CRC program requires institutions to address underrepresented groups

Mark Henderson
May 17, 2017

The Canada Research Chairs (CRC) program will now withhold peer review and payment to universities if their chair nominations don’t meet their own equity and diversity guidelines. The change is the result of a new Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Plan introduced by the Trudeau government for the CRC program effective immediately. The government is taking action to address what it describes as the “continued lack of equity and diversity among Canada Research Chairs”, in particular women, Indigenous people, those with disabilities and members of visible minorities. The plan, responding to the CRC’s 15th year evaluation, requires universities to develop their own action plans and holds them to account through annual reporting and regular progress reports on institutional web sites. Of the 1,600 + current chairholders at more than 70 universities, 30% are women and women hold just 16.5% of Tier I chairs. An ethnic breakdown shows that 86% of all chairs are white, 13% are held by visible minorities and 1% are indigenous.

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