Human rights tribunal to hear UBC prof's racial discrimination complaint

February 14, 2012

The BC Human Rights Tribunal has agreed to hear the case of a University of British Columbia education professor who alleges she was passed over for a research chair position because of her race. The professor, who is of Chinese descent, filed a complaint claiming UBC and 4 administrators discriminated against her with respect to the appointment of the chair in 2009. The professor argues that she was better qualified for the position than the successful applicant and notes that only one member of the selection committee was a visible minority. She also alleges systemic discrimination which she claims is evidenced by being "forgotten" in her tenure and promotion schedule and the fact that visible minorities are virtually absent from leadership positions. UBC denies that any such discrimination occurred and applied to have the complaint dismissed. A tribunal member declined to dismiss the professor's complaint against UBC in a decision dated January 24, but did dismiss individual complaints against the 4 administrators. The tribunal will decide at a later date whether the university breached the Human Rights Code in its treatment of the professor. Vancouver Sun