The University of Wisconsin-River Falls continues to reaffirm its commitment to the principle of equality of opportunity in employment and in education. In its most elementary form, adherence to the concept of equality of opportunity requires that we strive toward a condition in which considerations of race, religion, color, gender, disability, national origin, age, or ancestry are not determinants of the access an individual has to opportunities for education, for employment, and for achievement. Rather, the controlling factors in all such matters must be individual ability, interest, and merit.
Our present and future course, which goes beyond non-discrimination, i.e., the elimination of all policies and practices that work to the disadvantage of individuals on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, pregnancy, arrest or conviction record, political affiliation, veteran status, ancestry, membership in the National Guard, state defense force or any other reserve component of the military forces of the United States or this state, is based on the concept of equal opportunity and the appropriate use of affirmative action policies and programs as one tool to achieve these goals. The principle of equal employment requires the University to determine if it has met its responsibility to recruit, employ, promote, and reward groups of persons formerly excluded from full consideration in employment and education (women, persons of color, and the disabled) to a degree consistent with their availability and merit, and whether or not any failure to do so can be traced to specific discriminatory policies or actions. Where these groups of people are underrepresented, the University will make a good faith effort to recruit and employ them insofar as they are available. The premise of this commitment is that the corrosive effects of systematic exclusion, inattention, and discrimination cannot be remedied in appropriate ways and in a reasonable time by a posture of neutrality with respect to all individuals. The goal is to achieve equal employment opportunity and a representative workforce through specific and result-oriented programs and by exercising every good faith effort to achieve that goal.
While the University is obligated to develop and sustain a program of equal opportunity, we undertake these actions and these policies not only because we are required to, but also because it is right and proper that we do so.