Whites need not apply for the position of vice-provost student affairs at Halifax’s Dalhousie University.
The university is seeking only “racially visible persons and Aboriginal Peoples” for the job, the National Post reports.
In a memo to Dalhousie students and staff, Provost Carolyn Watters said the plan is to hire someone who fulfills the university’s affirmative action program.
“We have embarked on the process of selecting a new vice-provost student affairs,” Watters wrote, explaining that the job search “will be restricted to racially visible persons and Aboriginal Peoples at this time.”
The memo has been confirmed by others in the university’s administration. Human Resource VP Jasmine Walsh, told the Post that Dalhousie has a policy of being “deliberate and proactive” when hiring in order to be more inclusive.
“This is a position where we’re looking across our senior admin ranks at Dalhousie, we note that there are representation gaps for racialized and Indigenous People, and so the decision was made to try and target our recruitment efforts to find qualified candidates who will help to increase our representation in the senior ranks,” Walsh said.
The person who currently holds the position is departing with under two years in the job.
Arig al Shaibah became immersed in controversy when the university threatened to punish a student for criticizing alleged “white fragility” on campus.
Walsh denies that barring white people from applying for the job has anything to do with “reverse racism,” nor is it mere tokenism: “If this were the only thing that we were doing, that would be a different conversation. But it’s part of a broader context,” she told the Post.