Affirmative Action & Equal Employment Opportunity, Policy Statement:

Title: Affirmative Action & Equal Employment Opportunity, Policy Statement:
Policy Owner: President and Office of Institutional Equity
Applies to: Faculty, Staff
Campus Applicability: All University departments at all campuses except UConn Health
Effective Date: October 14, 2012
For More Information, Contact Office of Institutional Equity
Contact Information: (860) 486-2943
Official Website:


In issuing the University of Connecticut’s affirmative action policy, I reiterate my personal commitment to and the need for affirmative action and attest to the University’s determination to identify strengths and weaknesses in our employment system, resolve problems when they appear, recruit employees vigorously and affirmatively, and  retain current employees while also helping them prepare for advancement.

We are committed to reducing and, wherever possible, eliminating actual and apparent under-representation of minorities and women in our workforce. We are equally dedicated to removing procedural and attitudinal barriers to access for persons with disabilities and older persons. Our efforts over the past few years indicate that we are headed in the right direction. We must, however, persevere with a sense of urgency, with keen awareness of our timetables, and with clarity of purpose until minority persons and women are fairly included throughout our work force.

The University of Connecticut is an equal employment opportunity/affirmative action employer. In order to ensure that employees and job applicants are not subjected to unlawful discrimination, it is the University’s policy to comply with all laws and regulations that prohibit employment discrimination and mandate specific actions for the purpose of eliminating the present effects of past discrimination. Equal employment opportunity is the purpose and goal of affirmative action. The University has established equal employment opportunity and affirmative action as immediate and necessary objectives because we are committed to its concepts, principles, and goals.

Equal employment opportunity (EEO) means nondiscrimination — that is, hiring and promoting without regard to race, color, ethnicity, religious creed, age, sex, marital status, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, genetic information, physical or mental disabilities (including learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, past/present history of a mental disorder), prior conviction of a crime (or similar characteristic), workplace hazards to reproductive systems, gender identity or expression, or other factors which cannot lawfully be the basis for employment actions, unless there is a bona fide occupational qualification. To attain parity demands affirmative action, a program of purposeful activity undertaken with conviction and effort to overcome barriers to equal employment opportunity. Affirmative action plans and programs are designed to achieve the full and fair participation of women, Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, persons with disabilities, and other protected groups found to be underutilized in the workforce or adversely affected by past policies and practices.

Affirmative action is necessary throughout the employment process, from the posting of job notices through hiring to the termination of employment. The University of Connecticut regularly reexamines all policies and procedures to discover and remove barriers to access, and to change practices that may have an illegally discriminatory impact.  We also seek to accelerate the entry of members of underrepresented groups into the workforce, and to support their mobility once they are hired. We are equally vigilant in ensuring that all terms, conditions, and privileges, including upward and lateral mobility, are equitably administered.

Hiring is the traditional focus of affirmative action plans. The University of Connecticut’s current monitoring and support systems are largely concentrated on hiring. It is now time to direct equal attention and creativity toward retention and career mobility.

We need new mechanisms to increase opportunities for career development. These mechanisms must serve all classes of employees, but they must also allow us to combat cultural forces that lead women and minorities into stereotypical roles.

All services and programs are to be provided in a fair and impartial manner. These activities must reflect the positive, active spirit of this policy. All vice presidents, deans, directors, department heads, managers by all other titles, and faculty are expected to support the University’s Affirmative Action Plan for Employment (Plan). All executives and managers must be fully acquainted with the University’s Plan, assure that their subordinate managers are aware of their obligations, and make their support observable and meaningful. This policy also mandates that employees at every level shall support and respect the advancement of equal employment principles and our workplace community.  Affirmative action and equal employment opportunity are University-wide priorities, and will remain so until our goals are met for all categories of employees, regardless of classification.

As a Connecticut state agency, the University of Connecticut prepares its Affirmative Action Plan each year.  The Plan is a detailed, results-oriented set of procedures, which blueprints a strategy to combat discrimination and implement affirmative action. The objectives of the Plan are to set both quantitative and non-quantitative goals, which promote affirmative action and/or eliminate any policy or employment practice that adversely affects protected class members.

More detailed information relating to the University’s Affirmative Action Plan may be found on the Office of Institutional Equity Web site  The complete version of the current year’s Plan is on file in the Reserve Room of the Homer Babbidge Library, as well as each regional campus and School of Law libraries. The Department of Human Resources and the Connecticut State Library also retain a copy.

A listing of federal and state constitutional provisions, laws, executive orders, and regulations mandating Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action is attached to this Policy Statement.  As necessary, revisions will be made to reflect changes in both federal and state laws as well as other changes consistent with the affirmative action regulations.

For more information and advice regarding rights and responsibilities under the Plan, consult Elizabeth Conklin, Associate Vice President for Institutional Equity (OIE), Wood Hall, Unit 4175, 241 Glenbrook Road, Storrs, Connecticut 06269-4175; telephone 860-486-2943; e-mail,  Your comments are welcomed and should be directed to Ms. Conklin at this address and telephone number.

Employees and others wishing to file complaints of discrimination or of affirmative action policy violations may do so by contacting the OIE.  The University of Connecticut’s policies against discrimination and harassment appear in the Plan along with complaint procedures, all of which may be viewed on the website listed above.

As President of the University, I commit the University of Connecticut and myself to make every effort to achieve the goals set forth in the Plan for Employment, within the timetables articulated in the Plan.

Susan Herbst


Attachment: List of Relevant Federal and State Constitutional Provisions