President's Affirmative Action Policy Statement

Western Connecticut State University is grounded on a sound Affirmative Action foundation.  To that end, as President of Western Connecticut State University, I am fully committed to the University’s grounded philosophy of the intellectual and moral leadership responsibility to carry out this well established philosophy, as well as the responsibility of Western Connecticut State University leadership to advance social justice and equity by exercising Affirmative Action to remove all discriminatory barriers to equal employment opportunity and upward mobility.  Accordingly, the University, through its Plan of Affirmative Action will, with conviction and effort, continue to undertake positive action to overcome the present effects of past practices, policies or barriers to equal employment opportunity, and to achieve the full and fair participation of Blacks, Hispanics, Whites, Asians/Pacific Islanders, and American Indians/Alaskan Aleuts found to be underutilized in the workforce.  The university through its Plan of Affirmative Action, with conviction and effort, will also continue to undertake positive action for the full and fair participation of the above groups and any other protected group found to be adversely impacted by University policies or practices.

Equal opportunity, a distinctly different matter, is employment of individuals without consideration of race, color, religious creed, age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, genetic information (Section 46a-60(a)(11) of the Connecticut General Statutes, national origin, ancestry, mental retardation, past or present history of mental disability, physical disability, including but not limited to blindness, learning disability, veteran status, or criminal record, unless the provisions of section 46a-60(b), 46a-80(b) or 86a-81(b) of excluding persons in one or more of the above protected groups.  Equal employment opportunity is the purpose and goal of affirmative action.

Western Connecticut State University’s Affirmative Action Plan incorporates and lists federal and state constitutional provisions, law regulations, guidelines and executive orders prohibiting or outlawing discrimination, identifying classes of persons protected based on race, color, religious creed, age, sex (including pregnancy), marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, mental disability, genetic information, intellectual disability, physical disability, , learning disability, gender identity or expression, veteran status, and criminal record, except for bona fide occupational qualifications.

The University outlines its employment process as one of recruitment, selection, assignment, compensation, promotion and upgrading, training, educational assistance, transfers, terminations, layoffs and recall, and all other terms, conditions and privileges of employment.  Affirmative Action is an integral consideration throughout the entire employment process.  The Associate Vice President of Human Resources and the Executive Assistant to the President/Chief Diversity Officer are responsible for ensuring that affirmative action remains in the forefront of each step of the employment process.  An affirmative action discussion occurs throughout the employment process continuum.  All facets of the employment process are linked to affirmative action.

Clearly, affirmative action and equal employment opportunity are immediate and necessary agency objectives for Western Connecticut State University.  We shall affirmatively provide services and programs in a fair and impartial manner.  We also recognize the hiring difficulties experienced by individuals who are physically disabled and many older persons, and will undertake measures to overcome the present effects of past discrimination, if any, to achieve the full and fair utilization of such persons in the work force.  The procedures for adding or refilling any unclassified faculty position are outlined in the current Faculty Handbook. 

Typically, the Chair of the Department must obtain approval from the School’s Dean, who obtains final approval from the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs to advertise for the position.  Then the Chair of the Department, or Department members acting together, prepare(s) the position announcement, which is first reviewed and approved by the appropriate School Dean.  The Associate Vice President for Human Resources and the Executive Assistant to the President/Chief Diversity Officer reviews the position announcement.  After the Search Committee is established, the Executive Assistant to the President/Chief Diversity Officer will routinely meet with and instruct its membership regarding the University’s recruitment policy and related institutional goals to diversify the pool of candidates with respect to ethnicity, race, and gender.  Through ongoing monitoring, the Executive Assistant to the President/Chief Diversity Officer advises the Search Committee as to the sufficiency or insufficiency of the composition of the pool for the purpose of achieving the goals of diversity.

Before the Search Committee prepares and recommends a list of the finalists, the Executive Assistant to the President/Chief Diversity Officer and the Chair of the Committee will consult regarding good faith efforts made to obtain diversity, obtain a goal candidate, whether the finalist is a goal candidate, and the completion of relevant documentation.  Prior to the offering of a position to a candidate, the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs will request the Executive Assistant to the President/Chief Diversity Officer approve the candidate who is recommended for hire.

The Program Goals as set forth in the Affirmative Action Plan further detail the University’s Affirmative Action requirements for the hiring process of all positions.  As President of Western Connecticut State University, I am committed to the University adhering to and meeting the goals and timetables as set forth in the plan.  The University is well positioned to continue Affirmative Action progress, and I will continue to exercise leadership and commitment to achieve the goals and timetables as set forth in the Affirmative Action Plan of Western Connecticut State University.

This policy is not limited to employment practices but extends to services and programs provided by the University.  All executive, administrative, and supervisory personnel are expected to discharge their affirmative action responsibilities, in word and deed, consistent with the University’s objective to establish and implement affirmative action and equal employment opportunity for all qualified persons. 

As President of Western Connecticut State University, I pledge to make every good faith effort to realize the goals and timetables as set forth in the Affirmative Action Plan, and as required by pertinent state and federal legislation as set forth in the Affirmative Action Plan.  Copies of the Affirmative Action Plan are housed in the Haas Library, the President’s Office, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs’ office, Human Resources, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Affirmative Action and online at www.wcsu.edu/multicultural.

Ms. Carolyn Lanier, Executive Assistant to the President/Chief Diversity Officer, is responsible for overseeing affirmative action and equal employment opportunity at the University. Ms. Lanier is the University’s full time Affirmative Action Officer.  To this end, the Executive Assistant to the President/Chief Diversity Officer shall be concerned with equitable treatment of all of the University community.  Ms. Lanier is located at: Western Connecticut State University, Midtown Campus, Old Main 101, 181White Street, Danbury, Connecticut, 06810.  Telephone and voice mail (203) 837-8277.  Employees and others who wish to file a complaint of discrimination pertaining to Western Connecticut State University may do so by contacting Ms. Lanier.

James W. Schmotter
President, Western Connecticut State University
March 20, 2013

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