Reader Michael Fournier calls my attention to this curious story:
Dalhousie University says its search for a new senior administrator will be restricted to "racially visible" and Indigenous candidates, part of its efforts to increase underrepresented groups on the Halifax campus.In a memo to the university community, provost and vice-president academic Carolyn Watters said the prerequisite is in line with the principles of Dalhousie's employment equity policy.
"We have embarked on the process of selecting a new vice-provost student affairs," she stated in the memo last month, adding that the search "will be restricted to racially visible persons and Aboriginal Peoples at this time."
I infer that announcing such a criterion is not unlawful in Canada, as it would be in the U.S.; in that regard, the openness of the Canadian approach is to be preferred to the "hidden" criteria approach in the U.S.. What I am most struck by is the "racially visible". What will the university do if a transracial person applies? And what about a light-skinned person of African descent? How light is too light? This seems fraught with complications.
I am curious to know how common this is in Canada and how some of the potential problems for such a search are addressed.