by Chris Hannay
Originally published: May 8, 2016
The Canada Research Chairs program – one of the country’s premier tools to attract and retain top academic talent – has failed to meet its own targets for the hiring of women, visible minorities, people with disabilities and indigenous Canadians, and the federal program’s steering committee says it is urging universities to meet their equity goals.
In a letter sent to university presidents last month, the head of the committee said its members are concerned about the “very slow progress” that has been made on diversity among the 1,880 regular chairs.
“We are calling on you and your colleagues to sustain and intensify your efforts, in order to address, as soon as possible, the underrepresentation of individuals from the four designated groups within the program,” wrote Ted Hewitt, president of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, one of three agencies with representatives on the committee.