Statement of Reaffirmation
Posted on September 16, 2020:
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:
This has truly been an unprecedented year. We are still in the midst of weathering a global pandemic, heightened racial tensions, and a shift to remote working and learning. Through it all, we stand in solidarity and support of one another and our communities.
The University of Illinois at Chicago strives for a community reflective of our culturally enriched city. Diversity is essential to our mission of advancing access to excellence and success in academic programs, research, and healthcare. The Office for Access and Equity (OAE) proudly reaffirms our campus commitment to creating and maintaining a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment.
As part of our strategy for furthering our diversity efforts and increasing representation of underrepresented populations, OAE is responsible for monitoring our Affirmative Action Plan. Cultivating a workforce comprised of members from diverse backgrounds, cultures and perspectives makes UIC stronger and better positioned to serve the needs of our students and community.
In addition to increasing representation, we also strive to create an environment that is inclusive and promotes mutual respect among one another. One component of building an inclusive campus involves positive daily interactions with those around us. OAE contributes to this goal by maintaining the University’s Nondiscrimination Statement, which prohibits unlawful discrimination and harassment based on protected classifications.
OAE is also responsible for assuring campus compliance in matters related to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. In accordance with new federal requirements, we have revised the UIC Comprehensive Policy and Procedures for the Sexual Misconduct Grievance Process, and continue to uphold our University’s values of integrity, accountability, and respect.
OAE’s ADA Coordinator, Justin O’Sullivan, oversees the Employee Accommodation Policy and supports employees with accommodation requests, including requests related to COVID-19. Student accommodation requests are facilitated through the Disability Resource Center under the leadership of Sophia Hamilton.
While we understand the importance of ensuring University compliance with federal and state legislation, OAE also values moving beyond compliance toward a culture that is inclusive and welcoming to everyone. Through Dispute Resolution Services (DRS), OAE offers resources to help address interpersonal and group conflict in an effort to create a safe and productive environment.
OAE looks forward to partnering with our students, faculty, and staff to continue our efforts in strengthening our community.
Caryn A. Bills
Access and Equity