Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Statement 3.402

Elgin Community College (“the College”) does not discriminate, or tolerate discrimination, against any member of its community on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex/gender, age, religion, disability, pregnancy, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation (including gender-related identity), order of protection status, or any other status protected by applicable federal, state or local law in matters of admissions, employment, or in any aspect of the educational programs or activities it offers.  Elgin Community College, as reflected in its vision and mission statements, strategic goals, and shared values, is committed to enhancing and promoting the diversity of the College community.  The College further recognizes that a complete education includes all segments of society.  As a result, the College provides equal opportunity and supports affirmative action efforts to promote and achieve this goal.  The President of the College has the ultimate responsibility for compliance with federal, state, and local laws that prohibit discrimination. The College’s policies and procedures regarding the investigation and resolution of alleged or suspected violations of the College’s policy against discrimination, harassment, and retaliation (as set forth in Administrative Procedure 3.403) are available from the College’s EEO/AA Officer.

The College recognizes the important distinction between equal opportunity and affirmative action. Equal opportunity requires that all academic and personnel decisions will be governed by the concept of merit and based on an individual’s ability to successfully engage in academic work or perform the essential functions of a position. As an employer committed to affirmative action, however, the College is also committed to increasing the diversity of its workforce and student body, believing that increased diversity is essential to the enhancement of student educational experiences and the improvement of society. As such, the College makes additional efforts to recruit, enroll or hire, retain, and graduate or promote qualified members of groups historically excluded on the basis of discriminatory factors unrelated to merit. The premise of affirmative action is that positive steps must be taken to overcome the effects of discrimination, consistent with the College’s obligation to treat all employees and students with fairness and dignity. In this belief, the College maintains an affirmative action program, consistent with applicable law, to promote and enhance diversity and equal opportunity and throughout its educational programs, activities, and operations.

The goals of affirmative action are to ensure equity of educational and economic opportunity, to increase the diversity of the College community, and to encourage the exchange of values and ideas across cultures and peoples. A commitment to affirmative action is in keeping with the College’s mission and values. The College views its commitment to affirmative action as essential to enhancing the educational experiences and outcomes of its students, who are being prepared to live, work, and serve in an increasingly diverse society.

In adopting this Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Statement, the College shall not be construed as admitting that women, minorities, persons with disabilities, or other members of legally protected groups have been, or are presently being, discriminated against in any way in violation of applicable law.