Jul 18, 2024  
2024-2025 Catalog 
2024-2025 Catalog

Affirmative Action Policies


Equal Employment Opportunity

Southern Oregon University is a supportive and inclusive community that embraces diversity of background, culture, experience, belief, values, and though. It is through acceptance, understanding, appreciation, and celebration of difference that members of the campus community become better prepared for lives of civic responsibility and leadership in an increasingly complex world.

Southern Oregon University seeks to provide an academic environment where intercultural skills are developed and enacted among diverse campus constituencies; with community partners; and within instructional, classroom, and research practices. SOU seeks to develop these capacities through recruitment, at orientations, through dialogues and grant opportunities, in curriculum design, and in job expectations. In this way, education becomes a tool through which the fact of diversity is transformed to the exciting and productive actions of diversity, creating a climate and environment so stimulating and attractive that the experience of difference becomes a source of excellence and an instrument of achievement.

The University defines diversity broadly and as encompassing a wide variety of characteristics, including, but not limited to, age, ethnicity, race, gender, nationality, language, ethics, political affiliation, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, and disabilities.

Discriminatory Harassment

Within the basic philosophies, goals, and guidelines for Southern Oregon University, students and employees shall have the right to pursue educational, recreational, social, cultural, residential, employment, and professional activities in an atmosphere where the rights, dignity, and worth of every individual are respected. These rights are granted independent of an individual’s race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital status, veteran status, gender, or sexual orientation. Any harassing, threatening, or intimidating activity, or any practice by an employee or a student that abuses, endangers, jeopardizes personal safety, or interferes with official duties, class attendance, or educational pursuits of any person is prohibited. SOU is committed to free speech. Nothing in this policy is intended to limit constitutional protections of speech. Great care must be taken not to inhibit open discussion, debate, and expression of personal opinion and differences of opinion, particularly in the classroom. However, even when laws cannot compel us to do so, speaking responsibly requires us to be sensitive to the effects of hostile speech and to refrain from speaking in demeaning and harassing ways. As a community devoted to scholarship and education, all members are encouraged to resolve disputes in an open, mature manner through discourse, mediation, and education, and to actively work to promote a campus climate and work environment that is open and welcoming to all people.

Disability Accessibility

It is the policy of Southern Oregon University that no otherwise qualified person shall, solely by reason of disability, be denied access to, participation in, or the benefits of any service, program, or activity operated by the University. Each qualified person shall receive reasonable accommodations/modifications needed to ensure equal access to employment, educational opportunities, programs, and activities in the most appropriate, integrated setting, except when such accommodation creates undue hardship on the part of the provider. These policies are in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other applicable federal and state regulations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability.

Affirmative Action

Southern Oregon University is committed to the concepts and goals of affirmative action. This means actively and aggressively seeking the inclusion in the student population and in the job force of individuals historically underrepresented by making a positive and continuous effort in their recruitment, employment, retention, and promotion. SOU is committed to strengthening these values through its curriculum offerings. There are four groups of people who are classified as racial minorities for affirmative action purposes: Hispanics, Native Americans and Alaskan Natives, African Americans, and Asians and Pacific Islanders. Other groups, because they have suffered the effects of discrimination, are also the focus of affirmative action efforts: women, the disabled, people over forty, Vietnam-era veterans, and individuals with an alternative sexual orientation. The University is committed to actively removing any barriers that artificially limit the personal development of women and minorities, as defined above. Inquiries may be directed to Human Resource Services at 541-552-6511.

Athletics Policy

The University is committed to providing equal athletic opportunity for members of both sexes. Equal opportunities include the following: accommodating the athletic interests and abilities of female, as well as male students (including the selection of sports and levels of competition), equipment and supplies, scheduling, travel and per diem allowances, opportunities to receive coaching and academic tutoring, assignment and pay of coaches and tutors, locker rooms and other facilities, medical and training facilities and services, publicity, recruitment, athletic scholarships, and other factors. The SOU Title IX compliance officer is the director of athletics. Title IX grievances shall be processed as outlined in OAR 57335.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of unlawful sex discrimination. Sexual harassment is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. It is the policy of the University that all employees and students have the right to work and learn in an environment free from unlawful harassment (unwelcome and unwanted sexual attention). SOU prohibits sexual harassment of its employees and students in any form.

Sexually harassing conduct by supervisors, non-supervisory employees, or faculty members whether physical, verbal, or visual is prohibited. Sexually harassing conduct includes repeated offensive sexual flirtation, advances, proposition, continued or repeated abuse of a sexual nature, sexually oriented humor, graphic verbal comments about an individual’s body or clothing, the display in the workplace or learning environment of sexually degrading objects, sexually threatening behavior, and any undesirable physical contact.

Sexual harassment is a violation of a person’s privacy and dignity and can create a hostile and intimidating work or learning environment. It is illegal. Overwhelmingly, victims of sexual harassment are women. However, men may be victims of sexual harassment by women, and same-sex harassment also occurs.

University employees have a concurrent right to work in an environment free from unlawful discriminatory behavior, including the right to work in an environment free from sexual harassment. No supervisor shall threaten or insinuate either explicitly or implicitly that an employee’s submission to or rejection of sexual activities will in any way influence personnel decisions regarding the employee’s employment evaluation, duties, wages, advancement, shifts, or any other condition of employment or career development.

Persons raising complaints of unlawful sexual harassment are protected from retaliatory actions. Reprisals against a complainant may constitute unlawful or unprofessional behavior. Such conduct may result in disciplinary action or dismissal. Contact the Student Support Network (541-552-6223), Compliance-Human Resources (541-552-8557), or the Associate Provost (541-552-6121) with questions or concerns.