OEO Role and Responsibilities
The University of New Mexico (University) is committed to creating and maintaining a community that is free from all forms of discrimination, including harassment, differential treatment, failure to accommodate, retaliation because of participation in civil rights protected activity, and disparate impact. The Office of Equal Opportunity is the neutral campus entity designated to ensure compliance with all University policies that apply to civil rights including investigations of civil rights violations. The University has policies that prohibit all forms of discrimination and retaliation, to include sexual harassment, a form of gender discrimination that is prohibited by state and federal law (including, but not limited to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972). The prohibition includes sexual violence, which is considered a severe form of sexual harassment.
The University is committed to providing equal access to educational and employment opportunities for all individuals. The university considers the following protected statuses:
The Office of Equal Opportunity operates in the following manners:
INVESTIGATES complaints of discrimination on the basis of a protected status, including sexual misconduct and failure to accommodate.
MAINTAINS neutrality in all formal and informal processes that address claims of discrimination.
PROVIDES guidance and training to the campus and community partners on affirmative action and civil rights, to include Title IX and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
COMPILES the annual Clery report for the University, trains Campus Security Authorities, and creates safety initiatives such as alerts and timely warnings.
ADVISES campus leadership and upper administration on best practices as it relates to civil rights compliance.
ENSURES all University policies and procedures are compliant with federal and state civil rights laws and regulations.
ADVOCATES for a diverse and inclusive campus environment.
COMPILES the annual affirmative action plan (AAP) for the University.
REVIEWS employment hiring practices to ensure compliance with EEO and AA benchmarks and goals.
ACTS as the University ADA Coordinator to provide reasonable accommodation to those living with disabilities and ensure compliance with ADA laws.
COLLABORATES with campus partners to ensure a commitment to a fair, equitable, and safe environment for individuals to pursue their academic and professional endeavors.
What the Office of Equal Opportunity does not do:
The Office of Equal Opportunity operates as an independent and neutral entity and exists solely as fact-finders that must gather information pertaining to allegations of civil rights or Title IX violations. The department has jurisdiction over complaints that are pertaining to a civil rights or Title IX basis and does not have jurisdiction over allegations that align with non-discirminatory bases. The following are a few examples of what the department does not do:
- Operate in the manner of attorneys
- Operate in the manner of a civil or criminal investigative body, the OEO investigations are strictly administrative in nature
- Investigate concerns non-related to civil rights or Title IX such as time fraud, theft, general (non-discriminatory) bullying, drug possession, etc.
- Make sanctioning/disciplinary decisions
- Advocate for either Complainants or Respondents