Diversity runs amok in academia

The Globe and Mail

The Canada Research Chair program is about scholarship excellence. The goal of the program is to push Canada to the first rank of research leaders in the world by providing funds, around $ 265 million this year, to more than 2,000 researchers across the country in large and small universities.

Even so, it should be noted that since 2006, the program has focused more and more on fees. That was the year that a legal agreement between the federal government and eight researchers required the program to set goals for women, indigenous peoples, visible minorities and people with disabilities. Although much progress has been made, it has not been good enough for some.

It is essential to mention that the old fees were based on an estimate of eligible applicants in each category. But now, instead of relying on eligible candidates, the quota is based on the participation of each disadvantaged group in the general Canadian population.

What really matters now

Now, it doesn’t matter how many women are in the hiring group. The only thing that matters is that women represent 50.9% of the population and, therefore, must also represent 50.9% of the Research Chairs of Canada. Universities have 10 years to implement these objectives. The new objectives for the other groups are 22% for visible minorities, 7.5% for people with disabilities and 4.

Consequently, various questions arise, as well as Why now? One possible answer to this is the equity figures have reached record highs. Currently, 33.5 percent of the research presidents are occupied by women: 15.9 percent of visible minorities, 1.6 percent of people with disabilities and 2.1 percent of indigenous people. But someone has decided that progress has been too slow. The new fees have the powerful support of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, as well as the support of the federal government, whose science minister, Kirsty Duncan, previously sent warning notices that universities are taking too long to comply.

In this way, it has been said that in other words, the program is no longer about excellence. It’s about reaching your quotas or maybe suffering a reduction in funding. It is about raising the group above the individual, for reasons that have nothing to do with excellence. It is also blatant discrimination against white men, who, as they are, barely have a chance.

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Source: Margaret Wente | The Globe and Mail

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