CSB Values Statement

The Department of Cell and Systems Biology joins the University of Toronto’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, respect, and global excellence. Members of our department strive to maintain high standards of professionalism in teaching and research, all while ensuring that everyone is treated with dignity, respect, and equity.

We value:

Section 1

Leadership and innovation in research and teaching

  1. Conducting cutting-edge research to expand biological knowledge.
  2. Maintaining rigour and reproducibility in scholarship and research.
  3. Providing support to researchers to maintain both high scientific productivity and strong mentorship.
  4. Facilitating academic freedom and diversity in research and teaching.
  5. Providing resources to encourage novel teaching and experiential learning approaches
  6. Enhancing professional development and personal growth, and encouraging leadership in the scientific community and in the classroom.

Section 2

Equity, diversity, inclusion, and integrity in our operations

  1. Treating all members of the community equitably and fairly, regardless of their role, origin, ethnic identity, religion, disability, family status, gender identity, sexual orientation, and in compliance with the Ontario Human Rights’ code [LINK].
  2. Providing a welcoming environment for diverse backgrounds to our community, and appreciating the diverse perspectives they bring to teaching and research
  3. Identifying and eliminating sources of biases in our admission to our undergraduate and graduate programs and in our hiring and promotion activities of faculty and staff members, such as ensuring diversity on hiring and promotion committees. When possible, voting should be in accordance with the University’s policies on reducing both conscious and unconscious bias [LINK].
  4. Appreciating the role of volunteers in our department and community, and encouraging science outreach initiatives as facilitated by our Outreach Committee.
  5. Ensuring transparency in departmental operation, such as faculty hiring and major policy amendments, by soliciting feedback from current members of the department when possible.
  6. Tasking a CSB Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion committee to review our departmental processes periodically to ensure the standards of the department meet the changing needs and guidelines of the University of Toronto, and better suit the membership of the department.

Section 3

Respect, professionalism, and collaboration in our community

  1. Ensuring that acts of harassment, discrimination, bullying, physical and mental abuse to any members of the department are strictly prohibited and not tolerated. Reports of abusive behaviour will be taken seriously and directed to administrative staff within and outside the department for resolution in accordance with the University of Toronto guidelines [LINK].
  2. Adhering to the University of Toronto’s code of conduct and guidelines in all our activities, including but not limited to: honesty, fairness and integrity in teaching and learning [LINK]; treating all personal information with confidentiality [LINK]; and handling of matters of conflict of interest [LINK], harassment and discrimination [LINK]. While we acknowledge that a spousal presence on supervisory committees can be valuable, in the event of conflict of interest in the context of spousal presence on advisory committees, the department will ensure that other members of the committee chair the advisory committee and that conflict of interest does not negatively impact the students’ progress and success.
  3. Ensuring constructive and respectful feedback to others on their work in departmental seminars, at CSB research day, and in other departmental forums, such as lab meetings.
  4. Helping members of the community work together to maximize their potentials and build a sense of community for members of the department.
  5. Clearly stating our expectations and responsibilities when working with different members of the department: graduate student expectations are outlined in the graduate handbook and explained during CSB Orientation Day, while faculty and staff members’ expectations are highlighted on their job descriptions and during their orientation and during requisite Anti-Racism and Cultural Diversity Office training. Undergraduate students should refer to the Student Code of Conduct for further guidelines [LINK].
  6. Taking matters of conflicts seriously and approaching conflict resolution with compassion and thorough exploration of solutions to reach consensus. In the case of graduate students, while SGS does provide guidelines for handling conflicts [LINK], there is a departmental Graduate Department Academic Appeal Committee (GDAAC) in the event that conflict resolution is not achieved within the advisory committee. The Centre for Graduate Mentorship and Supervision (CGMS) is also a resource [LINK]. For undergrads, the first point of contact if a resolution can’t be found with the instructor is the Associate Chair, Undergraduate. For staff issues, please reach out to CSB’s Chief Administrative Officer.