Chancellor approves revised nondiscrimination, equal opportunity policy

Gender identity, gender expression added

KU has revised its nondiscrimination and equal opportunity policies to include gender identity and gender expression. Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little approved the change Oct 27.

The proposed additions came about after Student Senate introduced a resolution that the categories be added earlier this year. University Senate approved the changes Oct. 8.

“It is of utmost importance that KU be an open, welcoming institution for everyone,” Gray-Little said. “By updating these policies, we are stating that discrimination of any kind will not be accepted.”

The policy now states “The University of Kansas, Lawrence, is committed to the full participation of previously excluded or neglected classes of people. Thus, it is also the policy of the university to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, and gender expression. The university's nondiscrimination policy extends to employment practices, conditions of employment, personnel actions and all other educational programs and activities of the university and its affiliates. Leaders in the university community continuously examine all areas of the institution, make policy decisions, and implement strategies to eliminate and prevent discrimination wherever necessary. Reports of discrimination shall be evaluated promptly and acted upon in the manner deemed necessary by the appropriate faculty and administrators and as prescribed by the appropriate grievance procedure.”

John Stratton, associate librarian and University Senate president, said the added language in the policies will help explicitly support the rights of transgendered individuals at KU. Then Gov. Kathleen Sebelius issued an executive order in 2007 discouraging discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression in the state.

“It is also my opinion that the proposed amendments will ensure KU is a widely inclusive institution,” Stratton said. “The addition of gender identity and gender expression to these policies will underscore that these are prohibited forms of discrimination.”

The equal opportunity portion of the policy states “The University of Kansas, Lawrence, is also proud of its goal to help all individuals realize their potential. To this end, the university is committed to providing an equal opportunity for all qualified individuals to be considered for employment, benefits and conditions of employment, educational programs and activities, regardless of race, religion, color, sex, disability, national origin, ancestry, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity or gender expression. University leaders and supervisory personnel shall recruit, hire, train and promote persons in all job titles utilizing only valid requirements related to the position functions. A university community that provides equal opportunity in hiring and all conditions of employment will make significant strides towards the elimination of discrimination. Thus, the University of Kansas applauds every effort to create a positive working and learning environment for all individuals.”

The policy is available online

KU’s policy library is online at http://www.policy.ku.edu/

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The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university’s programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies and are the Title IX coordinators for their respective campuses: Executive Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity & Access, IOA@ku.edu, 1246 West Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY (for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses); Director, Equal Opportunity Office, Mail Stop 7004, 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205, 913-588-8011, 711 TTY (for the Wichita, Salina, and Kansas City, Kansas, medical center campuses).