The University of Calgary is hiring — but identity characteristics will determine who can even apply.
The first hiring post went up on November 16 and is a tenured role at the Haskayne School of Business as a professor. It is "only open to qualified women candidates."
The second job posting went live the next day from the university's business school, which is hiring for an assistant, associate or full-time professor, with or without tenure. Notably, the description said, "only open to qualified Black scholars," including "Black Pioneer," "African," or "Caribbean."
The university said the position will "establish an active research program that focuses on any discipline within business provided it is aligned with the University of Calgary's and the Haskayne School of strategic plans," and that "the successful candidate will have the opportunity to be part of a prolific and diverse research environment."
As part of their application, prospective hires must state that they "self-identify as Black" and provide a "statement on equity, diversity, and inclusion."
Lastly, another job opened up, this time at the Faculty of Nursing for the Director, Indigenous Initiatives position, with experience as an assistant or associate professor, with or without tenure. It is "only open to qualified Indigenous scholars," who must provide verifiable proof of their identity.
"We see this commitment as important to meet the needs of an ever-more diverse and rapidly changing society and as an opportunity to harness the ideas, knowledge, skills, and experiences that people from different backgrounds and perspectives bring to our campuses," reads a university release.
The University of Calgary said these positions are part of its "Inclusive Excellence Cluster Hiring Initiative," which it created to "advance and embed the institution's commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility, Indigenous engagement, and inclusive excellence." It has committed to hiring 45 professors from "equity-deserving groups" over the next three years.
Executive Fellow at the University of Calgary's School of Public Policy and professor emeritus Dr. Ted Morton denounced the 'discriminatory' and 'unfair' effects of this new approach to "equity."
"Race-based policies like those being rolled out by the U of C are intrinsically wrong. They are deeply immoral," he said. "Mistreating people based on their skin colour, gender, or other group characteristics is as wrong today as ever."
Dr. Morton cites that the United States adopted similar policies, including discriminatory admissions practices at top U.S. universities. Some Asian-American families recently sued Harvard University following evidence of admission of less-qualified candidates from "equity-deserving groups."
"This is not just unfair to the better-qualified applicants," he said. "It is increasing rather than decreasing tensions between racial groups."
However, recent Pew Research polling uncovered that three-quarters of Americans say gender, race or ethnicity should not factor into admissions decisions.
Though opposition is highest among white Americans at 79%, the majority of all other racial groups oppose affirmative action. This includes 68% of Hispanics, 63% of Asian Americans and 59% of black Americans.
Americans of all races articulated that the top-rated factors are based on individual merit, such as high school grades, standardized entrance exams and community service.
"Affirmative action/reverse discrimination is not a path Alberta needs to go down," said Dr. Morton. "Over the past six decades, people from all over Canada and the world have come to Alberta for better opportunities."
He cites that Alberta has grown from a population of under 1.3 million to more than 4.4 million, with Calgary's population now one-third visible minority. "More importantly, they have stayed and prospered."
Dr. Morton argues that many more recent immigrants have chosen Canada to escape societies whose governments treat racial, ethnic and religious groups differently.
"Members of the 'wrong' groups are habitually denied jobs, education, social mobility and economic opportunities," he said. "They can be shunned in public, [but] in extreme cases they risk being attacked, raped or murdered merely for their ethnicity, religion, culture, sexual orientation or way of dressing."
Dr. Morton said these policies tear apart countries, referencing the events of Nigeria, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, or, currently, Iran and Afghanistan.