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Frequently Asked Questions - Demographic Information

As an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer, the University of Virginia is required to solicit demographic information from applicants, as well as faculty and staff. A variety of federal and state laws and regulations mandate the University to capture this information. Provision of this information is strictly voluntary and confidential. Electing not to provide this information will in no way subject you to adverse action. The following FAQ's contain additional information on the demographic areas for which you are asked to self-identify and how the data is used by the University.

  1. Why does the University ask for my gender?
  2. Why does the University ask for my race/ethnicity?
  3. Why does the University ask for my veteran and protected veteran status?
  4. Why does the University ask for my disability status?
  5. Who sees my demographic information and how is it used?

1. Why does the University ask for my gender?

There are three primary reasons why the University requests gender information from job applicants, faculty, and staff.

  1. As the recipient of federal research funding, the University of Virginia is a federal contractor and subject to Title 41 Part 60 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). This regulation requires that the University collect gender information from job applicants, as well as all employed faculty and staff, in order to engage in affirmative action analysis of personnel processes, such as recruitment, hiring, promotions, and terminations.
  2. In accordance with the Higher Education Act of 1965, the University must annually report the gender of its faculty and staff to the U.S. Department of Education through the Integrated Post-secondary Education Data System (IPEDS). As an institution of higher education, this report is comparable to reports made to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) via the EEO-1 survey.
  3. The University of Virginia, as an agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia, is subject to various state policies and regulations, which require the University to collect and maintain gender information.

Voluntary provision of gender information by individuals is the most preferred method for obtaining this data. However, it is important to note that the above-referenced federal and state record keeping obligations require the University to obtain gender information even when an individual refuses to self-identify. In such situations, the University will seek to obtain the required information from other employment records and/or visual identification. These practices are in alignment with the EEOC Guidance.

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2. Why does the University ask for my race/ethnicity?

Race/Ethnicity data must be collected in the categories identified by the Federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The U.S. Department of Education Integrated Post-secondary Data System (IPEDS) maintains a website outlining the categories. There are three primary reasons why the University requests race/ethnicity information from job applicants, faculty and staff.

  1. As the recipient of federal research funding, the University is a federal contractor and subject to Title 40 Part 60 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). This regulation requires that the University collect race/ethnicity information from applicants, as well as all employed faculty and staff, in order to engage in affirmative action analysis of personnel processes, such as recruitment, hiring, promotions, and terminations.
  2. In accordance with the Higher Education Act of 1965, the University must annually report race/ethnicity of its faculty and staff to the U.S. Department of Education through the Integrated Post-secondary Education Data System (IPEDS). As an institution of higher education, this report is comparable to reports made to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) via the EEO-1 survey.
  3. The University of Virginia, as an agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia, is subject to the various state policies and regulations which require the University to collect and maintain race/ethnicity information.

Voluntary provision of race/ethnicity by individuals is the most preferred method for obtaining this data. However, it is important to note that the above-referenced federal and state record keeping obligations require the University to obtain race/ethnicity information even when an individual refuses to self-identify. In such situations, the University will seek to obtain the required information from other employment records and/or visual identification. These practices are in alignment with EEOC Guidance.

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3. Why does the University ask for my veteran and protected veteran status?

There are three primary reasons why the University requests veteran and protected veteran status information from job applicants, faculty and staff.

  1. Section 2.2-2903 of the Code of Virginia establishes a veteran preference in hiring, which means that the University must request this information from job applicants in order to apply a preference. The preference applies to any veteran who has served at least 180 consecutive days in any branch of the arm services and received an other than dishonorable discharge. The surviving spouse and/or child of a U.S. military service member killed in the line of duty is also eligible for the preference.
  2. As the recipient of federal research funding, the University is a federal contractor and subject to the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) and its implementing regulations found in Title 41 Part 60-250 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). This regulation requires that the University collect "protected" veteran status information from applicants, as well as faculty and staff, in order to engage in affirmative action analysis of personnel processes, such as recruitment, hiring, promotions, and terminations. A "protected" veteran is a disabled veteran, a recently separated veteran, an Active Duty Wartime or Campaign Badge veteran, or an Armed Forces Service Medal veteran. Protected veterans are a smaller subset of the overall military veteran population.
  3. The U.S. Department of Labor Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) requires, in accordance with Title 41 Park 60-250 of the CFR, federal contractors to annually report on their affirmative action efforts in employing veterans.

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4. Why does the University ask for my disability status?

As the recipient of federal research funding, the University is a federal contractor and subject to Title 41 Part 60-741 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). This regulation requires that the University collect disability information from applicants, as well as employed faculty and staff, in order to engage in affirmative action analysis of personnel processes such as recruitment, hiring, promotions, and terminations. Additional information is available on the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs' (OFCCP) website.

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5. Who sees my demographic information and how is it used?

Demographic information is treated confidentially to the extent permitted by federal and state laws.

  • Job Applicants: Demographic information collected in the applicant/candidate profile portion of the online application is maintained separately from the application materials that are reviewed during the hiring process. Hiring officials and search committee members do not have access to individually identified demographic data at any time during or after the recruitment and hiring processes. The only exception is veteran status, which is accessible for the sole purpose of applying the Virginia Veteran Preference in accordance with Section 2.2-2903 of the Code of Virginia.
  • Faculty & Staff: Demographic information is similarly maintained confidentially and is not accessible by management or supervisory personnel.
  • Reporting: In keeping with the confidential nature of this information, whenever the University reports on demographic data of University faculty, staff, and job applicants - either internally or externally - the information is produced in the aggregate and de-identified from individuals.

The University of Virginia is committed to equal opportunity and affirmative action. To fulfill this commitment, the University administers its programs, procedures, and practices without regard to age, color, disability, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, veteran status, and family medical or genetic information and operates both affirmative action and equal opportunity programs consistent with resolutions of the Board of Visitors and with federal and state requirements, including the Governor's Executive Order Number One (2014).

Your provision of demographic data allows the University to engage in critical analysis of the workforce and personnel processes that are crucial to the fulfillment of our goals of equal employment opportunity and affirmative action.

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