The Exclusion of Disabled Academics from Canada Research Chairs (CRCs) – Report from UBC Study

In previous posts, here and here, I drew attention to the exclusion of disabled philosophers and other disabled academics from Canada Research Chairs (CRCs) and academia in Canada more generally. I explained that I had participated as a consultant in focus groups and a workshop for the Equitable Research Productivity Assessments research project conducted by Louise Griep and Haley Branch under the auspices of Pam Ratner, Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President, Faculty Planning, and Sara-Jane Finlay, Associate Vice-President, Equity & Inclusion, at the University of British Columbia.

In one of the previous posts, furthermore, I indicated that I would provide access to the final report of the project, a report that details the deeply entrenched and systemic ableism that conditions every aspect of the university in Canada, focusing especially on the hiring practices and retention mechanisms that contribute to the dearth of disabled academics in Canada Research Chairs (and the Canadian university more widely) and offering recommendations to address our exclusion.

Although I would have liked it if some features of the final report were allowed greater emphasis than they are given in the current document, I am happy that this body of empirical and quantitative data and contextual qualitative analysis exists. The Canadian Philosophical Association and the Canadian philosophical community in general have done little to improve the very present absence of disabled philosophers in Canada. This document will supplement my own work to identify the ways in which disabled philosophers (and disabled philosophers of disability especially) are systematically prevented from establishing a fulfilling academic career in Canada. That is, I welcome this report as a way to bolster my own work on the demographics of Canadian philosophy in particular, work that is generally depoliticized, dismissed, and disregarded. Furthermore, I’m fully on board with observations throughout the report and recommendations at the end of the report which squarely and unequivocally place the onus for our exclusion on systemic institutional ableism and discriminatory bias.

The final report is available below. Over the coming months, I will likely discuss excerpts from this very important report. Regardless, I encourage all philosophers in Canada to take the time to read the report, take seriously its findings, and act upon its recommendations.

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