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CAUT Bulletin Archives

October 2001

Skewed Research Chair Allocation

Academics and equity advocates have added their voices to a growing criticism of the Canada Research Chairs Program. According to the government's allocation figures, less than 17 per cent of the chairs awarded in the first year of the program have been distributed to women, and only 11 per cent have been allocated to junior researchers. Of the 323 research chairs allocated to date to faculty with rank, 73 per cent of the chairs were allocated to full professors even though only 39 per cent of faculty members currently hold the rank of full professor. On the other hand, only 27 per cent of research chairs were allocated to associate and assistant professors, although these categories represent 56 per cent of all teaching faculty. Associate and assistant professor are also the ranks in which 70 per cent of female faculty members teach. At these ranks women represent 36 per cent of the faculty complement, yet female faculty members received only 25 per cent of research chairs. "These results are particularly disturbing given that the program promised equitable distribution of chairs between men and women and between junior and senior researchers," said CAUT executive director Jim Turk.