Affirmative Action Policy Statement
Last updated: August 2, 2021
Western Connecticut State University (“WCSU” or “University”) is grounded on a sound Affirmative Action foundation. To that end, as President of WCSU, I am fully committed to the University’s philosophy of the intellectual and moral leadership responsibility to carry out this well-established philosophy, as well as the responsibility of the 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 African Americans/Blacks, Hispanic/Latinos, Whites, Asians/Pacific Islanders, American Indians/Alaskan Aleuts and/or those who self-identify in two or more races, 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, gender identity or expression, genetic information (Section 46a-60(a)(11) of the Connecticut General Statutes, national origin, ancestry, intellectual disability, 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 Sections 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.
WCSU’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. Both the Chief Human Resources Officer and 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 WCSU. 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 an open position. Then the Chair of the Department, or Department members acting together, prepare(s) the university search plan and drafted position announcement, which is first reviewed and approved by the appropriate School Dean. The Chief Human Resources Officer and Chief Diversity Officer also review the university search plan and drafted position announcement. After the Search Committee is established, the Chief Diversity Officer and/or an assigned designee from the Human Resources Office 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 Chief Diversity Officer advises the Search Committee as to the sufficiency or insufficiency of the composition of the pool of candidates for the purpose of achieving the hiring and promotional goals of diversity.
Before the Search Committee prepares and recommends a list of the finalists, the Chief Diversity Officer and the Chair of the Search 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 that the Chief Diversity Officer approve the candidate(s) 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 WCSU, I am committed to the University adhering to and meeting the program 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 all of the goals and timetables as set forth in the WCSU Affirmative Action Plan.
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 all of the goals and timetables as set forth in the WCSU Affirmative Action Plan, and as required by pertinent state and federal legislation as set forth in the Affirmative Action Plan. Electronic (and/or paper) copies of the Affirmative Action Plan have been designated (and disseminated) to representatives of the campus locations: Haas Library, the President’s Office, the Provost and Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Office of the Vice President for the Division of Student Affairs, Human Resources Department, the Office of Diversity and Equity and online at www.wcsu.edu/diversity.
During the 2021 reporting period, Ms. Jesenia Minier served as the appointed Chief Diversity Officer. Ms. Minier is responsible for overseeing the Office of Diversity and Equity and to monitor and execute the Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity programs at the University. Ms. Minier is the University’s full-time Affirmative Action Officer, ADA and Title IX Coordinator. To this end, the Chief Diversity Officer shall be concerned with equitable treatment to all in the University community. Ms. Minier is located at the Midtown Campus, University Hall, Room 202B, 181 White Street, Danbury, Connecticut, 06810, and can be reached by telephone at (203) 837-8444/8277 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Employees and/or others who wish to file a complaint of discrimination pertaining to WCSU may do so by contacting Ms. Minier.
Signed by Dr. John B. Clark, President
July 26, 2021
Please click here to view the signed and dated 2021 Affirmative Action Policy Statement.