Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Policy

I. Statement of principles and values

Missouri State University is committed to diversity as a core institutional value and responsibility. Diversity is central to providing and retaining a quality educational environment. As a public affairs institution, the University must develop educated persons who are equipped to contribute to the interdependent world in which we now live. The ability to adapt to rapid economic, social, and cultural changes is imperative. An understanding of diverse cultures and societies has not only become necessary to function in today’s workplace, it also enriches one’s life and work.

Missouri State University is committed to programs and practices that assure an environment free of the barriers of discrimination in education and employment and that establish a collegial and just community. To achieve this end, Missouri State University views, evaluates, and treats all persons in any University-related activity or circumstance in which they may be involved, solely as individuals on the basis of their own personal abilities, qualifications, and relevant characteristics.

II. Statement of policy

Nondiscrimination Policy

Missouri State University is a community of people with respect for diversity. The University emphasizes the dignity and equality common to all persons and adheres to a strict nondiscrimination policy regarding the treatment of individual faculty, staff, and students. In accord with federal law and applicable Missouri statutes, the University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, or veteran status in employment or in any program or activity offered or sponsored by the University. Prohibited sex discrimination encompasses sexual harassment, which includes sexual violence. In addition, the University does not discriminate on any basis (including, but not limited to, political affiliation and sexual orientation) not related to the applicable educational requirements for students or the applicable job requirements for employees.

This policy shall not be interpreted in a manner as to violate the legal rights of religious organizations or military organizations associated with the Armed Forces of the United States of America.

The University maintains a grievance procedure incorporating due process available to any person who believes he or she has been discriminated against. Missouri State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Minority/Female/Veterans/Disability employer and institution. Inquiries concerning the grievance procedure, Affirmative Action Plan, or compliance with federal and state laws and guidelines should be addressed to the Equal Opportunity Officer, Office for Institutional Equity and Compliance, 901 South National Avenue, Springfield, Missouri 65897, equity@missouristate.edu, 417-836-4252, or to the Office for Civil Rights. (Res. Board Policies No. 70-11; Bd. Min. 10-28-11.)

Reasonable Accommodations

Missouri State University provides reasonable accommodations that allow applicants, employees, or qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of a position.

Reasonable accommodations will be made unless such accommodations have the end result of placing an undue burden on the operations of the University. If reasonable accommodations would cause undue hardship or burden because of costs, the individual with a disability shall be given the option of providing the accommodation themselves or paying for the portion of the cost that poses the undue hardship or burden. Employees needing accommodations should contact their supervisor or department head, or seek assistance from the following offices at their campus:

Springfield:  Office for Institutional Equity and Compliance
Mountain Grove:  Office for Institutional Equity and Compliance
West Plains:  Director of University/Community Programs
All other Locations:  Office for Institutional Equity and Compliance

III. Programmatic responsibility

The President of Missouri State University is charged with overall responsibility for the successful implementation of Missouri State University’s equal opportunity, equal access, and affirmative action policies.

Under the authority and supervision of the President, the Equal Opportunity Officer is responsible for developing system-wide policies pertaining to equal opportunity, equal access, and affirmative action in cooperation with other University officers. The Equal Opportunity Officer is responsible for all aspects of the University system’s Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Compliance Programs to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations (e.g., Executive Order 11246, Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, Title IX of the Higher Education Act of 1972, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistant Act of 1974, and Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 as amended). The Equal Opportunity Officer serves as a liaison with the Provost, Vice Presidents, members of the Academic Council, and other Missouri State University administrators in monitoring and recommending policies and procedures regarding equal employment and educational opportunities for faculty, staff, and students. The Equal Opportunity Officer also serves as the University's Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator and the Title IX Officer.

IV. Authority and accountability

The objectives of Missouri State University’s equal opportunity, equal access, and affirmative action policies are to provide fair and consistent treatment for all members of the University community. The University is committed to increasing the recruitment, selection, and promotion of faculty and staff at the University who are racial or ethnic minorities, women, qualified individuals with disabilities, or Vietnam-era veterans. Correspondingly, the University is committed to policies and programs that increase the diversity of the student body.

The primary responsibility for achieving these objectives rests with the Provost, Vice Presidents, Chancellors, Deans and other senior administrators. The Provost, Vice Presidents, Chancellors, and Deans are responsible for:  establishing goals and action-oriented programs within their units and integrating equal opportunity, equal access, and affirmative action principles and objectives into all decisions within their areas of responsibility. The Provost, Vice Presidents, Chancellors, Deans and other senior administrators are also responsible for reviewing recommendations for hiring, compensation, promotion, transfer or reassignment, and termination to ensure compliance with the University’s affirmative action program in both procedure and outcome, and for reviewing the qualifications of applicants and reasons for selection to ensure that minorities, women, and persons with disabilities are given full opportunities for hire and promotion.

Department Heads, directors, and supervisors throughout the University system are responsible for promoting equal employment opportunity and making good faith efforts to achieve affirmative action goals.

Evaluations of administrators and supervisors will include their equal employment opportunity, equal access, and affirmative action efforts and results.

V. Additional requirements of Affirmative Action programs

As a federal contractor, Missouri State University is required to develop and maintain a written affirmative action program, which is a set of specific results-oriented actions and procedures to which the University commits itself. These programs must be updated annually. Affirmative action programs for Missouri State University are available for inspection in the Office for Institutional Equity and Compliance, the Office of Human Resources, the Office of the Provost and each vice president and chancellor. The full Affirmative Action program, absent the data metric required by Section 60-741.44(k) shall be made available to employees electronically, upon request, so long as the requester is able to access the electronic version of the AAP. [Part 60-741.41]

Missouri State University is also required to send written notification of university policies related to its Affirmative Action efforts to all subcontractors and request their consideration.

Missouri State University shall conduct an annual self-analysis of its outreach and recruitment efforts for qualified individuals who are disabled and who are veterans.

Missouri State University shall document all of its outreach and recruitment efforts and document and retain such records for 3 years

Audits of the University Affirmative Action Program shall be consistent with Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs standards as established by federal law.

Prior versions approved September 15, 2006 by Board of Governors.