What is discrimination?
The civil rights laws protect individuals from being treated differently based on their belonging to a protected category. Categories protected by law include, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, mental or physical disability, age (over 40), genetic information, reprisal or retaliation, marital status, parenthood, pregnancy and veteran status. Additionally, UAF employees are covered by policy against discrimination based on sexual orientation.
University of Alaska Policies Regarding Discrimination
P04.01.020. Nondiscrimination Statement
In accordance with federal and state law, illegal discrimination in employment against any individual because of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, physical or mental disability, marital status or changes in marital status, pregnancy or parenthood is prohibited. Decisions affecting an individual's employment will be based on the individual's qualifications, abilities and performance, as appropriate.
A. The university will not permit or tolerate discrimination that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment, or that interferes with an individual’s performance. The university recognizes that conduct which constitutes discrimination in employment or educational programs and activities is prohibited and will be subject to corrective and/or disciplinary action.
B. Discrimination refers to being adversely treated or affected, either intentionally or unintentionally, in a manner that unlawfully differentiates or makes distinctions on the basis of the individual’s legally protected status or on some basis other than an individual’s qualifications, abilities and performance, as appropriate. The university will vigorously exercise its authority to protect employees and students from discrimination by agents or employees of the university, students, visitors and guests.
C. Nothing contained in this policy will be construed or applied to limit or abridge any person's constitutional right to freedom of expression or to infringe upon the legitimate academic freedom or right of due process of any member of the university community. Principles of academic freedom and freedom of expression require tolerance of the expression of ideas and opinions even though they may be offensive to some. However, ideas and opinions must be expressed in a manner that does not create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment or unreasonably interferes with an individual’s performance. The university upholds and adheres to principles of academic freedom and the laws prohibiting discrimination in employment and education.
D. Individuals who believe they have been subjected to discrimination are encouraged to bring this behavior or action to the attention of an employee or faculty member who is in a position to assist in addressing the concern. The affirmative action officer, human resources or student affairs officer, or designee, as appropriate, will mediate disputes, receive complaints, obtain process information, or discuss resolution options regarding discrimination complaints.
E. The university cannot guarantee confidentiality in connection with complaints alleging discrimination; however, all university employees and students are expected to make a reasonable effort to protect the legitimate privacy interests of involved persons consistent with their obligation to inform the accused.
F. Nothing in this policy will be construed or applied to create a right to an award of damages or other monetary compensation against the university or university employees beyond any existing under state or federal law.
Complaints of Discrimination
Any individual who believes he or she has been discriminated against in an employment or educational opportunity may file a complaint of discrimination and the D&EO office will process your complaint ensuring you receive due process.
Our Role: D&EO is a neutral party; we are not an advocate for anyone. When we receive a complaint, our purpose is to gather facts and determine whether or not there is a policy violation.
If you believe you were treated differently based on one or more of the above protected categories, you may file an internal informal or formal complaint with the D&EO office. D&EO can be contacted at the below address:
Diversity & Equal Opportunity
Nordic House, 739 Columbia Circle
PO Box 756910
Fairbanks, Alaska 99775-6910
Telephone: 907-474-7393 or 907-474-7599
For informal complaints, D&EO will conduct a limited inquiry and attempt to resolve the issues. Additionally, D&EO can arrange mediation services. If the issues are not resolved, the complainant has a right to file a formal complaint.
When an individual files a formal complaint, one or two investigators will be assigned to gather facts, attempt resolution and write a report of investigation with conclusions. A complainant or respondent who disputes the written findings of the investigative report may request a formal review of the findings within 5 working days of the release of the findings.
UAF Informal/Formal Complaint Form:
Filing a Complaint with External Organizations
Additionally, individuals who believe they have suffered discrimination may file a complaint with organizations external to UAF. For employment discrimination issues you may contact the Alaska State Human Rights Commission or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at the below addresses within 180 calendar days of the alleged discriminatory act. For discrimination in regard to an educational opportunity, students may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education within 180 calendar days of the alleged discriminatory act. Please note that a complaint can be filed with the campus Office of Diversity & Equal Opportunity and with the office of Civil Rights (employees) or U.S. Department of Education (students) simultaneously.
Alaska State Human Rights Commission
800 A Street, Suite 204
Anchorage, AK 99501-3669
Anchorage Area: 907-274-4692
Anchorage Area TTY/TDD: 907-276-3177
Toll-Free Complaint Hot Line (in-state only): 800-478-3177
TTY/TDD Toll-Free Complaint Hot Line (in-state only): 800-478-3177
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
350 The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94105-1260
Office for Civil Rights, Seattle Office
U.S. Department of Education
915 Second Ave., Room 3310
Seattle, WA 98174-1099