Reaffirmation of Our Commitment
October 7, 2020 2:47 PM
Dear Members of the University Community,
As chancellor, I write to you at the beginning of every academic year to reaffirm our university’s commitment to equal opportunity, affirmative action, and equal access. This commitment to create and maintain an equitable and just campus community is essential to upholding the most fundamental principles of academic freedom, equity, and human dignity, which are core to the mission of the University of Illinois. The diversity of our community and the perspectives, talents, and life experiences reflected within it fuel our creativity, advance deep, critical thinking, as well as the innovations needed to address racism and social disparities to improve the world and lives.
University policies prohibit discrimination and harassment based on race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, disability, national origin, citizenship status, ancestry, age, order of protection status, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, arrest record status, unfavorable discharge from the military or status as a protected veteran. These protections extend to all members of the campus community during any stage of the employment process. This includes, but is not limited to, recruitment, selection, promotion, transfer, merit increases, salary, training and development, demotion, and separation. Similarly, the university prohibits discrimination in admissions, enrollment, and provision of services, programs, and activities.
As a part of our affirmative action plan, consistent with state and federal laws, we undertake good faith efforts to increase the representation of women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans among our faculty and staff. An affirmative action plan is essential to furthering equal employment opportunity and diversity on our campus, and to fulfill our affirmative action obligations.
The Office for Access & Equity is available to assist any employees who have concerns about discrimination, harassment, or retaliation. You can submit a discrimination or harassment claim through the university’s online reporting portal (accessible claim form). To learn more about OAE’s broader services related to equity, affirmative action, and disability-related matters, please see the Office for Access & Equity website. You can also review the nondiscrimination policy and sexual misconduct policy and procedures for addressing Title IX sexual harassment complaints online. Retaliation against any person for exercising their rights under these policies is strictly prohibited.
The ADA Division of the Office for Access and Equity facilitates disability, religious, and pregnancy/parenting accommodations for all faculty, staff, undergraduate and graduate student employees, as well as job applicants. The ADA Division engages in an interactive process to determine the appropriate reasonable accommodation for each person. The division also provides advice, consultation, and educational programming to increase awareness and inclusion of individuals with diverse abilities. To request a reasonable accommodation, employees can complete the online employee accommodation request form (accessible reasonable accommodations request form). Students can learn more about the student academic supports and accommodations services that may be available to them by contacting the Division of Disability Resources & Educational Services.
We recently shared an update to the Title IX and Other Sexual Misconduct Policies and Procedures and want to reemphasize our commitment to providing prevention education and training, resources, and supportive measures to address sexual misconduct in our community. Please visit the We Care website to learn more about confidential and non-confidential resources, university policies, disciplinary procedures, rights and options, and additional information related to the prevention, reporting, and response to sexual misconduct. Questions regarding Title IX may also be sent to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.
Realizing our shared vision of an inclusive campus requires that we all annually reaffirm our individual commitment. We have a responsibility to act with courage, generosity, and boldness. Only together can we build a truly diverse, welcoming, and inclusive university community of students, scholars and staff.
Robert J. Jones