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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 10:06 am    Post subject: Universities must create diversity plan or lose funding Reply with quote

( I find this story kind of weird , although not necessary surprising . it just seems odd Ottawa is trying to tell universities what to do or they'll lose funding . we've seen many programs aimed at increasing diversity but not necessary forced onto them by government at this level )

Universities must create diversity plan or lose research money: science minister

The Canadian Press

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Science Minister Kirsty Duncan says universities will not get any more funding for Canada Research Chair positions until they show they have plans to recruit more women and minorities to the jobs.

Duncan told The Canadian Press last week she was upset the program was failing to attract more women to apply for the positions.

This week, new policies were implemented so any university with at least five of the lucrative research jobs has until Dec.15 to post an equity plan to attract more women, visible minorities, people with disabilities and indigenous candidates.

Universities cannot terminate any existing chairs, but can choose not to renew their positions in order to improve their equity targets.

If a university doesn’t meet equity targets, the program won’t fund unfilled research chair positions.

Ottawa spends $265 million a year on the program, for up to 2,000 research positions at universities across the country.

As of last December, women held 30 per cent of the 1,612 filled positions.


Last edited by RCO on Fri May 05, 2017 10:10 am; edited 1 time in total

Joined: 02 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ottawa to pull research chair funding unless diversity issue addressed at universities

Chris Hannay

OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, May 04, 2017 9:54PM EDT

The federal granting councils that award the prestigious Canada Research Chairs say universities must offer up more diverse candidates for the honour or they will lose their funds.

Directors of the program, which sends out $265-million every year across 1,600 researchers, say new measures unveiled on Thursday would help to address the chronic underrepresentation of women, Indigenous people, those with disabilities and visible minorities among the award’s ranks. For example, only 28 per cent of chairholders at large universities are women, and they are more likely to be in the bottom of the program’s two funding tiers.

Under the new rules, postsecondary institutions have until Dec. 15 to create an action plan on how to achieve more diversity among their candidates, and then they have another 18 to 24 months to ensure the demographics of those given the awards reflect the demographics of those academics eligible to receive them.

Universities are now being warned that if they don’t meet these equity targets in time, they could lose their research chairs.

“We believe that progress has been made, but we think it could be made much faster,” said Ted Hewitt, president of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and head of the CRC steering committee.

Academics are nominated for the positions by their universities, which receive an allotted number of chairs from the government based on the institution’s size. The program is one of the federal government’s most prominent tools to attract and retain top academic talent in Canada.

But for most academics, research chairs represent a milestone far along in their career. Addressing diversity earlier in academic careers will require more work on the part of universities and provinces, Dr. Hewitt said, but he believes the program’s new rules will inspire others to make changes.

“We are doing what we can through this federal program,” he said. “We believe this might have a broader effect on the ecosystem.”

Science Minister Kirsty Duncan, who had a long career in research before entering politics, made changes last year to a more elite version of the program, called the Canada Excellence Research Chairs, and required competing institutions to submit diversity plans along with their applications.

Ms. Duncan hinted last week that new measures were in the works for the larger program when she spoke to a gathering of university presidents in Montreal, admonishing them for not doing more to address the issue.

“When I became Minister of Science, I made it clear that I expected the universities to meet the equity and diversity targets that they had agreed to meet a decade ago,” Ms. Duncan said in an interview Thursday.

“For the most part, they’ve failed to do so. It’s been a decade, and there simply hasn’t been enough progress.”

University of Ottawa law professor Amir Attaran, who has held a Canada Research Chair, filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission last year over what he said was discrimination in the program. He said he’ll be watching to see if the government makes good on its threat to pull funding from universities that underperform.

“The intent of this is good, but we’ve seen good intent and bad performance over a decade,” he said.

Prof. Attaran said much of the credit for raising the issue rests with Wendy Robbins, a University of New Brunswick professor who died last month. Ms. Robbins led a successful legal challenge in 2006 that led to the creation of the Canada Research Chairs’ equity targets.


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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( this article from 2016 , seems to indicate this has been an issue for some time )

Canadian universities fail to meet diversity hiring targets

Chris Hannay

OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail

Published Sunday, May 08, 2016 9:13PM EDT

The Canada Research Chairs program – one of the country’s premier tools to attract and retain top academic talent – has failed to meet its own targets for the hiring of women, visible minorities, people with disabilities and indigenous Canadians, and the federal program’s steering committee says it is urging universities to meet their equity goals.

In a letter sent to university presidents last month, the head of the committee said its members are concerned about the “very slow progress” that has been made on diversity among the 1,880 regular chairs.

“We are calling on you and your colleagues to sustain and intensify your efforts, in order to address, as soon as possible, the underrepresentation of individuals from the four designated groups within the program,” wrote Ted Hewitt, president of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, one of three agencies with representatives on the committee.

Federal Science Minister Kirsty Duncan, who had a long career in academia before entering politics, says she ordered a review of the program and is taking the equity issue “enormously seriously.”

“I have spent the last 25 years of my life fighting so that young women wouldn’t face the same challenges I did,” she said.

Targets are set based on an estimate of how many people that belong to each group are in the pool of eligible academics. For women, the target was 30.6 per cent, but only 28.9 per cent of research chairs were female; the number of chairs who identified as being a member of a visible minority was 13.1 per cent, against a target of 15 per cent; indigenous scholars made up 0.95 per cent of the program, compared with a goal of 1 per cent; and persons with disabilities had only 0.59 per cent representation, although the target was 4 per cent.

Universities’ compliance varies widely across the country, and can differ slightly from year to year as scholars move among institutions. Of the top 15 research universities in Canada, most met two of four targets, with the University of British Columbia and Queen’s University meeting three. The University of Calgary and the University of Ottawa met none of their four targets.

Dalhousie and the University of Montreal could not provide figures upon request. All schools said the designations are self-reported and, for that reason, identification among the equity categories may not be complete.

A more elite version of the program, the Canada Excellence Research Chairs, counts only one woman among its 25 current members. A second woman, Jennifer Hoffman, recently left the program at UBC to return to Harvard University.

The Canada Research Chairs program is currently undergoing a review, with an eye to how to boost equity within the program. Universities nominate academics to the federal program, which vets and approves almost all the candidates. While universities are required to report to the federal government on their equity gaps, there is no punishment if the schools fail to meet their targets. Ms. Duncan said enforcement of targets is one option on the table for SSHRC in its review.

Amir Attaran, a University of Ottawa law professor who held a research chair until recently, said the federal department should publish equity data for all universities and refuse to accept applications from schools that consist ently underperform their targets.

“If the universities who are persistent systemic discriminators do not want to rise to equality, then the federal government needs to take away their inequality by removing chairs and funding from them,” Prof. Attaran said.

Vianne Timmons, president of the University of Regina, says the onus is on academic leaders like her to be aggressive about equity. She said she has extended deadlines for jobs if there wasn’t enough diversity among applicants and challenged those who are hiring to reach out into the community for more candidates.

“It’s important for universities not to be complacent, not to accept a pool of applicants that doesn’t have enough diversity in the candidates … , ” Ms. Timmons said. “[Hiring gaps] should be disappointing to every university president. We need to be vigilant about equity issues.”


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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nobody on here cares about the lunacy that now grips our campuses. Sad to say ... so why would they care about this nonsense? Everyone knows by now, surely, that when they say 'diversity' they mean diversity in every respect other than intellectual diversity. There is no sexual deviance you can present yourself as enjoying -- unless you're Jian Ghomeshi, that is -- that will meet the least disapproval, but if you start wild talk about -- say -- balancing the budget ... well, they know how to deal with bigots like you.
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Universities must create diversity plan or lose funding

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