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PG-5 Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity for Employment

Policy:  PG-5
Subject: Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity for Employment

Approval Date:  07/01/85
Revision Date:  03/07/94; 06/15/2006; 12/09/2016

POLICY:
It is the policy of Morehead State University to provide affirmative action in all University programs, activities, facilities, and employment practices. Equal opportunity in all University programs, activities, facilities, and employment practices will be provided for all persons without regard for race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, disabled veterans, gender identity, gender expression, recently separated veterans, other protected veterans, armed forces service medal veterans or disability.

Morehead State University respects human dignity and the principles that all persons are entitled to equal treatment under the law. Morehead State also recognizes that equal opportunity is a fundamental goal in a democratic society, and we share responsibility for achieving equality for the advancement of society.

It is the policy of Morehead State University to recruit, identify, encourage and employ within reasonable time periods, representatives of underutilized groups, specifically but not limited to minorities, women, and persons with disabilities. The University has been encouraged by the Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights to specifically take positive and constructive efforts to identify, encourage and employ African-American individuals. Therefore, positive efforts must be aggressively undertaken to fulfill our goals. Morehead State University's desire is to overcome any effects of past discrimination, whether overt or from unconscious, systematic exclusion of protected class persons in any of our positions or programs.

Morehead State University will endeavor to achieve a representation of minorities, women, and disabled persons in each major job classification, reflective of current availability. Our Affirmative Action Plan focuses on reducing under-representation of members of protected classes.

In addition, Morehead State University is dedicated to the principle that all benefits and opportunities afforded by the institution shall be accorded students, based upon individual merit, accomplishment, and need, and that the promotion of nondiscrimination in every phase of the University's operation is required.

Morehead State University expects its suppliers and contractors to ensure maximum opportunity for the participation of disabled persons, minorities, and women. Each contractor is expected to follow an affirmative action program that is in accordance with federal and state regulations.

Finally, the University is committed to taking affirmative steps to remove barriers and discriminatory practices and to ensure that we not only comply with the letter of the law but the intent of both affirmative action and equal opportunity.

ADMINISTRATION OF THE POLICY:
The Board of Regents authorizes the President to administer this policy by developing and implementing plans and procedures, will support affirmative action and equal opportunity.

LEADERSHIP/GUIDANCE:
The Affirmative Action Officer, in conjunction with the President’s Cabinet, shall provide leadership and guidance to units in the conduct of their programs affecting all faculty, staff and applicants for employment. The Affirmative Action Officer shall review and evaluate unit program operations periodically, obtain such reports as deemed necessary, and report as appropriate, on overall progress. The Affirmative Action Officer will consult from time to time with such individuals, groups, or organizations as may be of assistance in improving and realizing the University's program and objectives.

PRESIDENT’S DIVERSITY COUNCIL
The Morehead State University Affirmative Action President’s Diversity Council is appointed by the President from representatives across campus.  The President designates the chair. The Committee shall consist of:

  • Chief Diversity Officer,
  • Faculty members,
  • Staff members,
  • Two students.

Representatives from the faculty, staff, and students shall be at least 50 percent female. At least two members shall come from other protected classes.

A chair will be appointed by the President from the membership or as an additional member. The chair shall vote only in the case of a tie.

The President’s Diversity Council shall be composed of individuals from culturally diverse backgrounds. A major effort will be made to establish a fair representation of underrepresented individuals on the Council. The Council shall meet at least once quarterly and may conduct special meetings with minorities, women, disabled, foreign nationals, and others when appropriate. The Council is charged with:
A. Reports Reviewing and fact-finding when necessary:

  1. Reporting on recruitment, appointments, promotion, transfer, demotions, tenure, transfer, and termination;
  2. Proposing changes in University policies and procedures recommended by deans, directors, department chairs, unit heads, women, minorities, Vietnam Era veterans, employee organizations, and others;
  3. Proposing changes in the Affirmative Action Plan;
  4. Reviewing and reporting on compliance with audits conducted by federal and state agencies; and
  5. Reviewing and reporting on the summaries of annual reports generated on recruitment, appointment, promotion, tenure, transfer, and termination.

B. Advising the Chief Diversity Officer on sensitive subjects and procedures.

C. Making recommendations to the Chief Diversity Officer for programs to effectuate purpose(s) of affirmative action and equal employment opportunity.

D. Acting as a review board on affirmative action, and equal employment opportunity policy violations submitted for disposition; where recommendations will be made to the President, or a complaint of discrimination has been lodged and has not been informally resolved.

E. Assisting Human Resources in developing approaches and efforts in the recruitment and hiring of minorities, women, and disabled candidates.
 
RESOLUTION OF COMPLAINTS:
The University shall provide for the prompt, fair, and impartial consideration of all grievances of alleged discrimination in violation of this policy. Claims of sexual misconduct should be addressed through PG-6.  Each employing unit shall provide access to counseling for employees and/or students who feel aggrieved and shall encourage the resolution of such issues on an informal basis.
Grievances frequently are founded in simple misconceptions or misunderstandings. It is believed to be in the best interest of the University and the grievant for differences to be resolved informally-- if informal hierarchical resolution is not possible then the following applies:

FORMAL PROCEDURE:
The grievant is to contact the University Affirmative Action Officer for a meeting as soon as practicable. The Affirmative Action Officer is to be sensitive to the fact that the meeting may need to take place after normal working hours so as to prevent disclosure to a supervisor or others. The Affirmative Action Officer will listen attentively to the grievant in order to fully understand the grievance, after which, the Affirmative Action Officer will offer his or her services in informal resolution. Normally, this informal procedure will not exceed five working days unless the parties mutually agree to an extension of this time period.

First Step  (Not to exceed 60 days from initiation of a formal review unless the parties mutually agree to an extension of this time period.)
The grievant shall direct his/her grievance regarding the alleged discriminatory act(s) by preparing a written explanation of his/her grievance and the relief sought to the Affirmative Action Officer (AAO). The Affirmative Action Officer may schedule a meeting with the grievant for the purpose of gathering information. The AAO will conduct a thorough investigation of the written grievance.  The AAO may also engage the Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) for the purpose of gathering information and also assisting with the grievance.

Following receipt of the written grievance, a meeting will be held by the AAO or CDO with the grievant and others who may be of assistance in resolving the grievance in the best interests of all concerned.

Following this grievance meeting, the AAO or CDO will prepare written findings which will be delivered to the grievant or sent by certified mail, return receipt, to the grievant’ s address of record. Copies of the findings will also be provided to individuals on a need to know basis. The AAO shall make such recommendations in writing as is believed warranted by the results of his/her investigation and meetings regarding each written issue. If the grievant prevails the defendant may appeal to the appropriate Vice President. If no appeal is forwarded by the defendant within 5 working days after receipt of the Affirmative Action findings, the issue is resolved, as specified.

Second Step  (Not to exceed 60 days from initiation of a formal review unless the parties mutually agree to an extension of this time period.)
The aggrieved party may appeal the First Step answer by serving a written statement of appeal to the AAO or CDO within ten (10) working days after delivery of the AAO's findings and written recommendations to the grievant.

Following receipt of the written appeal, an Affirmative Action Grievance Review Board will be selected by the AAO.
The board shall be composed of an African-American or other protected class member, a female member, and a male member. The grievant may select one person from the standing President’s Diversity Council; the Affirmative Action Officer may select one person from the President’s Diversity Council, and the grievant and the AAO or CDO together will select the third individual. In cases where a student is involved, a student member will serve on the Review Board. The President’s Diversity Council chair will designate the Review Board Chair.

The responsibilities of the Grievance Review Board will include, but not be limited to:

  1. A review of all documents received or prepared as the grievance was processed through the First Step.
  2. The Grievance Review Board Chair will schedule a hearing, designating the time, place, and date for the hearing.
  3. The Grievance Review Board Chair will notify both the AAO and the parties of the time, place, and date of the hearing, including the right of representation. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to require the representative to be an attorney. If the defendant/grievant desires to be represented at the hearing, he/she will give notice of that intention and by whom in writing to the Grievance Review Board and the AAO not less than six (6) working days prior to the hearing date.
  4. All hearings will be conducted by the Grievance Review Board. The proceedings will be tape-recorded, and if requested by a majority of the Grievance Review Board, a typed transcript will be prepared.

The Affirmative Action Officer or CDO will set forth the basis for his/her findings and recommendation(s) on the grievance. The parties, or their representative, shall have the opportunity to respond to the findings and recommendations of the Affirmative Action Officer or CDO.

The Grievance Review Board has the option of going into closed session to weigh the record and evidence and to formulate its findings and recommendations to the President of the University.

5. The Grievance Review Board shall make its findings and recommendations to the President within five (5) working days following the hearing.

The President after reviewing the Grievance Review Board's findings and recommendations. Written notification of the President's decision will be hand delivered to the parties or delivered by certified mail, return receipt, to the address of record.

The President's decision will be the final step of the grievance procedure. Under legally prescribed instances (tenured faculty member being terminated) an appeal may be initialed through processes defined under PAc-26.