The University of Ottawa is excluding white scholars from professor positions in order to “combat systemic racial discrimination.”

The Ontario university joins a growing list of post-secondary institutions taking part in controversial “Equity, Diversity and Inclusion” (EDI) practices.

A job posting for a tenure-track Assistant or Associate Public Management Professor position in the University of Ottawa School of Political Studies notes that hiring “will be done in accordance with the University’s initiatives to combat systemic racial discrimination.”

“Only qualified applications from racialized or Indigenous peoples will be considered and evaluated for the position,” the posting adds.

The university says its new hiring initiatives seek to “remedy the under-representation of racialized peoples and Indigenous peoples within the ranks of its faculty members” and “accelerate the hiring of Black, Indigenous and racialized professors in the coming years.” 

Other job postings with race-restrictive hiring criterias can be found on the University of Ottawa’s website. A past posting from fall 2022 for an Anti-Racism Education Assistant Professor position also notes it was only open to racialized and Indigenous applicants. 

Society for Academic Freedom and Scholarship (SAFS) and Saint Mary’s University professor Mark Mercer previously criticized race-based hiring practices in an interview with True North, saying “EDI initiatives and EDI ideology are fundamentally anti-academic. They don’t embody academic values and they don’t serve academic goals.” 

“What we want as professors are the people who combine teaching and research to the highest degree. So by bringing in something irrelevant, such as ethnicity or race, the university is cutting itself off from potentially the best scholars,” added Mercer.

Other Canadian universities that have been taking part in race-based EDI hiring practices include Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly known as Ryerson), the University of Calgary, Dalhousie University, Laval University and Halifax’s NSCAD University – as previously reported on by True North’s Campus Watch series.

A University of Ottawa spokesperson told True North “the hiring for this position will be done in accordance with the University’s initiatives to combat systemic racial discrimination as announced by the University President in January 2021.”