The Equality and Diversity Advisory Group (EDAG) has appointed equality champions in the areas of Age; Disability; Gender; Sexual Orientation; Race and Religion and Belief. The role of the Equality Champion is to:

  • Contribute and provide challenge to the Equality and Diversity Advisory Group in the equality strand being championed
  • Seek the engagement of employees and, where appropriate, students in the work and activities of the Equality and Diversity Advisory Group
  • Provide leadership in the University in the area championed
  • Keep up to date on developments in the area championed
  • Actively contribute to the implementation of the Equality and Diversity Annual Plan

EDAG is proud to have equality champions as part of its advisory group.

Age Equality Champion

Post vacant


Disability Equality Champion

"I am a firm believer in equality of opportunity within the university and this applies to assessment as much as anywhere else. It is unfair to asses students, if they are not at the top of their game, of if the student has special needs which cannot be accommodated within mainstream delivery, or a disability that affects their ability to access education. Also, as the father of a teenager with a disability, I am aware of some of the problems faced by students with special needs. In my role as an equality champion, I wish to ensure that every student is treated fairly and each student has the same opportunity to access higher education at RGU and to remind the powers that be of their obligations under the Act."

  • Donald Cairns

    Donald Cairns

    Professor Cairns is Head of the School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences and is responsible for planning, development and supervision of academic work within the school. His key research interests lie in the areas of medicinal chemistry, rational drug design and molecular modelling of drug – macromolecule interactions.  

  • Faith and Belief Equality Champion

    Post vacant


    Gender Equality Champion

    "I became Gender Equality Champion because gender equality is a subject that has engaged me throughout my life. My research and teaching are focused on the study of gender – from the Scottish suffragettes to gender differences online – and therefore the opportunity to not just study gender equality but also contribute to its achievement is very exciting. 21st century universities face a range of gender-related challenges and opportunities, and I am particularly pleased to be able to work with my equality champion colleagues and the universities’ networks for women and LGBT staff in order to ensure that the university continues to work for gender equality."

  • Sarah Pedersen

    Dr Sarah Pedersen

    Sarah Pedersen is a Professor and Director of Research in Communication, Marketing and Media. Her interests are in Computer-mediated Communication; Women’s use of Media and the History of Publishing.  

  • Sexual Orientation Equality Champion

    "I’m not sure I ever wanted to become an equality champion, however the then Convenor of the Equality & Diversity Advisory Group approached me to become the champion for sexual orientation because he knew I was out and proud in the workplace. It seems odd saying that, perhaps even a little on the militant side. But when you start a job in any new workplace it is really very notable that people assume you have a partner or spouse of the opposite sex to you. At that point you have a choice to make correct individual’s assumptions or let it go. It’s hard to explain but coming out takes courage and if by having an equality champion for sexual orientation it makes it easier for people to have that courage and for others to question their assumptions then that must be a good thing.

    "My aspiration in this role is to have some of the equality strands, such as sexual orientation, treated alongside and as seriously as others. We know that disability, ethnicity and gender are all key determinants in how individuals learning, assimilate knowledge and relate to others. This is as equally true about sexual orientation but I don’t think we as comfortable recognising that. It is a reality, sometimes sadly so other times joyously so, that the fact I am a gay man means I relate to people, social constructs, even a curriculum in ways which are different from heterosexual men or women. I wish to ensure as far as possible that education outcomes for students are maximised irrespective of sexual orientation and that all staff have an opportunity to share what I have been told in the past is my “private life” – in other words that my partner’s name is Neil."

  • Duncan Cockburn

    Duncan Cockburn

    Director of Planning & Policy Development  

  • Race Equality Champion

  • Bassam Bjeirmi

    Bassam Bjeirmi profile

    Bassam is Associate Head of the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture & Built Environment. He has an extensive experience in the development and delivery of training programs for the private and public sectors. His main subject area is construction and generic project management.