The University of Victoria has added a chair in transgender studies to its faculty — the first such position, the university says, in the world.

The position was afforded by a $1 million US  donation from the Tawani Foundation. The American-based organization has also pledged to match any other donations towards the position to a maximum of another $1 million US.

The inaugural chair will be Dr. Aaron Devor, currently a professor in the university's sociology department and the former dean of its graduate studies faculty.

He also founded the extensive Transgender Archives at UVic, established in 2012.

"Far too many trans and gender nonconforming people still live in poverty and fear," Devor said in a statement.

"As the inaugural chair, I will act as a resource locally and internationally for those needing information for their own research or for policy development, as well as building linkages between community-based and academic scholars working in transgender studies."