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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the differences between Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Diversity?
2. What is the role of the Equal Opportunity Programs Office (EOP) at UVA?

3. What types of training does EOP offer and when is the training available?
4. How do I know if I have an EOP complaint?
5. What types of complaints does EOP investigate?
6. What is the University Ombudsman?
7. What is the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)?
8. If I have a learning and/or physical disability, who should I talk to about receiving accommodations?
9. What is the role of EOP in the faculty search process?
10. Are searches required in order to fill all faculty positions?

1. What are the differences between Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Diversity?

Equal Opportunity refers to employment practices that ensure nondiscrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, color, national origin, disability, or any other protected category.

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.

2. What is the role of the Equal Opportunity Programs Office (EOP) at UVA?

EOP is a service organization that 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.

3. What types of training does EOP offer and when is the training available?

EOP has two mandatory training programs:

1) Preventing and Addressing Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Training - The training is available online 24/7 at: http://training.newmedialearning.com/top_level/uvirginia_choice.htm.

Classroom training sessions are scheduled periodically during the year based on demand and attendance. Check the schedule at: http://fusion.web.virginia.edu/dotweb/eoplist.cfm.

2) Faculty Search Committee training - EOP Faculty Search Committee training is available online 24/7 at: http://www.virginia.edu/eop/searchcommittee.html.

In addition to its mandatory training programs, EOP is available to provide customized training in any of its areas of expertise.

4. How do I know if I have an EOP complaint?

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 according to UVA policy.

5. What types of complaints does EOP investigate?

EOP investigates complaints of violations of the University's "Preventing and Addressing Discrimination and Harassment" Policy and "Preventing and Addressing Retaliation" Policy. Complaints may be filed by present and former employees of the University, students, applicants for admission or employment and participants in University programs or activities (includes customers for services, vendors, contractors, and volunteers) alleging discrimination or harassment on the basis of a protected category and/or retaliation for complaining of discrimination or harassment or assisting with or participating in the complaint process. Protected categories included in University policy are age, color, disability, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, veteran status, and/or family medical and genetic information.

6. What is the University Ombudsman?

The University Ombudsman is an independent, confidential source available to assist faculty, staff, and students in resolving problems, complaints, conflicts, and other issues when normal processes and procedures have not worked satisfactorily.

7. What is the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)?

The ADA is a federal civil rights law designed to protect the rights of those with disabilities. Its intent is to promote equal access in programs, services, and activities by requiring reasonable accommodation and barrier removal allowing participation.

8. If I have a learning and/or physical disability, who should I talk to about receiving accommodations?

If you are a student, you should contact the Learning Needs and Evaluation Center (LNEC): http://www.virginia.edu/studenthealth/lnec.html. If you are faculty or staff, you would first notify your supervisor, explaining your disability and the need for an accommodation. For further assistance, contact the ADA Coordinator: Brad Holland, bkh9d@virginia.edu, or by telephone at: 434-924-7819.

9. What is the role of EOP in the faculty search process?

EOP is responsible for ensuring search processes comply with all federal and state laws and regulations. EOP's Faculty Appointment Procedures promote the indentification and selection of qualified candidates through an open and consistent process. EOP has three approval steps in the recruitment and hiring process:

a) EOP reviews and approves the Search initiation request which contains: the Search Committee composition noting the gender and racial/ethnic diversity of the members selected; the recruitment plan for ad placement as well as other good faith efforts planned to recruit a broad pool of qualified, diverse condidates, the advertisement text before distribution; and, the required and preferred qualifications which wil be used to screen applications in order to select those persons who best meet the qualifications of the position.

b) EOP may conduct a compliance review of the faculty and staff search process.

10. Are searches required in order to fill all faculty positions?

Although the majority of faculty positions are filled through the search process, under special limited circumstances, a faculty position may be filled through an exemption. In these instances, EOP will review the request which notes the reason an exemption is sought and the supporting documentation. An exemption may be requested for the following reasons: 1) accompanying spouse appointment necessary to recruit a successful candidate of a pre-existing search or to retain a current faculty member; 2) research faculty position in which the individual named serves as principal or co-principal investigator of an approved research grant; 3) unique circumstances where a search would be inconvenient and disadvantageous; and 4) unique qualifications that make a search counterproductive.