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Overview, Mission & Vision

Our Mission

The Office of Equal Opportunity Programs is committed to eliminating discrimination and advancing equal access in all opportunities, programs, and facilities of the University in accordance with applicable federal laws, state laws, and University policy.

Our Vision

Our vision is to ensure equity and access for all, through our Office’s core values: respect, integrity, open and honest communication, excellence in service, partnership and collaboration, teamwork, and diversity and inclusion.

Why We Are Needed

The Office of Equal Opportunity Programs has a momentous charge that encompasses immense responsibilities. We are a service and resource 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 and working community free from discrimination and harassment.

What We Do

To fulfill our mission, EOP:

  • Monitors compliance with equal opportunity laws and policies;
  • Disseminates information about laws, policies, and procedures regarding equal opportunity, disability, harassment, discrimination and retaliation;
  • Facilitates and monitors faculty recruitment and hiring;
  • Develops and monitors the University's Affirmative Action Plan;
  • Trains faculty and staff regarding applicable laws and best practices for search and/or hiring processes;
  • Trains faculty, staff and students about their equal opportunity rights and responsibilities;
  • Investigates and otherwise resolves discrimination, harassment and retaliation complaints; and
  • Prepares the University's responses to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's charges of discrimination, U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights complaints, and the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Human Resource Management's discrimination complaints.

The Relationship between Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Diversity

Equal opportunity
refers to practices that ensure non-discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, color, national origin, disability, or any other protected category.  For more information, visit:

Affirmative action is one aspect of efforts to ensure equal opportunity in employment. 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 recruit underutilized minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities.  For more information, visit:

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.  For more information on the University’s commitment to diversity, visit the University’s Office of the Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity webpage at  To read the University’s statement on diversity, please visit:

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 learning and working environment.

Revised and approved March 2015.