Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




EDI, systemically marginalized, historically underserved, university admission, critical whiteness theory, higher education


This Organizational Improvement Plan (OIP) explores the process of aligning a university’s internal admission policies, practices, and processes with its public commitments to equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). Current admission practices reinforce the myth of meritocracy and existing alternative admission pathways are framed in discourses of deficiency. Using an EDI lens will align the university with provincial and federal strategic priorities that see an increase of new Canadians and students educated in social justice focused curricula. Critical whiteness theory and the cultural perspective underpin the change plan in order to understand the systemic barriers and legacies that contribute to the exclusion of equity-deserving students in the admission process. To initiate the change process employing an antioppression lens, the inclusion of the voices, truths, and counternarratives of systemically marginalized and historically underserved students is centered with a focus on the ethic of care. Internal and external stakeholders are key to the success of this plan, and to engage them in the process, authentic and distributed leadership approaches are used. After determining that the university is ready to engage in a policy review process, assessing resources and fiscal impacts, and conducting ethical stakeholder engagement, the preferred approach to leading the consultation process is to work with an internal EDI champion. The implementation and communication of the plan focuses on key messages that centre students in the policy review process and reinforce the urgency of making transformative change that benefits not just equity-deserving students, but all students applying for admission to a university.