July 20, 2024
Diversity runs amok in academia
I have a strong impression that logic is not the strong suit of Canada’s bloated diversity bureaucracy, which is so powerful and so embedded in university life that we will never be able to get rid of it.
I have a strong impression that logic is not the strong suit of Canada’s bloated diversity bureaucracy, which is so powerful and so embedded in university life that we will never be able to get rid of it.

If you want to understand how the diversity racket has taken over academia, look no further than the Canada Research Chair program, where universities are twisting themselves into pretzels to meet quotas imposed by diversity bureaucrats.

The Canada Research Chair program is supposed to be about excellence in scholarship. The aim of the program is to propel Canada into the first rank of research leaders in the world by providing funds – around $265-million this year– for more than 2,000 researchers across the country at universities large and small.

But since 2006, the program has focused increasingly on quotas. That was the year a legal settlement between the federal government and eight female researchers required the program to set targets for women, Indigenous people, visible minorities and people with disabilities. Although much progress has been made, it hasn’t been good enough for some. So now, the bureaucrats moved the goalposts.

The old quotas (let’s just call them quotas, since there is a threatened penalty for failure to comply) were based on an estimate of eligible applicants in each category. For example, if women make up 35 per cent of the eligible candidates at a given university, then women should hold 35 per cent of the seats.But now, instead of being based on eligible candidates, the quota is based on the share of each disadvantaged group in the general Canadian population. So now, it doesn’t matter how many women are in the hiring pool. All that matters is that women make up 50.9 per cent of the population, and therefore must also make up 50.9 per cent of the Canada Research Chairs.The universities have 10 years to implement these goals. The new targets for the other groups are 22 per cent for visible minorities, 7.5 per cent for people with disabilities and 4.9 per cent for Indigenous people.

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