Office of the General Counsel

The University's Affirmative Action Program

What is an Affirmative Action Program?

An Affirmative Action Program (AAP) is based on the federal regulations (41 CFR 60-2.10) and includes the following:

  • a management tool to ensure equal employment opportunity;
  • quantitative reports to compare the ethnic and gender composition of the University's work force to the composition of the relevant labor pools;
  • an internal audit and reporting system; and
  • implementation of policies and procedures to ensure that qualified applicants and employees receive equal employment opportunity.

These regulations prohibit discrimination in conditions of employment, including but not limited to, recruitment, hiring, training programs, classification and pay, benefits, etc. The University aims to achieve in all areas of employment a diverse faculty and staff. All personnel actions are administered without regard to race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, veteran status, creed, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or disabling condition. As you can see, affirmative action and equal employment opportunity are not just hiring functions.

The legal concepts of "discrimination" and "affirmative action" have many similarities, but there are differences too. EEO laws are designed to avoid current and future discriminatory acts. Affirmative Action has the added dimension of trying to remedy past discrimination by requiring employers to hire and promote women and minorities based on the general availability of qualified women and minorities in the recruiting areas.

What is the legal and regulatory basis for Affirmative Action?

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended
  • Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (This is not an affirmative action law, only an antidiscriminatory law)
  • Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
  • Executive Order 11246 (Requires an AAP)
  • N.C. General Statute 126-16
  • Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures, 41 C.F.R. 60-3 (Describes employers' procedures for hires, promotions, and terminations)
  • The Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Act of 1974

Is the University required to develop an Affirmative Action Program?

Yes. As a federal contractor (an employer with 50 or more employees and has a contract of at least $50,000 or more with the federal government) we are required to develop and maintain a written affirmative action program (AAP) for women and minorities (41 CFR 60-1 and 60-2); special disabled veterans, Vietnam era veterans, and other covered veterans (41 CFR 60-250) and individuals with disabilities (41 CFR 60-741). The University must also engage in outreach efforts to broaden its pool of qualified applicants.

How do we practice Affirmative Action?

It is important for the hiring authority to remember that there is nothing about affirmative action that requires the employer to recruit, hire, or promote employees not qualified to do a job. Basically, when there are candidates who present themselves to an employer through a competitive search and are subsequently evaluated on the basis of comparing their qualifications to job-related criteria, the hiring authority will practice affirmative action by placing women and minorities in those jobs where we demonstrate underutilization in women and minorities. It does not mean the employer will always select the female or minority candidate.

What standard do we use to determine Underutilization in Job Groups?

To determine whether the percentage of women and minorities is less than would reasonably be expected, the University uses the Two Standard Deviation rule.The standard deviation test takes into account the fact that, if the University paid no attention to race or sex when making selections, there would be some natural degree of departure from perfect parity, both above and below. Thus, only unusual deviations from parity should be studied further as a possible indication of adverse impact.

How are we assisted in our Affirmative Action efforts at UNCG?

In 1989, Chancellor William Moran created the Affirmative Action Committee appointing himself as Chair. Other members of the Committee include the Provost, the Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs, the University Counsel and Chair of the Faculty Senate. Since that time, representatives from Chairs of the Human Relations Council and Staff Council have been added to the Committee. The Affirmative Action Committee is responsible for affirmative action policy and planning. The Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resource Services serves ex-officio as the University's Affirmative Action (AA) Officer. The AA Officer is responsible for the following activities:

  • monitoring of employment procedures for conformity with the University's formal obligations for affirmative action,
  • collecting statistical data and preparing the Affirmative Action Program,
  • facilitating search efforts, and
  • assisting the University Counsel in coordinating internal responses to employee complaints of discrimination.

For EPA positions these responsibilities are further delegated to the senior administrator in Academic Affairs designated by the Provost.

In addition, the Chancellor appoints members to the Affirmative Action Network representing the six professional schools, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Library, and each administrative division. These persons serve as resource persons, advisors, and facilitators of the affirmative action program.

If I need to conduct a search, are forms online?

Yes. Compliance forms for EPA Faculty and EPA Nonfaculty searches and SPA recruitments can be found at the HRS Affirmative Action web pages. For SPA appointments, the department of Human Resource Services ensures that procedures published by the Office of State Personnel are followed.

I have other questions that you haven't answered.

Please contact the University Counsel's office at 334-3067 or