The Ohio State University is a diverse community of people and ideas. As part of the university’s shared values of diversity and innovation and inclusion and equity, Ohio State aims to be a standard of excellence for employment equity in higher education.
The Office of Institutional Equity supports these goals by coordinating the university’s employment equity efforts, including the Affirmative Action Program and Equal Employment Opportunity initiatives.
What is Affirmative Action?
Affirmative Action is the university’s legal obligation to make good faith efforts to expand employment opportunities and remove identified barriers to the recruitment and advancement of under-represented individuals.
Affirmative action regulations include very specific requirements that apply to the university’s employment processes, to ensure these processes are free of bias and discrimination and equal employment opportunity is provided to all applicants and employees. Affirmative action regulations require the university to create and maintain an Affirmative Action Program (AAP) which is described in detail below.
What is Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)?
EEO is a legally required set of standards designed to ensure all employment policies, processes, and decisions provide equal opportunity and are free of discrimination for all applicants and employees. While affirmative action contains very specific requirements, EEO is a broad principle-based requirement that everyone involved in the university’s employment processes must work to advance.
Affirmative Action, EEO, and Diversity
As part of our Shared Values Initiative, the university has identified the shared values of Diversity and Innovation and Inclusion and Equity. These values ground all of the university’s diversity, equity, and inclusion work. This work is supported by several university offices as well as the contributions of all members of our Buckeye Community. Affirmative action and EEO are legally required practices that help us to uphold our shared institutional values in the employment context and ensure that all employment processes and decisions are not discriminatory.
Affirmative Action and EEO Recruitment Resources
Applicant pool demographic review FAQ
Provides best practices for reviewing the diversity of your applicant pool to ensure compliance with affirmative action and EEO requirements.
The university is committed to equal opportunity, affirmative action, and eliminating discrimination.
EEO Recruitment Selection and Hiring Tips
Provides the key EEO requirements for recruitment and selection processes to support all applicants receiving equal opportunity.
Affirmative Action and EEO Recruitment and Selection Basics
This course provides an overview of the Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity requirements that apply to the recruitment, selection, and hiring processes.
Recruitment Related Policies
Staff Recruitment and Selection
Faculty Recruitment and Selection
Non-Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct
Establishes that all members of the university community are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that maintains an environment free from sexual misconduct.
Establishes a process for processing employee requests for accommodations.
As part of the annual affirmative action plans, the Office of Institutional Equity establishes recruitment goals for job groups with an identified underutilization as defined above. The university will make good-faith efforts to recruit qualified individuals from the identified underrepresented groups to fill vacancies and reach these goals.
Recruitment goals are not selection goals or quotas. As a matter of law and university policy, selection for opportunities for hire, promotion, transfer, or training -- as well as decisions regarding demotion, termination, layoff, or other terms and conditions of employment -- shall occur without regard to any protected class including but not limited to race, ethnicity, sex, gender, disability, or protected veteran status.
The latest affirmative action recruitment goals are available here.
Our job descriptions define who and what we value and provide a chance for us to identify how a role supports advancing our Shared Values and mission. A job description plays a vital role in attracting and retaining qualified individuals by acting as the first impression of the university for applicants and defining responsibilities and expectations for employees.
A well-written job description requires intentional effort to ensure that:
- The essential functions are clearly identified
- The focus is on the required qualifications and experiences, not the nice to haves
- The minimum and educational requirements have been reviewed to ensure they are necessary and do not create a barrier to EEO
- Only physical and mental requirements that are necessary to perform an essential function are included
- Coded language has been removed
- Shared Values are exemplified
- Our commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity is articulated
- Individuals with varied experiences and backgrounds can see themselves in the role
The contents of a job description are an applicant’s first glance at our culture as a university. The way a job description is written also has a direct impact on the size and diversity of an applicant pool. Job descriptions should only include requirements that are essential to the role, and should be reviewed each and every time a position is posted to ensure that it is an accurate representation of the job. Keep in mind, that when there are more requirements in a job description, the pool is likely to be smaller and less diverse. Other elements of the posting, such as coded language and required educational background may unintentionally limit the pool and work against recruiting qualified diverse applicants. Job descriptions are critical in supporting EEO, inclusion, and diversity.
Affirmative Action and EEO Job Description Resources
Course: Creating equitable job descriptions
This course is offered monthly by OIE on Zoom and provides an overview of the key components of job descriptions and how they directly impact the diversity of applicant pools.
Guidelines for Physical and Mental Job Requirements
This resource identifies what physical and mental job requirements are and provides tips for creating requirements that align with ADA regulations.
A properly designed position description (PD) provides a competitive advantage when sourcing talent.
Required Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action Statements
The university is required to include a statement of nondiscriminatory policy in any bulletins, announcements, publications, catalogs, application forms, or other recruitment materials that are made available to participants, students, applicants, or employees.
Use the following statement in your materials:
The Ohio State University is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, color, disability, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, military status, national origin, race, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, protected veteran status, or any other basis under the law.
Other Affirmative Action and EEO Resources
Demographics included in affirmative action reports
Identifies which demographics are captured and analyzed as part of our affirmative action plans and identifies how the government defines those demographics.
Protected class definitions
Guidance around which individuals can be included in the protected classes identified in the university’s Nondiscrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy.
University Organizations and Departments
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990
- Civil Rights Act of 1866, 42 U.S.C.A Section 1981
- The Civil Rights Act of 1991
- The Equal Pay Act of 1963
- Executive Order 11246: Equal Employment Opportunity, as amended
- Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973
- Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009
- Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
Federal Organizations and Resources
How can I get more information about Affirmative Action and EEO?