UT Conference Announcement

January 2003

Excellence through Diversity: Confronting the Tensions in the University
University of Toronto
March 21 - 23, 2003

Aimed at “university administrators, faculty, staff, and students who wonder about equity and diversity issues...the purpose of the conference is to change perceptions of what is possible with respect to achieving equity and to establish a dialogue between university policy makers and those who live these policies.” (From Program Abstract)

Several SAFS members have organized a panel session that challenges the favorable assumptions of equity policies that permeate this conference. Arguably, the SAFS panel will be the only one to argue explicitly that faculty hiring practices demanded by equity policies are harmful to universities.

The title of the SAFS members’ panel is: The moral bankruptcy of diversity/equity hiring policies for university faculty: Empirical, logical, and ethical considerations.

In this session, speakers will present some empirical, logical, and ethical considerations that support the view that faculty hiring should be based solely on academic merit, and that the only kind of diversity a university should be promoting is the diversity of opinions, which can be defended on rational rather than emotive grounds. The speakers and the titles of their presentations are:

  • John Furedy (Chair), University of Toronto: Empirical analyses of institutional hiring policies as revealed in the phrasing of Canadian and American tenure-stream advertisements.
  • Philip Sullivan, University of Toronto: Use and abuse of ‘systemic discrimination’ in universities’ commitment to excellence.
  • Doreen Kimura, Simon Fraser University: Misguided ‘equity’ programs in Canada.
  • Clive Seligman, University of Western Ontario: Ten reasons why preferential faculty hiring is bad for universities.

Conference website:
The SAFS panel session is scheduled for Saturday, March 22, 1:45 to 3:15.