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Affirmative Action

Here are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions:

I am a student writing a paper about affirmative action. Can you help me?

We recommend that you first read the Laws section for an explanation of the various federal and state laws that are collectively referred to as "affirmative action." Second, you should review the articles and Web sites listed here to better understand the complexity of the topic. For information on affirmative action in general, we recommend you consult with a reference librarian at IU's Main Library.

Staff in the Office of Affirmative Action can assist you in answering specific questions. However, due to time constraints we cannot grant interviews for class assignments.

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I have just applied for a position at Indiana University and have been given a form to designate my race and sex. Do I have to fill it out?

If you are an applicant, this information is voluntary and not a condition of employment. However, this information is important for affirmative action recruitment purposes. The information is not given to the hiring department. It is kept either in the IU Office of Affirmative Action or University Human Resource Services for statistical purposes.

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I just accepted a position at Indiana University and have been asked for race and sex information. Do I have to give it?

Yes. Indiana University is a federal contractor and therefore is required to report information about its workforce, including race and sex data, to the federal government. You therefore must provide this information after you are hired.

This information is determined by self-identification. That is, you decide which of the five racial categories best describes you. The federal government has provided guidelines on who it sees as being part of each category.

Again, this information is used for statistical reporting to the federal government, accreditation bodies, and grant-awarding agencies, as well as for internal benchmarking and review.

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I am employed on another IU campus. Can I file a complaint with the IU Bloomington Office of Affirmative Action?

It is important that you work with the affirmative action officer on your campus. See Campus Contacts for specific contact information.

The Bloomington office will handle a complaint from another campus if it is against the chancellor of that campus. In all other cases, an affirmative action-related complaint should be taken to the affirmative action officer on that campus.

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I am a member of a search committee and would like to know the race and sex of several of the candidates we are thinking of interviewing. Can you give it to me?

We cannot give that information to hiring departments. We use that information for statistical purposes only to ensure that searches are reaching diverse populations.

Because it is illegal to hire on the basis of race or sex, knowing that information could create a legal liability. Additionally, applicants are told that the information is voluntary, not a condition of employment, and will not be shared with the hiring authority.

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Can you give me a list of all African American and Hispanic faculty on campus?

No. Although this information is required for federal reporting purposes, it is not public information.

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Can I make an anonymous complaint or a complaint on someone else's behalf?

We work directly with people who feel they have been discriminated against or harassed because of characteristics such as age, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status. If you need to report a situation you are concerned about, please call the Office of Affirmative Action & Equal Opportunity. Because grievance procedures are focused on resolution, it is essential that we work directly with the person who suffered the discrimination or harassment.

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How do I make a complaint?

To make a complaint you should call the Office Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity.. You may also make a complaint to your supervisor, University Human Resources, Dean of Students, of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.

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Is everything I tell you kept confidential?

We respect your desire for confidentiality. In most cases, however, it is necessary to share information with other people on campus strictly on a need-to-know basis. This helps to ensure a successful resolution to your situation.

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I am about to advertise a vacant position in a newspaper or magazine. Do I have to put EEO/AA at the bottom of the ad?

At a minimum, you must put at the bottom of the ad, "Indiana University is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer." We do not consider the abbreviations sufficient notice. For more wording examples, see Search and Screen Procedures.

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I am creating a publication. What wording do I need to add about accommodating people with disabilities in order to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

You must make it clear that accommodations can be made for people with disabilities. For example, you might include a statement such as, "If you have a disability or need assistance, arrangements can be made to accommodate most needs."

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