As part of the 2015 equity recognition process, the Canada Research Chairs Program (CRCP) profiles medium-sized institutions who have achieved commendable representation rates for the four designated groups: women, persons with a disability, Aboriginal Peoples and visible minorities.
The three institutions profiled are:
Brock University is committed to employment equity and diversity, with an impressive representation of women and visible minorities among their 10 chairholders. In 2015, Brock reported that 40 per cent of their chairholders were women, and 20 per cent were visible minorities. However, the university has too few chairs to be able to set targets for the designated groups of persons with a disability and Aboriginal Peoples.
Brock’s commitment is reflected in the principles that are woven throughout its strategic directions to ensure impact across the institution. As a university that strives to have an impact in the community locally, nationally and internationally, Brock has developed a strategic research plan, Vision 2020, that includes several goals directly related to equity and recruitment efforts for Canada Research Chairs. These include ensuring that Brock is a preferred place to work and study; encouraging transdisciplinary initiatives; and serving the social, cultural and economic well-being of the local, national and global communities. These goals are all achieved through ensuring a diverse group of scholars who represent the communities with which they are engaged.
CRCP applicants are actively encouraged, and are provided an opportunity, to identify themselves as a member of a designated group. Brock uses a process in recruiting new faculty members that ensures that equity is discussed at an institutional level. This process includes:
- developing faculty-specific equity plans;
- encouraging senior administrators to discuss equity when making a hiring decision; and
- monitoring employment equity by a dedicated committee of faculty administrators, which reports back on how faculties are addressing equity in the hiring process.
“Equity is a key principle for Brock. We are living in an increasingly diverse society and recruiting top scholars both nationally and internationally is key for us to ensure that we have a representative faculty complement of researchers.”
― Gary Libben, vice-president, Research, Brock University
University of Regina
In 2015, the University of Regina successfully represented two designated groups among their 10 chairholders, reporting that 40 per cent were women and 20 per cent were visible minorities. However, the university has too few chairs to be able to set targets for the designated groups of persons with a disability and Aboriginal Peoples.
By choosing to strategically leverage programs and available resources to promote, encourage and support equity opportunities in underrepresented fields, the university has been able to achieve its CRCP equity targets for women and visible minorities.
“The CRCP equity targets have had a positive effect on the research enterprise at our university,” says David Malloy, vice-president, Research. “They have enhanced the diversity and richness of our work, which has, in turn, strengthened the impact the University of Regina has on the world.”
In its 2015-20 strategic plan, the university made progress “toward building a representative workforce reflective of the province’s diverse population.” This is an indicator of success for the university’s strategic priority of committing to its communities.
The university has made conscious efforts to promote diversity in leadership roles, as well as in fields where the four designated groups have been traditionally underrepresented. For example, Vianne Timmons is the first woman appointed as president of a university in Saskatchewan. In her role, she holds regular events on women and leadership.
“Together with our three federated colleges, we have worked diligently to build, promote and celebrate an inclusive learning environment where all faculty, staff and students, regardless of identity, can see themselves and their aspirations reflected in our university.”
― Vianne Timmons, president and vice-chancellor, University of Regina
University of Victoria
The University of Victoria is recognized for exceeding the equity targets for three of the designated groups in 2015: women, visible minorities and Aboriginal Peoples. Of their 30 chairholders, 30 per cent were women, 23 per cent were visible minorities, and, although the university has too few chairs to be able to set targets for the designated groups of persons with a disability and Aboriginal Peoples, they have reported 3 per cent of chairholders within the latter group.
The University of Victoria has long demonstrated a strong commitment to equity, as reflected in the first goal of its strategic plan: “to be a diverse, welcoming learning community, with a demonstrated commitment to equity and fairness.” In 2012, the university was the first to be recognized for its exemplary practices in recruiting Canada Research Chairs and exceeding its equity targets.
A recent employment systems review identified the successes of the university’s previous employment equity plan, and the areas where further work is required. As a result, the university’s latest plan (2015-20) defines how it will continue to monitor employment equity, including for the recruitment of Canada Research Chairs; and puts an emphasis on accountability, responsibility and transparency with respect to equity.
The university provides a number of tools and resources in order to recruit and retain a diverse group of talented students, faculty and staff:
- The Office of the Vice-President Academic and Provost provides required recruitment workshops annually to all committees. The workshops have established a culture of excellence and equity in recruitment.
- Each faculty completes an annual recruitment and retention report, which assists the university’s commitment of creating a diverse and dynamic learning community.
- The adviser to the provost on equity and diversity supports search committees at any point in the recruitment process, including providing accommodation to candidates as required.
“UVic is committed to hiring the very best faculty into our Canada Research Chair positions, so that they can help grow our research strengths, train the next generation of highly skilled people, and contribute to the growth in knowledge needed to improve Canadian lives.”
― David Castle, vice-president, Research, University of Victoria