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Academics, agency condemns professor who believes affirmative action is discriminatory

Professor Tomas Hudlicky wrote an article in a German science journal expressing disappointment that affirmative action is hurting certain academics.

Leading academics have condemned a Brock University professor for saying that academia’s affirmative action programs discriminate against men.

According to Blacklock’s Reporter, federal grant agencies are promising to use even more affirmative action when giving out research grants as a result of the outcry.

In June, a Canada Research Chair at Brock University’s faculty of chemistry Professor Tomas Hudlicky wrote an article in a German science journal expressing disappointment that affirmative action is hurting certain academics.

“In the last two decades many groups or individuals have been designated with ‘preferential status.’ This in spite of the fact the percentage of women and minorities in academia and the pharmaceutical industry has greatly increased,” he wrote.

“It follows that in a social equilibrium, preferential treatment of one group leads to disadvantages for another. New ideologies have appeared and influenced hiring practices, promotion, funding and recognition of certain groups.”

Hudlicky believes that strong scientists are being overlooked for funding in favour of those less qualified because they are men or non-minorities.

“Each candidate should have an equal opportunity to secure a position, regardless of personal identification or categorization,” he wrote. 

“The rise and emphasis on hiring practices that suggest or even mandate equality in terms of absolute numbers of people in specific subgroups is counterproductive if it results in discrimination against the most meritorious candidates.”

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council strongly condemned Hudlicky’s letter, attacking him for suggesting affirmative action is harming the pursuit of science.

“We do not support the deplorable views on equity, diversity and inclusion,” wrote Council President Alejandro Adem.

Adem’s letter was co-signed by leading academics from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

“This incident supports actions to improve equity, diversity and inclusion within the research community. The agencies are deeply committed to this process.”

Post-secondary institutions in Canada have become increasingly devoted to social justice, attacking and condemning those who have a different perspective.

In 2019, Mount Royal University cancelled an international field school program after its host Prof. Mark Hecht wrote an op-ed questioning the value of ethnic diversity.

In June, UBC Board of Governors Chair Michael Korenberg resigned following backlash over his social media history. Korenberg liked tweets from several conservative figures and a tweet that was critical of Black Lives Matter.

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