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University Restricts Applicants For Professor Job To “Equity Seeking Groups”

Photo credit goes to Cold, Indrid on Flickr. The license for this photo can be viewed here.

On November 8, Dalhousie University posted a tenure track assistant professor position on their job site–but the university is only accepting applicants from those “who self-identify as a member of one or more equity-seeking groups“. Dalhousie is Nova Scotia’s biggest university.

“Equity-seeking groups”, in Dalhousie’s definition are “Indigenous persons, persons with a disability, racially visible persons, women, and persons of a minority sexual orientation and/or gender identity“.

Dalhousie University has a “Self Identification Questionnaire for Prospective Employees” page, where those looking for employment are asked to complete a survey to determine which identify group they fall into. According to Dalhousie, “The questionnaire asks employees whether they identify as belonging to one or more designated groups.  The four designated groups are racially visible persons, aboriginal persons, persons with a disability, and women.  You may self-identify in more than one designated group.” Employees are encouraged to update their identity if it changes during their time of employment at the university.

The job posting caught some flack on Twitter, notably by former professor Jordan B. Peterson:

Under the Canadian Human Rights Act, places of employment are forbidden to discriminate based on “race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, genetic characteristics, disability and conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted or in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered.


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