Nondiscrimination, Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity

Policy number: 3.1

Policy section: Access & Equity

Revised Date: January 2, 2019

1.  Policy Statement

The University 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. The University’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.

2.  Purpose

This policy is intended to promote and ensure equality of access and opportunity to the University’s educational and employment programs.

3.  The University’s Commitment to Nondiscrimination

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.

4.  The Responsibilities of the University Community

  1. Every member of the University community has a responsibility to be supportive of and to assist the University in meeting its established goals and commitments and its legal obligations as outlined in this policy.
  2. 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.
  3. The University President has overall responsibility for development and implementation of appropriate Affirmative Action plans and programs. These plans and programs provide for outreach, equal access, equal opportunity, and corrective actions consistent with University policies and procedures, as well as federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
  4. The Executive Director for Institutional Access and Equity reports directly to the University President and is responsible for producing the Affirmative Action Plans and coordinating the implementation of the plans, programs and activities.

5.  Discrimination Complaints and Reports

  1. Any person covered by this policy that has a claim of discrimination or harassment based on a protected class is encouraged to file a complaint by completing and submitting a Discrimination Complaint Form to the Office of Institutional Access and Equity. The Office will investigate the matter to determine if this policy has been violated. Please refer to University Policy 3.3, Title IX Harassment, for filing complaints of sexual misconduct including sexual assault and sexual violence.
  2. Any member of the University community that becomes aware of a potential violation of University policy that prohibits discrimination and harassment based on a protected class including sexual misconduct, sexual assault, and sexual violence is obligated to promptly report the potential violation to the Office of Institutional Access and Equity.
  3. The University reserves the right to review and investigate potential violations of University policy whether through the filing of a complaint or otherwise at its sole discretion.

6.  The Office of Institutional Access and Equity

  1. The Office of Institutional Access and Equity has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination and affirmative action policies.
  2. The Executive Director for Institutional Access and Equity or his or her designee is the President's principal assistant for the coordination of a variety of University policies, procedures, programs and initiatives. The Executive Director or his or her designee will assist administrative officials in the development and implementation of programs, strategies, and activities to promote nondiscrimination and increase diversity among protected classes in accordance with established goals and commitments.
  3. The Office of Institutional Access and Equity will have principal responsibility to coordinate and develop replies to discrimination complaints, pre- and post-compliance reviews, inquiries, investigations and on-campus visits from federal and state agencies including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), the Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”), the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”), Health and Human Services (“HHS”), the Texas Workforce Commission (“TWC”), as well as special interest groups with a focus on nondiscrimination and affirmative action.

7.  Questions and Contact

The Office of Institutional Access and Equity may be contacted at 214-768-3601 or by e-mail at

Revised: January 2, 2019

Adopted: June 1, 1994