The following policy, effective July 2000, supercedes Policy # 004, dated October 1, 1973.

The Policy of Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action and Nondiscrimination

The University of Pennsylvania's special character is reflected in the diversity of the Penn community. Men and women of different races, religions, nationalities and backgrounds are necessary to achieve the University's ultimate purpose: the improvement of the human condition through the pursuit of learning and the generation of knowledge. Diversity is prized at Penn because it helps to create the educational environment that best prepares students to contribute to an increasingly diverse and rapidly shrinking world. We must continue, therefore, to seek talented faculty, students and staff who will help constitute a community at Penn that is diverse in race, ethnicity, interests and perspectives.

The foundation for achieving, valuing, and managing diversity at Penn is equal opportunity. We have a clear commitment to equal opportunity, non-discrimination, and affirmative action. This policy re-affirms our commitment in this regard. This policy of equal opportunity, affirmative action, and non-discrimination is fundamental to the effective functioning of the University as an institution of teaching, scholarship, and public service.

Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination against individuals on the following protected-class bases: race, color, sex (except where sex is a bona fide occupational qualification), sexual orientation, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, age (except where age is a bona fide occupational qualification), disability (and those associated with persons with disabilities), or status as a special disabled, Vietnam era veteran or other eligible veteran.

Our task is to eliminate any patterns of prohibited unequal treatment from a community that prizes diversity. We must monitor our policies, procedures, and practices for equal opportunity and access to the services, programs, and opportunities our community has to offer individuals.

Penn is committed to ensuring that all academic programs (except where age or sex are bona fide occupational qualifications), including social and recreational programs, and services are administered without regard to an individual's protected-class status.

Penn is also committed to ensuring that its personnel and other employment decisions are made without regard to an individual's protected-class status. Personnel and other employment decisions include, but may not be limited to, outreach and recruitment, application, selection, promotion and other transfers, compensation, benefits administration, layoffs and other personnel transitions, University sponsored training and educational programs, and tuition assistance.

Penn is dedicated to an organizational strategy that supports the full realization of equal employment opportunity for all through affirmative action predicated on the following tenets:

  1. Serious and imaginative outreach, recruitment, and advertising methods.
  2. Periodic reviews of the personnel and other employment decisions made by hiring officers.
  3. Thorough analysis of Penn's faculty and staff workforce composition to determine areas of underutilization for which concentrated or special effort is due.
  4. Provision of professional and management development opportunities for faculty and staff that builds skills and knowledge around equal opportunity, as well as valuing and effectively managing Penn's diverse work environments.
  5. Provision of skill development and enhancement opportunities for staff.
  6. Provision of technical assistance on the implementation of this policy, as needed, to schools, departments, and centers.

As a federal contractor, Penn has a written Affirmative Action Plan to address the utilization of women and minorities and to address the inclusion of persons with disabilities, special disabled and Vietnam era veterans in Penn's workforce.

This policy also recognizes an individual's right to raise and pursue concerns of alleged discrimination to a University resource office or to an appropriate individual within a school, department, or center without adverse action or retaliation for doing so. The Affirmative Action Plan describes the University resources available to faculty, staff, students, and applicants for employment or admission to Penn who believe they have been discriminated against on the basis of their protected-ctass status.

Penn's non-discrimination and affirmative action policies and programs are developed, administered, and monitored centrally through the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs in collaboration with the Division of Human Resources and the Office of the Associate Provost. The Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs is located organizationally within the Office of the President. Questions and concerns regarding these policies and programs, as well as requests for educational programs on affirmative action, equal opportunity, and nondiscrimination, should be directed to the Executive Director, Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs, Sansom Place East, Suite 228, 3600 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6106, (215) 898-6993 (Voice) or (215) 898-7803 (TIDID).

This policy covers faculty and staff, matriculated students, applicants for faculty and staff employment, and applicants to Penn's academic programs and other activities.

--Judith Rodin, President   --Robert Barchi, Provost  --John Fry, Executive Vice President 
This policy is available in alternate format upon request.

Almanac, Vol. 47, No. 4, September 19, 2000

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