Affirmative Action

The University of Montana is committed to building and maintaining an inclusive community that reflects human diversity and improves opportunities for all. This commitment is consistent with UM values, and supports an intellectual community that celebrates individual differences and diversity. 

Unlawful discrimination in the context of civil right law refers to unfair or unequal treatment of an individual (or group) because they possess certain characteristics or beliefs. This distinction is made in favor of or against, a person or group, based on class, category, or group association rather than individual merit. 


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 (EOAA). The Director of EOAA is a member of the President's Cabinet and reports directly to the President of the University.

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. 

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.

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.

Training and development opportunities are regularly provided by the Training and Development Officer housed in Human Resource Services. The sessions are intended to provide education and skills to: foster prejudice reduction, create an environment where every member of the community can achieve his or her full potential, develop and grow professionally and personally, and promote career satisfaction and advancement. The President’s Diversity Advisory Council also coordinates prejudice reduction and other diversity-related activities.

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.

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.