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Office of Institutional Access and Equity

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2.1 Nondiscrimination, Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity

Policy: SMU will not discriminate in any employment practice, educational program, or educational activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, or veteran status. SMU’s commitment to equal opportunity includes nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. These groups may be referred to as protected classes. This policy is intended to comply with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations. The Office of Institutional Access and Equity has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies.

The University expects its campus community to respect the rights and dignity of all its members in matters of personnel consideration, admissions, or academic evaluation. The University is committed to policies and actions that assure and promote equality of access and opportunity to its educational and employment programs. Individuals are afforded the rights and privileges established by the University for living, studying, working and visiting on the campuses of Southern Methodist University. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the University does not:

A. limit freedom of religion;
B. require adherence to these principles by government agencies or external organizations that associate with, but are not controlled by, the University; and
C. extend benefits or remedies to any student, faculty, or staff beyond those benefits or remedies provided under other policies of the University.

The University will make changes in its educational and employment programs in order to comply with applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations and directives and in order to promote diversity and take remedial action. The University will identify, initiate, and implement policies and programs that will facilitate nondiscrimination, promote affirmative action and take remedial measures as indicated to enhance diversity among its students, faculty, staff and administration in all areas at all levels.

Every member of the University community has a responsibility to be supportive of and to assist the University to meet its established goals and commitments and its legal obligations. Every division of the University will adopt realistic and viable plans of action to achieve immediate and long-range goals to increase and advance the presence of protected class members among students, faculty and staff in recruitment, admissions, and employment; to identify and implement support structures that enhance student, faculty and staff retention and advancement; and to promote the goal of achieving greater racial, ethnic, gender and cultural diversity for the University community.

The Associate Vice President for Institutional Access and Equity and/or designee is the President's principal assistant for the coordination of a variety of University policies, procedures, programs and initiatives. The Associate Vice President and/or designee will assist administrative officials in the development and implementation of programs, strategies, and activities to promote the goal of promoting nondiscrimination and increasing diversity among protected classes in accordance with established goals and commitments.

Any person covered by this policy that has a claim of impermissible discrimination, harassment, assault or violence based on membership in a protected class is encouraged to promptly contact the Office of Institutional Access and Equity and make known their complaint. The Office will address the report pursuant to SMU policy.

Any member of the University community that becomes aware of a potential violation of SMU policy that prohibits discrimination, harassment, assault or violence against protected class members is obligated to promptly report it to the Office of Institutional Access and Equity. The Office will address the report pursuant to SMU policy.

The Office of Institutional Access and Equity has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination and affirmative action policies and may be contacted at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX 75275; 214-768-3601, or by e-mail at accessequity@smu.edu.

The University reserves the right to review and investigate potential violations of SMU policy whether through the filing of a complaint or otherwise at its sole discretion.