Affirmative Action FAQs

Affirmative Action FAQs

What is affirmative action?

Affirmative action is a program and set of regulations required of federal contractors to ensure equal employment opportunity and nondiscrimination for applicants and employees. This means that the University, as a federal contractor, takes proactive steps to ensure equal opportunity in hiring and promotional opportunities to qualified women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and protected veterans.

Contrary to the perception that affirmative action is a quota system or requires preferences, the federal contractor goals are quantitatively derived and represent concrete goals entailing good faith outreach, recruitment efforts, and monitoring.

The University of Chicago does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law.

What laws govern affirmative action?

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), in general, administers the following laws for affirmative action compliance: Executive Order 11246; Executive Order 13672; Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; and The Vietnam Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974.

Who benefits from affirmative action?

Everyone. Affirmative action is a first step in achieving diversity in the University’s workforce and it supports the University’s commitment to rigorous inquiry that requires diverse perspectives and backgrounds.