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General FAQs

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Equal opportunity refers to employment or educational practices that ensure nondiscrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, age, national origin, national ancestry, sex, pregnancy, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, military service or veteran status, mental or physical disability, or genetic information.

Affirmative action is one aspect of efforts to ensure equal opportunity. The purpose of affirmative action programs is to promote fairness and address the effects of past discrimination by encouraging, among other things, targeted outreach efforts to attract underutilized minorities and women.

Diversity refers to human qualities that differ among groups or individuals. Dimensions of diversity include but are not limited to: age, ethnicity, gender, physical abilities/qualities, race, sexual orientation, educational background, geographic location, income, marital status, military experience, parental status, religious beliefs, work experience, and job classification.

Although equal opportunity, affirmative action, and diversity are all different, they are interrelated. Together, they provide a strong foundation for the University’s efforts to achieve a fair and inclusive workplace.

The Office of Equity and Civil Rights Compliance supports and advances the University’s commitment to inclusion and equity by providing advice and leadership to administrators, faculty, and staff in their efforts to recruit and retain a diverse workforce and to ensure a learning community free from discrimination and harassment.

ECRC offers training on all policies related to equal opportunity and discrimination: including policies 40.001, 03.003, 03.004, and 03.006, and the civil rights laws from which the policies were developed. This includes Title VII, Title IX, the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act among others. Training is generally done by request, and in consultation with supervisors or managers of units wishing to receive training. If you would like to request training for your unit, please fill out the form on the right side of this website.

If you feel that you have been discriminated against or harassed based on membership in a protected class (race, gender, etc.), retaliated against based on a protected activity (filing a complaint, participating in a complaint investigation, etc.), you may have a legitimate complaint.

ECRC investigates complaints of violations of the:

  • Sexual Misconduct Policy (03.004)
    • Ohio University prohibits sexual misconduct in any educational programs and activities or employment situations.
    • This policy applies to all of Ohio University’s operations and programs, including regional campuses.
    • This policy establishes a process for determining when sexual misconduct has occurred. It also authorizes the University to take actions to stop the conduct, to remediate its effects, and to provide information to prevent sexual misconduct.
  • Equal Employment and Educational Opportunity Policy (40.001)
    • Any member of the University community who believes that he or she has been discriminated against or harassed on the basis of any status protected by federal or state law or university policy may file a complaint with the Office of Equity and Civil Rights Compliance. Any person who believes that he or she has been retaliated against for a protected disclosure under this policy may report to the Office of Equity and Civil Rights Compliance.
  • Whistleblowing and Retaliation Policy (03.006)
    • Any member of the University community who believes that he or she has been retaliated against for a protected disclosure under the university anti-discrimination policies may file a complaint with ECRC. The office will also investigate in cases where an individual is retaliated against for their participation in ECRC resolution processes as a witness.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance Policy (03.003)
    • ECRC investigates formal complaints of discrimination on the basis of disability status. However, there are two other offices at Ohio University that coordinate the process for obtaining a reasonable accommodation due to the presence of a disability. 

University employees may initiate a request for an accommodation due to a disability by contacting University Equity and Civil Rights Compliance. Students may register for an accommodation by contacting Student Accessibility Services

The Office of the Ombudsman is a confidential service open to all members of the Ohio University community. The Ombudsman’s internal role is to listen, interpret policy, facilitate or mediate and make recommendations and suggestions for institutional policy. The Office of the Ombudsman is not a part of the ECRC complaint process, and contacting the Ombudsman does not put ECRC on notice of an issue.

ECRC covers all regional campuses and centers of Ohio University. All university policies prohibiting discrimination and harassment on the basis of protected status are enforced by ECRC in concert with the deans of the regional campuses. If you are a student or employee on a regional campus who feels discriminated against or harassed, please contact the Office of Equity and Civil Rights Compliance at 740-593-9140, by email, equity@ohio.edu, or you may also fill out the Discrimination/Harassment Complaint Form  and deliver, email, or fax to ECRC at 740-593-9168.