Equity Recognition 2014—Lakehead University

The Chairs Secretariat is pleased to recognize Lakehead University as having exemplary practices in recruiting Canada Research Chairs and achieving its equity targets for representation of the following designated groups among chairholders: women, Aboriginal Peoples, and visible minorities.

Applications submitted to the 2014 Canada Research Chairs (CRC) Equity Recognition Process were considered by the program’s Advisory Committee on Equity Policy.

Lakehead University’s Equity Practices

Lakehead University has a strong commitment to employment equity and diversity. This commitment is reflected in a number of the university’s policies, its strategic research plan, and its CRC recruitment guidelines. 

“At Lakehead University, diversity is reflected in its people, its programs, and its curriculum. We understand diversity to be complex, referring not only to the identities of individuals, but also to the rich variety of perspectives, ideologies, and scholarly traditions one should expect to find at a university”

― Lakehead University's Strategic Academic/Research Plan 2012-2017

Early in the implementation of the CRC program at Lakehead, the university developed the CRC Recruitment Guidelines for Faculty-Based CRC Search Committees and a strategic academic/research plan that included strategies to ensure equity and diversity in the recruitment of chairholders. 

Central to its commitment to equity and diversity, Lakehead also adopted CRC research priorities, which identify research areas such as Cultures, Societies and Social Justice; First Nations, Metis, and Inuit (Aboriginal) Research; and Northern Studies. Like the university’s academic/research plan, these research areas reflect the university's commitment to employment diversity and equity. The development process for these institutional research priorities was managed by committees with representation from all four designated underrepresented groups: women, Aboriginal Peoples, persons with a disability and visible minorities. 

As a starting point to all CRC recruitment efforts, the university makes the allocation of new CRC nominations an open and transparent process. In all open calls for new CRC positions, proposals from deans must provide a recruitment strategy that includes plans for reaching a diverse group of candidates from within Canada and abroad.    

Lakehead University’s Recruitment Practices

Diverse, effective and efficient search committees

  • Lakehead’s terms of reference developed for faculty-based CRC search committees include the following requirements:
    • At least two of the seven voting faculty members on any given search committee must be individuals from one of the four designated underrepresented groups (as indicated above).
    • Lakehead's human resources equity officer is a non-voting member of all search committees. 
  • The director, Research Services, is a member of all faculty-based CRC search committees. He or she ensures that CRC equity practices are consistently followed and that all committee members are made aware of CRC equity targets.

Active recruitment of an excellent and diverse pool of candidates

  • To reach the widest possible audience of qualified candidates, faculty deans are encouraged to advertise CRC positions in discipline-specific journals that have a greater potential of reaching the four designated underrepresented groups, such as Nature Jobs On-line, the Canadian Journal of Native Studies and Canadian Federation of University Women. Deans are also encouraged to place ads in University Affairs, the CAUT Bulletin, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and on Lakehead's human resources website.
  • All CRC position postings include an equity statement confirming that Lakehead's appointment process is open and transparent.

Unconscious assumptions awareness-raising

  • Lakehead's CRC recruitment guidelines contain a section addressing expectations around equity when recruiting CRCs. This section also reminds faculty deans to ensure that all members of the CRC search committee complete the university’s online Human Rights 101 training program.

Fair and thorough review of candidates

  • When shortlisting and making a final CRC recommendation, deans are required to complete the Faculty Recruitment Summary form and to justify why qualified members from the four designated underrepresented groups were not selected.

Sound hiring processes

  • The Lakehead University Faculty Association provides committees with copies of the Faculty Employment Equity Policy , which contains definitions and guidelines for hiring procedures.
  • Upon completion of the hiring process, the university requires that the Lakehead University Faculty Recruitment Summary be completed by the dean, the search committee chair, and the vice-president (Academic) and provost.

These equity strategies have resulted in CRC occupancy rates that surpass Lakehead’s CRC equity targets for women, Aboriginal Peoples and visible minorities. Additionally, these strategies will continue to ensure fair access to Lakehead’s allotted CRC positions and to enrich the research community at Lakehead and throughout Canada.