Initially approved: September 26, 1975
Revised: October 28, 1975
Revised: July 1, 1976
Revised: June 1, 1999
Revised: July 31, 2007
Revised: August 10, 2009
Revised: November 13, 2012
Policy Topic: Governance & Administration
Administering Office: Chancellor’s Office
I. POLICY STATEMENT
Western Carolina University is committed to the principle that educational and employment decisions should be based on an individual’s abilities and qualifications regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex1 , age, gender identity or expression, genetic information, sexual orientation2 , veteran status, disability, or political affiliation, except where religion, sex, or age are bona fide job related employment requirements. This is in keeping with Section 103 of The Code of The University of North Carolina, North Carolina General Statutes 126-16 and 126-17, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1968 as amended, the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1988, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Civil Rights Act of 1991, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Vietnam Era Veteran’s Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, and other applicable federal and state laws relating to discrimination in educational programs and employment. In accordance with Executive Order 11246, Western Carolina University has in place an Affirmative Action Plan that states the university’s commitment to the principle of equal employment opportunity for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, disability, military veteran status, political affiliation or sexual orientation.
II. SCOPE AND APPLICATION OF POLICY
This policy applies to all university students, faculty, staff, agents, and contractors.
III. TITLE IX COORDINATOR
The Director of Diversity and Equal Opportunity Programs is designated as the university’s Title IX Coordinator. The coordinator’s responsibilities include overseeing Title IX complaints, including identifying and addressing any systemic problems. In discharging these responsibilities, the coordinator will work closely with the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and the Director of Athletics. The coordinator’s contact information is:
Director of Diversity and Equal Opportunity Programs
Western Carolina University
520 HFR Administration Building
Cullowhee, NC 28723
IV. COMPLAINT PROCEDURES
A. Complaints from Students
Any student who believes he or she has been treated unfairly based on any of the above classes or characteristics should contact the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. It is the responsibility of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs to investigate and resolve student complaints made under this Policy in accordance with university policy and the Code of Student Conduct. Investigations may be conducted in consultation with the Director of Diversity and Equal Opportunity Programs if the complaint involves an employee.
B. Complaints from SPA or EPA Employees and Faculty
Any employee who believes he or she has been treated unfairly based on any of the above classes or characteristics should contact his or her immediate supervisor or the next level of supervisor if the immediate supervisor is the subject of the allegation. Employees and applicants may also contact the Director of Diversity and Equal Opportunity Programs. It is the responsibility of the Director of Diversity and Equal Opportunity Programs to investigate and resolve employee complaints made under this Policy. Investigations may be conducted in consultation with the appropriate supervisor(s) and the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs if the complaint involves a student.
An SPA employee with a grievance concerning a denial of employment, promotion, training, or transfer, or concerning a demotion, layoff, transfer or termination due to discrimination based on age, gender, race, color, national origin, religion, creed, political affiliation or handicapping condition as defined by G.S. 168A-3, or a grievance based on retaliation for opposition to alleged discrimination may still appeal directly to the Office of Administrative Hearings and the State Personnel Commission.
This Policy seeks to encourage students and employees to report concerns involving discrimination. Any act of reprisal or retaliation, including interference, restraint, coercion, penalty, discrimination, harassment - overtly or covertly - against a student or employee for responsibly reporting under this Policy interferes with free expression and violates this Policy. Accordingly, individuals who violate this retaliation prohibition may be subject to prompt disciplinary action.
VI. DIVERSITY AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY PROGRAMS
The Director of Diversity and Equal Opportunity Programs and the Director of Employment and Affirmative Action Programs are responsible for the overall development of the university’s diversity and equal opportunity programs. Responsibility for the implementation and oversight of these programs will be shared by all academic and administrative managers. Equal opportunity and diversity programs will be assessed periodically, and program reports will be presented to the Chancellor.
VII. POLICY REVIEW
This policy shall be reviewed and revised as necessary every four (4) years.
VIII. RELATED POLICIES AND RESOURCES
• University Policies: Numerical Index
• UNC Policy Manual: http://www.northcarolina.edu/policy/index.php
• University Policy #53, Sexual Harassment and Other Unlawful Harassment
University Policy #83, Accommodation of Faculty, Employees, and Applicants with Disabilities
1Prohibited sex discrimination covers sexual harassment and sexual violence, which includes sexual assault and other sexual invasion without that person's consent.
2Western Carolina University recognizes that sexual orientation and gender identity or expression are not protected categories under federal or state laws. By extending protection to these categories as an internal policy matter it is not the intention of the University to create any rights that either may be pursued or enforced off-campus, that extend to the employee benefits package made available by the State of North Carolina or other off-campus entities, or that interfere with the University's relationships with outside organizations, including the federal government, the military or private employers.