The University of Memphis

Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action


Issued: July 14, 2004
Responsible Official: President
Responsible Office: Affirmative Action Office

Policy Statement


The University of Memphis (UofM) hereby reaffirms the policy of the Tennessee Board of Regents that the University will not discriminate against, or allow the harassment of any student, employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, age or because of his/her status as a qualified veteran with a disability, veteran of the Vietnam era, or other protected veteran (each a “protected class”).  No student shall be discriminatorily excluded from participation or denied the benefits of any educational program on the basis of a protected class. The University will comply with all applicable laws regarding equal opportunity and affirmative action.   Inquiries concerning this policy and federal and local laws and regulations concerning discrimination or harassment in education and employment programs and activities may be directed to the University’s Office for Institutional Equity.



The University of Memphis assures employees, applicants, and students that they will receive consistent and fair treatment.   The University specifically finds that diversity of students, faculty, administrators and staff is a crucial element of the educational process and reaffirms its commitment to enhancing education through affirmative action to increase diversity at all levels.




Equal Opportunity - As an Employer

All selection, hiring, and promotion decisions will be based on valid job related requirements consistent with performance of the essential functions of the position.  Further, personnel policies and practices are to be conducted in a work environment that is fair, free from discrimination, and free from harassment based on inclusion in any protected class.

The principle of equal employment opportunity shall apply with respect to all incidents of the employment relationship, including, but not limited to:

  • Employment criteria;
  • Recruitment and hiring;
  • Promotion, tenure, demotion, transfer, reductions in force, termination, nepotism policies, and rehiring;
  • Compensation;
  • Job assignments, classifications, and descriptions, lines of progression and seniority lists;
  • Leave and fringe benefits; and
  • All other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.

In addition, the University will provide reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with disabilities in an effort to enable them to successfully perform essential functions of the job or benefit from training.

Equal Opportunity - As an Educational Institution

It is the policy of the University that no person shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or in any way be subject to discrimination in any program or activity at the University.  This commitment applies to: 

  • Recruitment and admission;
  • Academic, extracurricular, research, occupational training, health-related training, and other education programs;
  • Student life activities;
  • Housing and facilities;
  • Access to course offerings;
  • Counseling;
  • Financial and employment assistance; and
  • Athletics.

Communication of the University's Commitment

A.       Bulletin Boards. Official equal employment opportunity signs shall be posted on bulletin boards at appropriate locations in buildings throughout the campus. The Department of Human Resources shall be responsible for the posting, maintenance, and updating of appropriate signage.

B.      Tagline. The tag line, "An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action University," has been adopted and will be placed on all general written communication devices used by the University.  In addition, an equal employment and equal education opportunity statement shall be included in all contracts and purchase orders.

C.      Advertisements: The following statement has been adopted for inclusion on all The University of Memphis vacancy announcements: "The University of Memphis, a TBR institution, is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action University. Appointments will be based on merit as it relates to position requirements without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, status as a protected veteran, genetic information or any other legally protected class."  Paid advertisements must contain the statement "The University of Memphis is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action University."

D.      Recruitment literature and vacancy announcements shall carry clear statements that the University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action university. Recruitment literature and vacancy announcements shall be sent to recognized sources of candidates according to the type of position and in ways designed to solicit and encourage applications from qualified minority and female applicants.

E.      Notice of Nondiscrimination: The statement approved for inclusion and publication on relevant documents: “The University of Memphis does not discriminate against students, employees, or applicants for admission or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, age, status as a protected veteran, genetic information, or any other legally protected class with respect to all employment, programs and activities sponsored by the University of Memphis.” The notice should also identify the Title IX Coordinator as the person designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies.  

Office for Institutional Equity

In compliance with TBR Policy 5:01:02:00 Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action, the President has appointed the Office for Institutional Equity as the area responsible for developing and implementing the University's Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Program and for ensuring fair practices in employment and education.

The Office for Institutional Equity is responsible for promoting and assuring compliance with this policy and all applicable laws and regulations, receiving and investigating complaints, reviewing the effectiveness of applicable programs and recommending improvements to the President.  The Office for Institutional Equity shall be responsible for:

  • Receipt, review and investigation of all internal and external equal opportunity, harassment and sexual misconduct complaints in accordance with UofM policies.  Recommendations regarding disposition of such complaints shall be made to the President.
  • Development and maintenance of a comprehensive EEO/AA program which shall include reaffirmation of the University's policy in all personnel actions; formal internal and external dissemination of the policy; establishment of  responsibilities for implementation of the program; identification of problem areas by organizational units and job classifications and establishment of goals and objectives with timetables for completion; development and execution of results-oriented programs designed to attain established goals and objectives; and internal audit and reporting systems designed to ensure compliance and to permit monitoring of the program;
  • Active support of local and national community action and community services programs designed to improve the employment opportunities of minorities and women;
  • Complaint procedures designed to expeditiously process and resolve complaints and grievances by employees, students or applicants for employment.
  • Programming to educate/inform students, faculty, staff and constituents of UofM.

Affirmative Action in Employment

To ensure equal employment opportunity exists throughout the University, a results oriented program has been implemented to overcome the effects of past discrimination and eliminate artificial barriers to employment opportunities for all qualified individuals that may exist in any University programs. Based on quantitative analysis, the Affirmative Action Plan evaluates the composition of the workforce compared to the available labor pool and identifies any areas where minorities and women may be underrepresented in the workforce.  The EEO/AA plan shall be updated annually, and progress toward meeting the established goals and objectives shall be reported at least annually to the Chancellor.  The Office for Institutional Equity shall discuss the success of the EEO/AA program with the President and make recommendations regarding desirable changes.  A copy of the comprehensive Affirmative Action Plan is available in the Office for Institutional Equity for review by any employee or interested person upon reasonable request during normal business hours.   

Anti-Retaliation Policy

Retaliation against a person who files a complaint alleging a violation of this policy or any other act of discrimination or harassment, opposes a charge, testifies, assists, or participates in an investigative proceeding or hearing is strictly prohibited.   


The President has the legal responsibility for compliance with the equal opportunity laws. However, everyone in the University community should be committed to equal opportunity and the University's affirmative action goals.  Further, each Vice President and other supervisory personnel are responsible to the President for implementing the Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Policy within their administrative areas. Deans, directors, chairpersons, and managers of the various schools, departments, and programs work to administer and manage personnel activities within their areas to ensure full compliance with the Policy. Further, all employees, including faculty members, are to be knowledgeable of policies and guidelines concerning discrimination and harassment.    

Revision Dates

  UM1381 - Revised: July 20, 2015
UM1381 - Issued: July 14, 2004 supercedes policy number 1:2A:11:01

Subject Areas:

AcademicFinanceGeneralHuman ResourcesInformation TechnologyResearchStudent Affairs