Denise O’Neil Green Appointed Ryerson University’s First Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion

by Dr. Denise O'Neil Green | May 24, 2017 10:00 AM

(Republished with permission of Ryerson University; Some links and text style edits added by The Institutional Diversity Blog)

New position created to provide strategic leadership in equity, diversity and inclusion

TORONTO, April 28, 2017 Ryerson University is pleased to announce that Denise O’Neil Green, whose leadership and advocacy have helped to establish Ryerson’s reputation for excellence in equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI), has been appointed the university’s first vice-president, equity and community inclusion. The appointment is effective immediately.

The creation of this new position is a natural step rooted in Ryerson’s deep commitment to inclusion and systemic change, and brings to the university’s executive group strategic leadership and support for EDI goals and objectives.

The vice-president, equity and community inclusion will provide strategic leadership and support for the achievement of Ryerson’s vision to be a leader in EDI in all aspects of our mandate. Responsibilities include directing the implementation of EDI values, priorities and strategies as outlined in the Academic Plan; developing and implementing a strategic plan for EDI; providing leadership, expertise and advice on inclusive curriculum and pedagogy and on the collection and reporting of EDI data; and overseeing a number of offices and functions including Education, Awareness and Outreach, Human Rights, Accessibility, and Aboriginal Initiatives, among other duties.

“I have been so blessed to have the opportunity to work at Ryerson for the last five years and do the work I love, alongside great colleagues and an engaged community,” said Denise O’Neil Green,  “I welcome the next phase in our collective journey as an inclusive community and look forward to working with President Lachemi and his executive team in this new capacity to advance the values of equity, inclusion, educational access and global citizenship to drive social, institutional and economic change.”

O’Neil Green joined Ryerson as the inaugural assistant vice-president/vice-provost equity, diversity and inclusion (AVP/VP EDI) in 2012, she brings an extensive body of academic and administrative experience, including two decades of championing systemic change in the areas of EDI in higher education. 

She came to Ryerson from Central Michigan University (CMU) where she was the associate vice-president for institutional diversity. She advanced diversity courses, spearheaded strategic diversity initiatives and secured funding to serve first-generation students, and worked with community groups, including the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan, on local equity initiatives.

Prior to CMU, she was a faculty member at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Her scholarship focused on race-conscious policies in higher education, access for underrepresented students and qualitative research methodologies.  She was also a program director for the University of Michigan's Pathways to Student Success and Excellence Program.

With a passion for advancing inclusive excellence, drawing on her teaching, scholarly and leadership background,  O’Neil Green is experienced at establishing new and innovative pedagogical initiatives and programs, and is highly skilled at building rapport, effective collaborations and networks with diverse stakeholders both inside and outside the university.

In her role as AVP/VP EDI at Ryerson, she has provided strategic direction, vision and coordination to build an effective and cohesive unit that has served to integrate EDI throughout the entire organization.  As a result of O’Neil Green’s leadership, Ryerson has been recognized as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers in each of the past three years.

Ryerson University is Canada’s leader in innovative, career-oriented education. Urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the university is home to more than 44,500 students, including 2,400 Master’s and PhD students, 3,200 faculty and staff, and nearly 170,000 alumni worldwide. For more information, visit

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