Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

EEO/AA Officer

Michelle Best, Director, Human Resources/Affirmative Action Officer, provides leadership in the area of equal employment opportunity, ADA, affirmative action, and compliance. She can be reached at 715-425-3833 or

EEO/AA Statement

The University of Wisconsin-River Falls is committed to a policy of providing equal employment opportunity for all qualified individuals No employee may be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, age sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, ancestry, disability, pregnancy, marital or parental status, genetic information, arrest record, conviction record, military service, veteran status, use or non-use of lawful products off the employer's premises during nonworking hours, declining to attend a meeting or participate in any communication about religious matters or political matters, or any other category protected by law.  This provision includes employment- related actions, such as recruitment, interviewing, testing, screening, selection, placement, classification, evaluation, transfer, promotion, training, compensation, fringe benefits, layoffs and / or dismissal.

UW-River Falls is committed to making every good faith effort to achieve the goal of equal employment opportunity through implementing federal and state equal employment opportunity/affirmative action laws, executive orders, rules and regulations and University of Wisconsin System equal employment opportunity/affirmative action policies and guidelines. Employment is subject to federal laws that require verification of identity and legal right to work in United States as required by the Immigration Reform and Control Act.

Affirmative Action goes beyond the concept of equal employment opportunity. Affirmative Action policies and programs are required to overcome the present effects of past discrimination and to achieve equal employment opportunity for members of groups that are or have been formerly under-represented. Affirmative Action policies and programs are tools whereby additional efforts are made to recruit, employ and promote qualified members of formerly excluded groups, even if that exclusion cannot be traced to particular discriminatory actions on the part of this University. Through specific and result-oriented activities the university's goals are to ensure that every person is given full consideration through equal employment opportunity policies and practices and to achieve a representative workforce through its affirmative action efforts.

UW-River Falls ensures physical accessibility to work environments for persons with disabilities and provides reasonable accommodation to ensure equal access to employment and all benefits associated with employment. When requested, reasonable accommodations for religious observances and practices will be provided.

The University of Wisconsin-River Falls periodically examines all employment policies for discrimination and if discrimination is found, takes remedial action to correct the problem. All management personnel share in the responsibility for monitoring all equal employment and affirmative action policies. Evaluation of management includes an assessment of performance effectiveness in assisting the university in achieving its employment goals. The following definitions shall be used in determining whether a particular course of conduct constitutes discrimination or discriminatory harassment under this policy:

A.  Discrimination is conduct that adversely affects any aspect of an individual's employment, education, or participation in an institution's activities or programs, or has the effect of denying equal privileges or treatment to an individual on the basis of one or more characteristics of that individual's protected status or category as defined herein.

B. Discriminatory Harassment is a form of discrimination consisting of unwelcome verbal, written, graphic or physical conduct that:

1.  Is directed at an individual or group of individuals on the basis of the individual or group of individuals' actual or perceived protected status, or affiliation or association with person(s) within a protected status (as defined herein above); and

2.  Is sufficiently severe or pervasive so as to interfere with an individual's employment, education or academic environment or participation in institution programs or activities and creates a working, learning, program or activity environment that a reasonable person would find intimidating, offensive or hostile.

To constitute prohibited harassment, the conduct must be both objectively and subjectively harassing in nature. Harassment may include but is not limited to verbal or physical attacks, threats, slurs or derogatory or offensive comments that meet the definition set forth herein. Harassment does not have to be targeted at a particular individual in order to create a harassing environment, nor must the conduct result in a tangible injury to be considered a violation of this policy. Whether the alleged conduct constitutes prohibited harassment depends on the totality of the particular circumstances, including the nature, frequency and duration of the conduct in question, the location and context in which it occurs and the status of the individuals involved.

Sexual harassment is defined under Regent Policy 14-2 and is regulated through existing institutional policies and procedures.  

  • Retaliation is defined as adverse action taken against an individual in response to, motivated by or in connection with an individual's complaint of discrimination or discriminatory harassment, participation in an investigation of such complaint and/or opposition of discrimination or discriminatory harassment in the educational or workplace setting.

Persons seeking to file a complaint of harassment or discrimination should first bring the situation to the attention of their immediate supervisor. If concerns remain after meeting with their supervisor, they may discuss them with the hiring authorities in their area or Human Resources at 715-425-3833.

In determining whether impermissible discrimination or harassment has occurred, the investigator or hearing body will apply state and federal statutes, regulations, and case law relevant to the basis of discrimination being alleged, including but not limited to such legal materials and precedents as Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; the Americans with Disabilities Act; s.101.223, Wisconsin Statues; the United States Constitution, and related regulations and case law.  In any case where there is a question as to whether the action or conduct constitutes impermissible discrimination or harassment, UW System legal counsel will be consulted.

The university's EEO/AA policies and procedures, including processes for the investigation and resolution of discrimination and/or harassment complaints, are detailed in the Faculty and Staff Handbook is available to all employees on the university website at

Retaliation against an individual for filing a complaint of discrimination or discriminatory  harassment or participating in the process is prohibited.  Through these policies and procedures, the University of Wisconsin-River Falls continues to reaffirm its commitment to the principle of equality of opportunity in employment and in education. While the university is obligated to develop and sustain a program of equal opportunity, we undertake these actions and adopt these policies, not only because we are required to, but also because it is right and proper that we do so.

Maria Gallo, Ph.D.


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Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
216 North Hall