Accessible Navigation.

Faculty Affirmative Action Plan

Introduction

The University of Montana (UM) is an affirmative action employer. This means that UM takes active measures to ensure that all qualified applicants and employees are receiving equal opportunity for recruitment, selection, advancement, and every other term and privilege associated with employment. Primary responsibility for implementation of equal employment opportunity and affirmative action at UM is vested in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EO/AA). The Director of EO/AA is a member of the President's Cabinet and reports directly to the President of the University.

Demographic data contained in this report are based on information voluntarily provided by job applicants and employees. Some individuals decline to provide such information. Therefore this report is a best attempt to quantify the diverse make-up of our workforce. Quantitative analyses are designed to identify policies, practices, and procedures which UM can modify to ensure that equal opportunity objectives are met. Each of these analyses is described in the self-analysis section below.

Data tables are available for review upon request at the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action.

UM Policy Statement

The University of Montana reaffirms its policy of equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam era veteran. This policy applies to all programs and facilities, including, but not limited to, admissions, educational programs, and employment. Any discriminatory action can be a cause for disciplinary action.

Discrimination is prohibited by:

  • Presidential Executive Order 11246 as amended,
  • Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,
  • Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972,
  • Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973,
  • Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990,
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 as amended,
  • Age Discrimination Act of 1975,
  • Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1972 as amended,
  • Other federal and state statutes, regulations, and University policy.

Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action compliance efforts at the University of Montana are coordinated by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action; you may contact us for more information.

University policies are available for viewing online, providing access both internally and externally. 

Equal Opportunity Clause

This contractor and subcontractor shall abide by the requirements of 41 CFR 600-300.5(a). This regulation prohibits discrimination against qualified protected veterans, and requires affirmative action by covered prime contractors and subcontractors to employ and advance in employment qualified protected veterans. 

This contractor and subcontractor shall abide by the requirements of 41 CFR 60-741.5(a). This regulation prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals on the basis of disability, and requires affirmative action by covered prime contractors and subcontractors to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities.

Other Policies and Practices

The University has a Faculty Work-life Policy which is intended to promote the diversity as well as the overall productivity and success of faculty. Another policy intended to assist with the recruitment of underrepresented faculty is the spousal accommodation policy. Recently, the University obtained a facility for on-campus childcare for faculty and staff. Affirmative steps are being taken to use these policies and practices more effectively in recruitment and retention efforts.  

Communication and Transparency

Affirmative efforts to overcome barriers to equal opportunity must begin with a widespread understanding of the existence of such barriers and follow with identification of methods to address them. The Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action provides ongoing training  to the campus community to broaden awareness of UM anti-discrimination policies. In addition to the Web page, brochures, information cards, and posters are widely disseminated. All new employees are required to complete an online tutorial as part of the university onboarding process. The scenario-based tutorial presents several situations that require a response from the participant in a multiple-choice format.  Participants are directed through the tutorial until all questions are answered correctly.  A survey is provided at the conclusion of the tutorial to capture feedback and suggestions for future improvements to the format and content.  

At the beginning of each semester, the President of the University distributes written communications to the campus community as a reminder of the institutional commitment to equal opportunity and diversity and provides information about campus resources.

Professional development opportunities are regularly provided to faculty. They are intended to provide education and skills to foster prejudice reduction and create an environment where every member of the community can achieve his or her full potential. The Faculty Professional Development Office offers a variety of workshops for faculty and department chairs. The objective is to develop opportunities for faculty to grow professionally and personally and to promote career satisfaction and advancement. Through the Diversity Advisory Council, the President’s Office also provides funds for prejudice reduction and other diversity-related educational sessions.

The Recruitment Office in Human Resource Services provides relevant affirmative action data to search committees at the beginning of recruitments. Information is also provided to academic units to help ensure compliance with equal opportunity policies and to overcome underutilization in such units. Recently, the College of Arts and Sciences conducted diversity in hiring workshops for faculty members who participate on search committees.

Diversity Strategic Plan

Although a diversity strategic plan differs from an affirmative action plan, the former can work to enhance the success of an affirmative action program. The University’s diversity strategic plan contains specific action items that constitute affirmative steps to overcome barriers to equal opportunities for applicants and employees from historically underrepresented populations.  Specific metrics also accompany the action items to provide an appropriate means of measurement.

Action Oriented Programs

The University of Montana implements programs designed to correct problem areas and to attain the placement goals identified in the availability analysis.

Recruitment

The University closely monitors all recruitments to ensure that equal opportunity policies and procedures are followed. For tenure track faculty positions national searches are conducted. Exceptions are rare. Search committees are provided with information and tools to empower them to conduct searches in a manner that overcomes any potential impediments to equal opportunities for historically underrepresented applicants. Advertisements for positions are placed electronically and in print publications to ensure maximum international exposure and specifically to reach underrepresented populations. In an affirmative effort to increase the recruitment and retention of underrepresented females and minorities, the University has hired a Diversity Retention and Recruitment Coordinator. The primary focus of that position is to address the deficiencies identified in this report.

The University has an affirmative action hiring policy. If a department which has a minority or female deficiency identifies a qualified candidate to address such deficiency, there is a procedure to hire such an individual without conducting a national search. Affirmative action will be taken this year to increase awareness of this policy as a method of achieving placement goals.

All University position announcements contain language indicating that UM is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and that applications from minorities, veterans, and women are encouraged. The announcements also indicate that reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities are provided in the hiring process.

Training

The University trains all personnel involved in the recruitment, screening, selection, promotion, disciplinary, and related processes to ensure that this Affirmative Action Plan is effectively implemented.

Training on policies and procedures across the campus also includes information on affirmative action and the commitment to diversity and representation across all units.  A Training and Development Officer was recently hired in Human Resource Services to assess needs and provide opportunities to attend appropriate programs on campus.   

ADA/§ 504 Committee

The University has an active committee known as the ADA/§ 504 Committee that reviews new building projects or modifications to existing buildings to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The committee also provides guidance and recommendations on complaints of disability-based discrimination. The committee Web page is at http://www.umt.edu/committees/americansdisabilities.aspx

Employment of Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities

The University of Montana complies with the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Act of 1974, as amended ("VEVRAA"); the Jobs for Veterans Act ("JVA"), which makes several changes regarding VEVRAA's applicability to contracts entered into on or after December 1, 2003; as well as Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. § 793), which requires the University to take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities.

The University provides reasonable accommodations for veterans and disabled individuals in order to enable them to perform the essential functions of their positions on campus.

The University takes affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities, specified categories of veterans protected by VEVRAA, and prohibits discrimination against such persons. All vacancy announcements are sent to the local office of the state employment service. Any employees or applicants to the University will not be subjected to harassment, intimidation, threats, coercion or discrimination because they have engaged in any activity under this plan.

Covered Veteran

Under this affirmative action plan, covered veteran includes any veteran protected by VEVRAA § 60-300.2(q), including the following individuals:

  1. "Veteran of the Vietnam Era"
    1. A person who served on active duty:
      1. for a period of more than 180 days,
      2. not dishonorably discharged,
      3. between Feb. 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975 in the Republic of Vietnam (or between Aug. 5, 1964 and May 7, 1975 in all other cases), or
    2. A person who was discharged due to a service-connected disability if any part of such active duty was performed
      1. between Feb. 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975 in the Republic of Vietnam
      2. or between Aug. 5, 1964 and May 7, 1975 in all other cases.
  2. "(Special) Disabled Veteran"
    1. A veteran who is entitled to compensation for a disability under the laws of the Department of Veterans Affairs, or
    2. A person discharged from active duty because of a service-connected disability.
  3. "Recently Separated Veteran"
    1. Any veteran within three-years of discharge from active duty (for contracts entered into on or after Dec. 1, 2003).
    2. Any veteran within one-year of discharge from active duty (for contracts entered into before Dec. 1, 2003).
  4. "Active Duty Wartime or Campaign Badge Veteran" § 60-300.2(b)
    1. Person who served on active duty during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized by the Department of Defense.
  5. "Armed Forces Service Medal Veteran"
    1. Any veteran who, while serving on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service, participated in a United States military operation for which an Armed Forces service medal was awarded pursuant to Executive Order 12985.

Disabled Individuals

Under this affirmative action plan, and in accordance with §60-741.2(g), “disability” is defined as:

  1. A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life  activities of such individual;
  2. A record of such an impairment; or
  3. Being regarded as having such an impairment (as defined in paragraph (v) of this section).
  4. The definition of disability must be construed in favor of broad coverage of individuals, to the maximum extent permitted by law.  The question of whether an individual meets the definition under this part should not demand extensive analysis.
  5. An impairment that substantially limits one major life activity need not limit other major life activities in order to be considered a disability.
  6. An impairment that is episodic or in remission is a disability if it would substantially limit a major life activity when active. 
  7. For definitions of “major life activities,” “physical or mental impairment,” “record of such an impairment,” “regarded as having such an impairment,” and “substantially limits,” please see paragraphs (m), (o), (t), (v), and (z) of this section, respectively.

Reasonable Accommodation

At the outset of each recruitment, an EO/AA representative and/or a Human Resources recruitment staff member explains to hiring authorities the requirements for providing reasonable accommodation to applicants if they request it or if the need is readily apparent. The University will make reasonable accommodation to the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified disabled individual, unless the nature of the particular job makes it impracticable to do so.

As a matter of affirmative action, if an employee who is known to be disabled is having significant difficulty performing his or her job and it is reasonable to conclude that the performance problem may be related to the known disability, the University will confidentially notify the employee of the performance problem and inquire whether the problem is related to the employee's disability; if the employee responds affirmatively, the University will confidentially inquire whether the employee is in need of a reasonable accommodation.

Invitations to Self-Identify

Pre-Offer:  As part of the application process, the University invites job applicants who believe they are covered by VEVRAA to identify themselves in order to receive the benefits of affirmative action. §60-300.42(a)

In addition, applicants are invited to self-identify as a qualified individual with a disability, as defined in §60-741.2(g)(1)(i) or (ii), in order to receive a hiring preference

All applicants are given the opportunity to self-identify when they apply for positions via the university’s online applicant tracking system (ATS).  Applicants may also fill out a Veterans' Employment Preference Form or a Disabled Employment Preference Form which are used in the selection process as required by state law. The forms are available from Human Resource Services at http://www.umt.edu/hrs/Forms/Applicants.aspx.

Job Postings

The University periodically reviews all physical and mental job qualification standards for each job posting. The University ensures that, to the extent qualification standards tend to screen out qualified disabled veterans, or qualified individuals with disabilities, they are job-related for the position in question and are consistent with business necessity.

The University lists all employment openings with the state workforce agency job bank or with the local employment service delivery system where the opening occurs.

As used in this section, "all employment openings" includes all positions except:

  • executive and senior management,
  • those positions that will be filled from within the University, and
  • positions lasting three days or less.

Record Keeping

Any personnel or employment record made or kept by the University is preserved for a period of at least three years from the date of the making of the record or the personnel action involved, whichever occurs later.

Such records include:

  • requests for reasonable accommodation;
  • the results of any physical examination;
  • job advertisements and postings; applications and resumes;
  • tests and test results;
  • interview notes; and
  • other records having to do with hiring, assignment, promotion, demotion, transfer, lay-off or termination, rates of pay or other terms of compensation, and selection for training or apprenticeship 

In the case of involuntary termination of an employee, the personnel records of the individual terminated are kept for a period of three years from the date of the termination.

Where the University has received notice that a complaint of discrimination has been filed, that a compliance evaluation has been initiated, or that an enforcement action has commenced, the University preserves all personnel records relevant to the complaint, compliance evaluation or action until final disposition of the complaint, compliance evaluation or action.

Notices

The University posts notices stating the rights of applicants and employees as well as the University's obligation under the law to take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified employees and applicants who are Disabled Veterans, Recently Separated Veterans, Other Protected Veterans, or Armed Forces Service Medal Veterans, and individuals with disabilities.

Assessment of Recruitment and Outreach Efforts

Where deficiencies as described in the self-analysis exist, UM has the goal to overcome such deficiencies. Using a sports analogy, a placement goal is figuring out how to place the runner in the outer lane on a starting block at the correct distance to ensure an equal opportunity to reach the finish line at the same time as the runner on the inner lane. Placement goals are not quotas. They do not create set-asides for specific groups. They are not intended to achieve proportional representation or equal results. They may not be used to supersede merit selection principles. The goals are established for the purpose of identifying weaknesses in recruitment and retention of minorities and women and creating affirmative plans to fix such weaknesses. Particular problem areas and suggestions for reaching placement goals are discussed below.

Self-Analysis

Most departments have an underrepresentation of minority faculty. Based on comparative data from previous years, it appears that the bigger problem is recruitment of minority faculty as opposed to retention. More focus needs to be placed on attracting minority applicants. Since the acquisition of an applicant tracking system by the UM Department of Human Resource Services, the Recruitment Manager, in collaboration with the Diversity Retention & Recruitment Coordinator, condense and analyze applicant pool data to examine the diversity of applicant pools in order to make recommendations to search committees and hiring authorities.  They also examine the selection process to ascertain whether improvements should be made.  The result of analysis over the past year has shown that:

  • the chair of a search committee has a significant influence on the outcome of a particular search—from the applicant pool to the analysis of candidates and their skills/qualifications;
  • an onboarding process was needed to integrate new employees into UM.

As a result of these findings, the Diversity Retention and Recruitment Coordinator has begun developing a half-page summary of data to isolate trends in particular positions and enable future search committees to examine their actions/selections in a different light. 

The Diversity Retention and Recruitment Coordinator and the Recruitment Manager also collaborated with a team of staff across the campus to develop “Welcome U”—an onboarding process that automates HRS documentation and integrates newly hired employees into the university in a more seamless and hospitable fashion. 

The following departments within the College of Arts and Sciences show a female deficiency: Anthropology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Division of Biological Sciences, Environmental Studies, Geology, History, Liberal Studies, Mathematics, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, Native American Studies, Philosophy, Physics/Astronomy, Political Science, and Psychology. There are also female deficiencies in the College of Forestry, the College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences and within that college the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, and the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

Periodic Review

The University reviews and updates this plan annually. This plan is available for inspection by any student, employee, or applicant for employment, as well as by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs ("OFCCP").