Reaffirmation of Our Commitment to Institutional Equity
September 5, 2023 1:02 PM

Dear Members of the University Community, 

At the beginning of each academic year, I write to reaffirm our commitment to build a university community that values diverse ideas, perspectives, and lived experiences, and where each person’s abilities, talents, faith, and culture are respected. Each one of us has a role to play in our university’s efforts to increase access to educational, research, and workplace opportunities by upholding the most fundamental principles of academic freedom, equity, and human dignity. 

One important way we manifest our commitment to a diverse and inclusive campus is through our affirmative action in employment and nondiscrimination policies. The University prohibits discrimination and harassment based on race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, disability, national origin, citizenship status, ancestry, age, order of protection status, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, arrest record status, unfavorable discharge from the military, or status as a protected veteran. These protections apply to all members of the campus community. This includes admissions, enrollment, and provision of services, programs, and activities, and all aspects of employment, including but not limited to recruitment, selection, promotion, transfer, merit increases, salary, training and development, and separation. 

In addition, we take active measures to ensure equal employment opportunity for women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans as a part of our affirmative action plan, consistent with state and federal laws. These good faith efforts include proactively reaching out to diverse audiences to apply for faculty and staff positions, ensuring that our selection and hiring processes are free of bias and discrimination, and voluntary collection of demographic data from our employees and job applicants. I remain fully committed to our affirmative action plan as a critical way to further equal employment opportunity and ensure that our teaching, research, and service efforts reflect the diversity that exists in our community and beyond.  

Please see the Office for Access & Equity website to learn more about OAE’s broader services related to equity, affirmative action and accessibility, and to review our policies and procedures for discrimination, harassment or retaliation. You can submit a discrimination or harassment claim through the university’s online reporting forms. Retaliation against any person for exercising their rights under these policies is strictly prohibited.  

The Accessibility and Accommodations Division of the Office for Access & Equity facilitates disability, religious and pregnancy/parenting accommodations for all faculty, staff, undergraduate and graduate student employees, as well as job applicants. To request a reasonable accommodation, employees can complete the online accommodation request form. The Division engages in an interactive process to determine the appropriate reasonable accommodation for each person. The division also provides advice, consultation and educational programming to increase awareness and inclusion of individuals with disabilities.  

Students can learn more about academic supports and accommodations services by contacting Disability Resources & Educational Services. Students also have the right to request accommodations for religious observances from instructors and can learn more from the Office of the Dean of Students

We recently shared an update regarding Title IX and our commitment to prevent and respond to sexual misconduct. Please visit the We Care website to learn more about confidential and non-confidential resources, university policies, disciplinary procedures, rights and options and additional information related to the prevention, reporting, and response to sexual misconduct. 

It is my firm and unwavering commitment to ensure that all people have equal access to the educational and employment opportunities that our university offers. I encourage you to learn more and get involved in our effort to maintain a university community where everyone is able to learn, collaborate, and thrive.  


Robert J. Jones

This mailing approved by:
Office of the Chancellor

sent to:
Academic Professionals, Civil Service, Faculty, Extra Help, Graduate Students, Undergraduate Students, Incoming Graduate Students & Incoming Undergraduate Students
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