Human Resources Policies

HR11 Affirmative Action in Employment at the Pennsylvania State University

Policy Status: 


Subject Matter Expert: 

Suzanne Adair, 814-863-0471,

Policy Steward: 

Vice President for Human Resources




  • Purpose
  • Policy
  • Responsibility
  • Leadership/Guidance
  • Resolution of Complaints
  • Affirmative Action Compliance
  • Cross Reference

    To specify terms and conditions under which the University's policy of equal employment opportunity through affirmative action shall be implemented, and identifying responsibility and accountability for actions in support of a positive program to meet legal and moral commitments as outlined in the Affirmative Action Plan.


    It is the policy of The Pennsylvania State University to provide equal opportunity in all terms and conditions of employment, for all persons, as described in the University's Affirmative Action Plan and HR01. The intent of this policy is to prohibit discrimination (including sexual harassment) and to promote the full realization of equal employment opportunity through a continuing affirmative program in each administrative unit outlined in the Plan. This policy of equal opportunity applies to, and must be an integral part of, every aspect of personnel policy and practice in the employment, development, advancement, and treatment of employees and applicants for employment at the University.


    The head of each administrative unit identified in the Affirmative Action Plan, and subunits as identified by the Affirmative Action Office, shall be responsible for working with the staff of the Affirmative Action Office in implementing the requirements of the Plan. It is the responsibility of each unit head to provide sufficient resources to administer such a program in a positive and effective manner; assure that recruitment activities reach appropriate sources of job candidates; provide reasonable opportunities to employees to enhance their skills so they may perform at their highest potential and advance in accordance with their abilities; provide training and advice to managers and supervisors to assure their understanding and implementation of the University's policy of equal opportunity and the affirmative action plan; and provide for a system within the unit for periodically evaluating the effectiveness with which the Plan is being carried out. Compliance with the intent of University Policy and the Affirmative Action Plan shall be part of the acceptable standards of performance for all employees.


    The Affirmative Action Office, reporting to the President, shall provide leadership and guidance to administrative units in the conduct of their programs affecting employees and applicants for employment. The Affirmative Action Office shall review and evaluate administrative unit program operations periodically, obtain such reports as deemed necessary, and report to the President as appropriate on overall progress.

    The Affirmative Action Office will consult from time to time with such individuals, groups, or organizations as may be of assistance in improving the University's program and realizing the objectives of the Plan.


    The University shall provide for the prompt, fair, and impartial consideration of all complaints of discrimination in employment, including sexual harassment, in violation of HR01 "Fair Employment Practices." Each administrative unit shall provide access to counseling of employees who feel aggrieved and shall encourage the resolution of employee problems on an informal basis. Procedures for the consideration of complaints shall include at least one impartial review within the administrative unit and shall provide for appeal as outlined in AC76 "Faculty Rights and Responsibilities, and HR79 "Staff Grievance Procedure."


    The Affirmative Action Office shall be responsible for preparing guidelines and instructions necessary and appropriate to carry out the intent of the University policy and the Affirmative Action Plan.


    AD29 - Statement on Intolerance;

    HR01 - Fair Employment Practices

    Date Approved: 

    June 26, 2023

    Date Published: 

    June 26, 2023

    Effective Date: 

    June 26, 2023