Employment equity gone wrong

University hired unqualified professor without sufficient background checks
By Laura Cassiani
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 07/04/2001

A university hiring committee, foiled by a female, visible-minority candidate who forged her academic and professional credentials, may be cleared of any wrongdoing, but questions still remain about their hiring practices.

When Vietnam-born Lana Nguyen applied for the job as an assistant professor in electronics engineering at the University of Regina, three years ago, she was rated last out of three candidates. She was eventually hired and appointed assistant professor of software engineering a year before the job opened.

“If she was hired because she was a visible minority than that is not appropriate. It’s not in anyone’s best interests, including the candidate. That’s not the point of (employment equity). It creates a really unsettled and unhappy culture in the workplace to hire someone just based on their gender or race,” said Liz Calvert, provincial chair of the Saskatchewan Employment Equity and Diversity Association.