The Chairs Secretariat is pleased to recognize The University of British Columbia (UBC) as having exemplary practices in recruiting Canada Research Chairs and achieving its equity targets for the representation of the four designated groups among chairholders for the year 2013.
Applications submitted to the 2013 Canada Research Chairs Equity Recognition Process were considered by the program’s Advisory Committee on Equity Policy.
The University of British Columbia’s Equity Practices
The University of British Columbia, one of Canada’s largest universities, is strongly committed to the principles of equity and inclusion and has implemented a number of initiatives to deliver on this commitment. The university is invested in creating a diverse group of outstanding faculty and staff and is working with departments to obtain resources and share information through a central website about Faculty Equity and Diversity Initiatives. This website links readers to other equity-related sites and materials and provides information on UBC-wide initiatives as well as specific faculty initiatives. One example includes the Working Climate Study in the faculty of science, which surveyed faculty and staff to assess the working climate and determine the effectiveness of current policies regarding equitable access to career opportunities and support.
“Diversity is not only synergistic with excellence, but also promotes equitable access to the rewards of an academic career”
― Simon Peacock, dean of the faculty of science, UBC
UBC’s strategy to ensure that the recruitment of chairholders is open, equitable and transparent includes the following practices:
- encouraging hiring committees to use proactive and individual efforts to advertise and contact diverse groups through the Faculty Recruitment Guide and orientation sessions;
- creating networks to enhance the search for potential candidates;
- advertising internationally to increase the diversity in pools of applicants for CRC recruitment;
- requiring that a plan for a diverse search committee be submitted before an advertisement for recruitment is approved in the faculties of science, arts and applied science;
- including diversity in the mandate of recruitment committees;
- including either an associate dean or a representative from the dean’s office on search committees and in search committee orientation sessions; and
- creating the position of Senior Advisor to the Provost on Women Faculty, who works closely with faculty on hiring and processes that support the advancement of diversity and works to develop and share best practices;
Other strategies to achieve and continuously improve its equity targets include:
- seeking retention opportunities among equity group faculty members with very strong performance records;
- embarking on a program to develop diversity in leadership, which offers activities to bring different faculties together to share best practices; and
- enhancing efforts to network with organizations and associations working with persons with disabilities.
The result of these strategies and initiatives is that UBC is exceeding its equity targets for chairholder representation among women, visible minorities and Aboriginal Peoples and is playing a leadership role in its commitment to, and promotion of, sound equity practices.