Administrative Procedures Handbook

Equal Opportunity and Access

Phone: (309) 298-1977

Western Illinois University is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All vice presidents, deans, directors, department chairpersons, and others with budget responsibility should have a copy of and be familiar with the "Affirmative Action Compliance Program" and the "Policy Statement on Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action" issued annually. The University also has policies dealing with Anti-Harassment as well as a Discrimination Complaint Procedure for resolving concerns.

Affirmative Action Procedures for Administrative/Faculty Positions

Obtain a copy of the Hiring Procedures Guide from the Equal Opportunity and Access Office before conducting a search.

  1. All faculty and administrative positions will be filled through an open, external search process. Please note that the Request to Fill Academic or Administrative Position form must be completed and approved through the appropriate vice president before the search is initiated. Any request for an exception must be indicated on the Request to Fill form in the designated area and must include justification and documentation to support the request. In cases where the Request to Fill form has not been finalized, the Advertising Contingency Approval form must be completed and signed by the appropriate vice president and routed to the Equal Opportunity and Access Office in order to initiate the search process.
  2. The position announcement must be developed before the opening is advertised, and must include a clear statement of the criteria to be used in identifying qualified candidates. Qualifications for openings must be based on the particular education and experience necessary to perform the essential functions of the position. These criteria should be as general as possible to ensure an adequate applicant pool that includes diverse representation. Criteria that exclude on the basis of a specified number of years of experience should be avoided. A clearly defined advertising distribution plan should be submitted to the Equal Opportunity and Access Office detailing where and when printed ads will be posted for the position and a plan for maximum exposure of job ad devised. Departments should allow a minimum of three weeks for responses to ads from the original date of posting before they start reviewing/screening applications.

    The position description must include a clear articulation of the position's essential and marginal functions in order to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The essential functions that define the role of faculty positions are understood to be teaching/performance of primary duties, research, and service. Position descriptions must not list the manner in which these functions are to be performed. For example, essential functions of a faculty position include providing instruction and evaluating student performance, not typing handouts and reading essay exams. Faculty openings may mention a variety of possible limiting conditions that would require accommodation, like teaching at extension sites, laboratory instruction/activities, special equipment usage, scheduling expectations (evening or weekend classes), nature of teaching duties (i.e., class size, etc.), or service or research projects with similar specific requirements. Position announcements and descriptions must be reviewed by the Equal Opportunity and Access Officer before dissemination to ensure compliance with Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity (AA/EO) and ADA requirements.

    Each position announcement should include the following statement:

    "Western Illinois University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer with a strong commitment to diversity. In that spirit, we are interested in receiving applications from a broad spectrum of people. WIU has a non-discrimination policy that includes sex, race, color, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, religion, age, marital status, national origin, disability, or veteran status."

  3. An elected or appointed search committee is used to fill all administrative or faculty positions. The selection of this committee may precede Step 2. After a search committee is formed and a chair is selected, the names of all members should be submitted to the Equal Opportunity and Access Office. Search committees should, when possible, include protected class persons. The hiring administrator will convene the committee and define their role in the hiring process. This will include clearly established guidelines about the function of the committee relative to search and selection or screening and recommendation. Either approach must include the discussion of area affirmative action goals and requirements to make sure that all members of the search committee understand their affirmative action responsibilities. A representative from the Equal Opportunity and Access Office should also normally be invited to attend. If the Equal Opportunity and Access Office is not represented at this initial meeting, a separate meeting with the search monitor is required to proceed.
  4. Affirmative Action monitoring is designed to ensure that only qualifications and criteria which do not have a discriminatory effect upon protected classes are used in the screening process. In addition to reviewing selection criteria and the chosen candidates for interviews with the hiring administrator, the legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons for not inviting any of the protected class applicants for an interview must be reviewed with the Equal Opportunity and Access Director before anyone is invited to interview. If the pool includes protected class applicants who meet advertised qualifications and they are not selected for an interview, a meeting must be scheduled with the Equal Opportunity and Access Office to review these files. This is a requirement even if there are protected class applicants in the interview pool, and is designed to monitor the selection process for each protected class applicant for the position. The Equal Opportunity and Access Office needs the names of all of the candidates who will be invited for interviews in order to monitor the progress of the search.
  5. Once approval to interview is given, a consistent set of interview questions must be developed. Only questions related to a candidate's ability to perform the job may be asked. The same set of questions must be used for each candidate, including internal candidates. Questions must be submitted to the Equal Opportunity and Access Office for approval before interviews begin.
  6. The hiring administrator should review the selection and interview process with the Equal Opportunity and Access Director. This review must include an explanation of the reasons for not selecting all remaining candidates who will not be offered the position after the interviews have been conducted. Specific reasons must be shown why a given applicant will not receive a job offer. This review must occur before any formal or informal offers are made.
  7. The Employment Offer Approval form must be submitted to and approved by the Equal Opportunity and Access Director before the letter of offer is mailed/given to the candidate. The Offering Letter and Recommendation for Appointment/Employment Personnel Information should be delivered to the Equal Opportunity and Access Office along with the AA/EO Summary Report.

    Contact the Equal Opportunity and Access Office for assistance in completing these forms.

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Lactation Accommodation Procedure

Supervisors of employees who request accommodation under this policy shall provide reasonable lactation break periods with sufficient flexibility to meet the nursing mother’s needs (approximately every 3.5 hours for 20-30 minutes). Paid break time must run concurrently with any lactation break, whenever possible. Lactation breaks taken outside of paid break periods are unpaid. When it is anticipated that lactation breaks will be taken outside of paid break periods, the employee and supervisor shall make arrangements to account for the time. This could include use of accrued time, extending the work day or shortening the lunch period.

The University reserves the right to allow supervisors to restrict or limit breaks which unduly impact workflow or performance.

Supervisors and/or employees with questions or concerns regarding these procedures should contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access at (309) 298-1977.

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