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UMass Amherst

Administrative Policies and Procedures

Diversity Mission Statement

The University of Massachusetts Amherst, as a public land grant institution, has a responsibility to provide access and opportunities for all people, while demonstrating our commitment to inclusion of historically underrepresented groups. We believe that a culturally diverse campus is integral to academic excellence and that our students, faculty and staff should reflect the diverse world in which we live.

The University recognizes and values the wide range of voices and perspectives in all spheres of the academic enterprise. The University of Massachusetts Amherst is committed to policies that promote inclusiveness, social justice and respect for all, regardless of race, color, religion, creed, gender, sexual orientation, age, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, political belief or affiliation, marital status, veteran status, immigration status, gender identity and expression, genetic information or any other characteristic or status protected by state or federal laws.

Affirmative Action and Non-Discrimination Policy

The Amherst campus Affirmative Action and Nondiscrimination Policy Statement explicitly “prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, sex, age, marital status, national origin, mental or physical disability, political belief or affiliation, veteran status, sexual orientation, genetic information and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination under state or federal law.” This policy is intended to establish a firm foundation for achieving campus goals for diversity and inclusiveness.

Grievance Resolution

The campus has comprehensive and well-established grievance systems in place. The Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity investigates grievances alleging discrimination and administers the Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures and the Grievance Policy and Procedures. The Ombuds Office provides another avenue to ensure the fair and equitable resolution of grievances or concerns. Union contracts also contain grievance procedures that may be applicable. For additional information, refer to the Action Steps Flow Chart.

Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures

UMass Amherst is committed to providing students, faculty and staff with an environment where they may pursue their studies or careers without being sexually harassed. Sexual harassment, as defined in the campus’s Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures, is a violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Title VII; of the 1972 Education Amendments, Title IX; and of Massachusetts General Laws, Chapters 151B and 151C. While informal resolutions of complaints may be pursued in various ways, the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity is responsible for formally administering this policy and its grievance procedure.

Code of Student Conduct

The Code of Student Conduct, defines expected student conduct and describes disciplinary procedures and sanctions for misconduct. Protection of the student’s rights, including appeal procedures and mandated time limits, is provided. It is administered by the Dean of Students Office.

Disability Services

Disability Services, a component of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, is committed to full access and leads efforts to provide reasonable accommodations for students, faculty and staff with disabilities. For policies and procedures pertaining to persons with disabilities, see Disability Services Administrative Policies and Procedures.

Equal Opportunity and Diversity

The Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity investigates grievances alleging discrimination and administers the Affirmative Action and Nondiscrimination Policy, Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures and the Grievance Policy and Procedures. The Office publishes an annual Affirmative Action Plan, which includes relevant policy statements on affirmative action and non-discrimination.

Ombuds Office

The role of the Ombuds Office is to ensure that all students and employees receive fair and equitable treatment within the UMass Amherst system. The Ombuds Office does not have the power to change rules, regulations, policies, or procedures, but rather to make recommendations to the University for changes and to help individuals find resolution.