On Campus

UBC faces human rights complaint

Prof alleges she was denied job because of racial discrimination

The University of British of Columbia is facing a human rights complaint over alleged discrimination against a professor who is of Chinese descent. The complainant, Jennifer Chan, told the Georgia Straight that she has been subject to “systemic racism” throughout her tenure at UBC. She was first appointed as a postdoctoral fellow in the department of political science in 2001, and joined the faculty of education in 2003.

After being denied appointment to the prestigious David Lam Chair in Multicultural Education in late 2009, Chan filed complaints with UBC’s equity office as well as with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal. “The David Lam Chair selection committee deviated from established faculty recruitment practice. It did not contact any external referees; applied shifting and unstated criteria during the search process; kept no factual record of the search process; and did not consider employment equity,” Chan said in a statement released to media this week.

The internal complaint has since been dismissed, and the Human Rights Tribunal is scheduled to hear the case on May 12. In a statement published by the Georgia Straight, UBC Scott Macrae said that the case was investigated “exhaustively,” and that “no discrimination” was uncovered. “The University has accepted those conclusions.”

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