Frequently Asked Questions
OFFICE INFORMATION - WHO WE ARE
- What is the role of the Office of Equal Opportunity Services (EOS) at UTSA?
- What types of complaints does the Office of Equal Opportunity Services (EOS) investigate?
- How can I file a complaint?
- Why is it important to be informed about discrimination and sexual harassment?
- What is an affirmative action plan or program?
- What does UTSA's affirmative action plan generally consist of?
- How does affirmative action benefit the university and university members?
- How does the UTSA policy define discrimination and harassment?
- What is harassment? How is discrimination related to harassment?
- What is sexual harassment?
- What is sexual misconduct?
- What type of behavior or conduct may be involved in sexual harassment or sexual misconduct?
- Who is protected by discrimination and sexual harassment?
- What can happen, if there is a complaint filed against me?
- If someone complains about sexual harassment to me, what should I do?
- If someone complains about sexual harassment, what protection does the complainant have?
UNIVERSITY PARTNERS - RESOURCES
- Where can I learn about the official UTSA regulations governing non-discrimination?
- If I have a conflict with a co-worker and it is not sexual in nature, where can I seek assistance?
- Are services provided by UTSA to help employees with mental and psychological concerns?
- Where can I go for confidential counseling to help me deal with personnel problems?
- If I have a disability, who should I contact about receiving accommodations?
- What is the Student Ombudsman?
- What types of discrimination and harassment training are offered?
Office Information - Who We Are
The Office of Equal Opportunity Services (EOS) is the EEO Office for The University of Texas at San Antonio. EOS actively promotes equal opportunity for students, faculty, staff and visitors at UTSA.
EOS provides these services:
- Investigates cases of alleged discrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct
- Assists with development and maintenance of UTSA's Affirmative Action Plan
- Provides Faculty Recruitment Training for faculty, staff and administrators
- Monitors and provides guidance for the Faculty Recruitment Process
The EOS Complaint Process and complaint form are available here.
Discrimination and unlawful harassment cannot be tolerated in a community of learning and opportunity.The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the teaching and learning environment free of discrimination and harassment.
Equal Opportunity refers to the employment practices that ensure non-discrimination on the basis of race, age, color, sex, national origin, religion, disability and other protected categories as listed in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Affirmative action is a non-discriminatory effort to promote equal opportunity, fairness and accessibility in employment and academic efforts and endeavors to achieve this by broadening the outreach efforts to attract minorities and women.
A policy or a plan designed to ensure and seek to maintain non-discriminatory actions through established measures to ensure equal opportunity in employment and education and identify areas of underutilized employment of women or minorities and to use this information in recruitment outreach for women and minorities.
Federal law (41 CFR 60-2.10) describes an affirmative action program as "A set of specific and result-oriented procedures to which a contractor commits itself to apply every good faith effort. The objective of these procedures and efforts is equal employment opportunity. Procedures without effort to make them work are meaningless; and effort, undirected by specific and meaningful procedures, is inadequate. An acceptable affirmative action program must include an analysis of areas within which the contractor is deficient in the utilization of minority groups and women, and further, goals and timetables to which the contractor's good faith efforts must be directed to correct the deficiencies and, thus to achieve prompt and full utilization of minorities and women, at all levels and in all segments of its work force where deficiencies exist."
In accordance with current state and federal guidelines as defined by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and the State of Texas, The University shall report annually the results of its Affirmative Action Compliance Plan in a written Affirmative Action Plan [41 CFR 60-1.40(a)].
Basic components consist of (in relation to external labor pools):
- Annual quantitative analysis to assist in the evaluation of the university’s workforce and labor pools.
- Audit and metrics system to report university’s hiring and promotion progress.
- Identification of actions to be taken to address underutilization of women and minorities.
Specific efforts are undertaken by the university to ensure that campus community members who have equal ability and equal access should have equal opportunities as guided by affirmative action.
Discrimination and Harassment
It is the policy of The University of Texas at San Antonio to provide an educational and working environment that provides equal opportunity to all members of the university community. In accordance with federal and state law, the university prohibits unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, citizenship, and veteran status. Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Harassment in any form will not be tolerated and individuals who engage in such conduct will be subject to disciplinary action. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is also prohibited pursuant to university policy.
Discrimination, including harassment, is defined as conduct directed at a specific individual or a group of identifiable individuals that subjects the individual or group to treatment that adversely affects their employment or education on account of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, citizenship, veteran status or sexual orientation.
Harassment, as a form of discrimination, is defined as verbal or physical conduct that is directed at an individual or group because of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, citizenship, veteran status or sexual orientation when such conduct is sufficiently severe, pervasive or persistent so as to have the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual's or group's academic or work performance; or of creating a hostile academic or work environment. Constitutionally protected expression cannot be considered harassment under this policy.
Harassment is a form of discrimination. Harassment is verbal or physical conduct directed at an individual (or group) because of his/her protected class when the conduct is sufficiently severe and pervasive to interfere with the individuals academic or work performance or to create a hostile academic or work environment.
Under university policy (HOP 9.1), constitutionally protected expression cannot be considered harassment.
Sexual Harassment is harassment based on sex. Sexual Harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- Submission to such contact is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment or student status
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for evaluation in making personnel or academic decisions affecting the individual; or
- Such conduct has the purpose of effect of reasonably interfering with an individual’s performance as an administrator, faculty member, staff or student, or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.
Sexual Misconduct includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature directed toward another individual that does not rise to the level of sexual harassment but is unprofessional and inappropriate for the workplace or classroom. (See HOP 9.24.)
Examples of behavior that could be considered sexual misconduct or sexual harassment include but are not limited to:
- Physical contact of a sexual nature including touching, patting, hugging, or brushing against a person's body;
- Explicit or implicit propositions or offers to engage in sexual activity;
- Comments of a sexual nature including sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes or anecdotes; remarks of a sexual nature about a person's clothing or body; remarks about sexual activity; speculation about sexual experience;
- Exposure to sexually oriented graffiti, pictures, posters, or materials; and/or
- Physical interference with or restriction of an individual's movements.
Constitutionally protected expression cannot be considered harassment under HOP 9.24.
EOS will contact inform the responding party of the complaint and the university's complaint resolution options and process. The responding party will be given the opportunity to respond to the allegations contained in the complaint. A fair and impartial investigation will be conducted by the EO investigators as designated by the university policy towards resolution and/or discipline.
EOS provides service to students, faculty, staff and visitors of UTSA and as such, anyone who is made aware of a discrimination or sexual harassment complaint should refer the complaining party to the EOS office. Individuals who feel they have been discriminated against or harassed, and or are uncertain as to whether what they experienced is discrimination or harassment, and/or want information as to their options in dealing with harassment and discrimination should be referred to EOS.
If you are a supervisor who is made aware of such a complaint, you must inform EOS of the complaint immediately. Supervisors should not make a determination on their own of what constitutes sexual harassment or discrimination. Complaints regarding students can be referred to Student Conduct and Community Standards or the EOS office.
Retaliation is prohibited by law and university policy. Once a complaint has been filed with the EOS office, the complainant has engaged in a protective activity and they are protected against retaliation. Protection against retaliation is also extended to all individuals who participate in an EOS investigation.
University Partners - Resources
Where can I learn about the official UTSA regulations governing non-discrimination?
UTSA Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP) Section 9.1
If I have a conflict with a co-worker and it is not sexual in nature, where can I seek assistance?
UTSA Employee Relations in the Human Resources Department: http://www.utsa.edu/hr/EmployeeRelations/
Are services provided by UTSA to help employees with mental and psychological concerns?
Employee Assistance Program (EAP): http://www.utsa.edu/hr/EmployeeRelations/eapinfo.html
Where can I go for confidential counseling to help me deal with personnel problems?
UTSA Counseling Services: http://www.utsa.edu/counsel/
Staff and Faculty:
Employee Assistance Program: http://www.utsa.edu/hr/EmployeeRelations/eapinfo.html
If I have a disability, who should I contact about receiving accommodations?
Office of Disability Services: http://www.utsa.edu/disability/
Staff and Faculty:
UTSA Employee Relations: http://www.utsa.edu/hr/EmployeeRelations/ADA.html
What is the Student Ombudsman?
The Student Ombudsperson in the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs offers confidential services to all students in a welcoming and safe environment and communicates with various representatives and offices to respond to and help resolve concerns in a timely manner.
For more information: http://utsa.edu/students/ombudsperson/
What types of discrimination and harassment training is offered?
The university will periodically educate and train employees and supervisors regarding the policy and conduct that could constitute a violation of the policy. In accordance with Texas Labor Code 21.010, all UTSA employees, including faculty, are required to complete discrimination training including sexual harassment no later than the 30th day after the date the employee is hired and shall complete supplemental training every two years. The employee is required to acknowledge a statement verifying completion of the training program. The acknowledged statement will be made part of the training records of the university. (HOP) Section 9.1 and Section 9.24
Contact the UTSA Training and Development Office in Human Resources for more information on discrimination and sexual harassment training.