins our community as King’s new Equity Officer

Tanisi Pooran joins our community as King's new Equity Officer

Dear Members of the King’s community,

I am delighted to share that starting April 6, 2020, Tanisi Pooran will join our community as King’s new Equity Officer, working safely from home of course.

Tanisi is a facilitator and researcher who has worked in universities and the non-profit sector for almost a decade, most recently as Dalhousie Student Union’s Director of Research and Outreach. Tanisi has an MA in international development and a BA in political science, and is founder of SALT+SEED, an organization that offers facilitation, consultation and mediation.

The hiring of an Equity Officer is an important step toward building institutional capacity to support equity, diversity and inclusiveness at King’s. As outlined in Tanisi’s job description, her primary role will be to “Support members of the underrepresented groups, including students, staff, and faculty, at King’s (such as racialized, Indigenous and 2SLGBTQ+ persons, and persons living with disabilities).” Her role will also be to “Provide information, take proactive measures and be available for consultation to all members of the university community on issues concerning equity, diversity, inclusion, discrimination, [and] harassment,” and to “Work with equity and accessibility committees, as well as the Sexualized Violence Prevention and Response Officer.” In carrying out these roles, the Equity Officer is to be “guided by the President’s mandate on diversity and inclusion” and to “work with the President to develop and advance this mandate.”

Additionally, the appointment of an Equity Officer dedicated to equity work is another important step in implementation of our university’s Policy and Procedures for Prevention of Discrimination and Harassment. It requires us to “ensure there are no barriers to equality”, and that the “full and free participation of all its members in university life is not undermined by discrimination or harassment.” (Section 2.1 (a) and (b).)

Tanisi’s appointment is the result of an extensive process. In the fall of 2019, on advice from the Equity Committee, I established a Presidential Advisory Committee on the Recruitment and Appointment of an Equity Officer. At the successful conclusion of their work, it is my pleasure to thank the Committee for conducting an excellent recruitment and selection process.

The Committee members were:

  • Kim Kierans, Chair
  • Marlee Sansom, student representative
  • Dominique Amit, student representative
  • Isabelle Reynolds, student representative
  • Hope Moon, student representative
  • Anna Candido, staff representative
  • Laura Penny, faculty representative
  • Stephen Boos, faculty representative
  • Katie Merwin, Dean of Students
  • Dolly McIntyre, Human Resources and Compensation Officer (ex officio)

Having met with Tanisi as the final step in the process, I understand why she was the Committee’s unanimous recommendation from a strong field of excellent candidates. I am confident she will quickly become a valued member of our community, strengthening our efforts to ensure King’s is the inclusive, accessible, safe and welcoming place we all want it to be.

Finally, I would like to recognize and thank Dolly McIntyre for her dedicated service as the University’s Equity Officer for the last several years and for her willingness to serve in that role while continuing to serve in the very demanding role of Human Resources and Compensation Officer.

Tanisi’s email is tanisi.pooran@ukings.ca. Please join me in warmly welcoming her to King’s.


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