Affirmative Action Program
The University of Arizona is committed to equal opportunity and affirmative action in all aspects of employment for qualified minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and protected veterans.
The University's Affirmative Action Program acts as an audit tool to help identify areas of underutilization for these groups. If the University determines that its workforce does not adequately reflect the available labor market in a job group, it will create placement goals to promote good-faith corrective efforts.
The Affirmative Action Program is an important tool the University uses to live its values and meet Equal Employment Opportunity regulations.
Affirmative Action Program Overview
Everything you need to know about being an affirmative action employer.
Administering the Affirmative Action Program, establishing goals that promote affirmative action, and eliminating employment practices that adversely affect members of our applicant and employee community.
Knowing the University’s affirmative action goals and exercising and documenting good-faith efforts to meet goals and achieve equal employment opportunity for their unit.
Defined by law as having fewer women or minorities in a job group than is reasonably expected based on their availability. The University is then obligated to make a good-faith effort to fill vacancies in the job group in that Affirmative Action Plan year at the rate of availability.
The placement goal serves as a target – not a quota or set-aside – that the University must make good-faith efforts to meet.
The University shall take appropriate steps to ensure that persons of an underutilized group, whether women or minorities or both, as well as all others, have equal access to participate in the selection process.
For the purposes of the Affirmative Action Program, a minority is a person whose race is non-Caucasian.
Similarly situated job classes that are linked by a common purpose, skill set, or education or certification requirement.
Equal Employment Opportunity
All individuals must be treated equally in all employment decisions, including hiring. Each candidate must be evaluated on the basis of their ability to perform the duties of the position without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
To learn more about the policies or resources related to these definitions, please visit:
2020-2021 Placement Goals
The Division of Human Resources establishes placement goals for job groups. The University will make a good-faith effort to fill vacancies to reach placement goals. As a matter of law and University policy, selection for opportunities for hire, promotion, transfer, or training -- as well as decisions regarding demotion, termination, layoff, or other terms and conditions of employment -- shall occur without regard to race, skin color, religion, sex, national origin, or other prohibited basis.
As a federal contractor, the University is required to identify job groups where women and minorities are underutilized, establish affirmative action goals for those job groups, and make good-faith efforts to achieve those goals. Good-faith efforts to employ and advance protected veterans and persons with disabilities are also required.
The University analyzes existing workforce data, census data, and faculty availability data. For each job group, we determine if the number of qualified women and minorities in the labor market (availability) is significantly higher than the number of women and minorities in the University’s current workforce (utilization). A job group is composed of positions that are similar with regard to their content, pay range, and opportunities.
The University usually determines placement goals for gender and minority status based on the wider availability pool percentage for each job category and national benchmarks established by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).
OFFCP has recently set a national benchmark goal for federal contractors including the University of Arizona, to attain 7% representation of individuals with disabilities in the workforce. OFCCP has also recently set a national benchmark goal for every federal contractor to attain 5.7% representation of protected veterans in the workforce.
If there is a significant disparity between availability and utilization in a job group, the University establishes placement goals for that group.
No, it is illegal to use quotas in employment decisions. A goal does not reserve a place for or require that preference be given to a particular type of candidate. Affirmative action is intended to ensure that no qualified candidate of any group is excluded from the pool of applicants being considered.
Goals are simply placement objectives that University works toward by making good-faith efforts to achieve broader representation in job groups where there is underutilization of women, minorities, veterans, and/or persons with disabilities. Such efforts generally take place during the recruitment process and are designed to attract a diversity of qualified candidates into the applicant pool and remove barriers in the selection process that may affect equal employment opportunities.
The first step is to determine if an affirmative action goal exists for an open position. HR will advise your department of this, or you can review the chart above.
If a goal exists, the selection committee should seek to interview a diverse pool of qualified candidates. Your department is expected to participate in outreach activities (such as advertising in specialty publications and making other targeted recruitment efforts) to attract diverse, qualified applicants. You should inform HR of the good-faith efforts you make. Email HR at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your department also should maintain interview records that document the hiring decision and ensure that the disposition of all applicants is properly and promptly recorded in Talent.
UArizona is required to provide equal opportunity for all openings. Therefore, the selection committee should consider all qualified applicants, and its selections should be nondiscriminatory and made based on qualifications. Best practice is to interview more than one candidate, which demonstrates that your department has taken reasonable efforts to find and select the most qualified person for the position using equitable and nondiscriminatory processes.
Tips for Recruiting a Diverse Workforce
The University’s culture, borne of experience, is that diversity in its student bodies, faculty, and staff is important to fulfill its primary purpose: Working together to expand human potential, explore new horizons, and enrich life for all.
Diversity challenges our preconceived stereotypes and it helps our campus community effectively communicate with people of varied backgrounds. Diversity strengthens communities and the workplace, fosters mutual respect and teamwork, and helps build communities whose members are judged by the quality of their character and their contributions.
Diversity does not justify or warrant the admission of unqualified applicants. However, the diversity we seek and the future of the nation do require that the University continues to reach out and make a conscious effort to build healthy and diverse learning environments that are appropriate for our mission.
Diversity is often interpreted as encompassing factors such as race and gender. While those factors are significant, the ever-expanding meaning of diversity has evolved, featuring a growing emphasis on diversity of thought and experiences.
Please see the resources below for help completing a fair and effective search:
Best practices for applicant pool management to show that our hiring practices are nondiscriminatory.
Best Practices for communication with applicants during the search process to help them feel valued.
Developing an Effective Job Posting
Tips for creating a job posting, including what you should avoid.
Example Interview Questions
Questions to help you explore an applicant's leadership values and expectations, as well as specific job skills.
Best Practices for creating an interview process that is equitable, fair, and supports finding the best talent.
Negotiating With Candidates
Best practices and suggestions for use during negotiations.
Guidance to meet the University's strict recordkeeping requirements, including what individual departments are responsible for.
Reduce Unconscious Bias
Take affirmative steps to acknowledge unconscious bias and mitigate our responses during the recruitment processes.
Respectful Pronoun Use
Best practices to ensure candidates feel respected throughout the recruitment process.
Required Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action Statements
The University is required to include a statement of nondiscriminatory policy in any bulletins, announcements, publications, catalogs, application forms, or other recruitment materials that are made available to participants, students, applicants, or employees.
Use the following statements in your materials.
It continues to be the policy of the University of Arizona to implement equal opportunity to all employees, students, applicants for employment or admission, and participants in any of the University’s programs without regard to race, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, veteran status, political affiliation, or disability. The University of Arizona is committed to promoting increased awareness, knowledge, and skills necessary to create change and engage in helpful conversations about diversity, inclusion, and fairness.
For short publications, such as advertisements, one-page announcements, etc.:
Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Women/Vets/Disabled.
Non-Discrimination and Affirmative Action Campus Partners
Division of Human Resources
Coordinates activities related to the University’s Affirmative Action Program by analyzing compliance reports as requested by state and federal enforcement agencies. HR also develops and facilitates outreach efforts to increase University workforce diversity and inclusion.
Office of Institutional Equity (OIE)
Ensures an appropriate investigation is made on all reports of discrimination and harassment; provides guidance or referrals; and answers questions regarding options, processes, and resources.
Disability Resources Center (DRC)
Provides services, resources, and programs to facilitate equal learning and working opportunities for disabled faculty, staff, students, and guests of the University.