This is an excerpt from the "Academic Discrimination Kit," prepared by Ann Scott, a professor of English at the State University of New York at Buffalo (previously known as the University of Buffalo). Scott served as the federal compliance coordinator for the National Organization for Women (NOW), and along with Dr. Bernice Sandler of the Women's Equity Action League, helped train women in the early 1970s on how to pursue complaints against their colleges and universities through the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW).
This particular document was apparently distributed at a December 27, 1970 meeting of the Modern Language Association, after the complaint filed against the University of Michigan had begun to generate headlines nationwide. Scott also participated in conferences specifically focused on the issue, and spoke on the U-M campus in March 1971. She served on the boards of both NOW and Common Cause before her death, from cancer, in 1975.
Modern Language Association
Workshop, Dec. 27, 1970
NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN
Ann Scott, University of Buffalo
Federal Compliance Coordinator
SUMMARY OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 11246 AS AMENDED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER 11375, IN RELATION TO SEX DISCRIMINATION IN UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES WHICH HAVE FEDERAL CONTRACTS
BACKGROUND: Executive Order 11246, issued by President Johnson in 1965, forbids discrimination by any federal contractor because of race, color, religion, or national origin. Executive Order 11375, effective 13 October, 1968, amended this to include discrimination based on sex.
WHOM DO THE ORDERS APPLY TO? All federal contractors and subcontractors having 50 plus employees and holding or applying for federal contracts totaling $50,000 or more. 2100 universities have federal contracts. If the university has even one large enough contract, the entire institution is subject to the provisions of the Executive orders.
You do not have to know or prove that your university has the required contracts for you to file a complaint; it is up to HEW to determine that.
WHAT DO EXECUTIVE ORDERS REQUIRE? All federal contractors are required to practice non-discrimination in all aspects of their employment, and to take affirmative action "wherever necessary to remedy the present effects of past discrimination" and to counteract barriers to equal employment opportunity. They must ensure that "applicants are employed, and employees treated during employment without regard to their sex. Such action will include . . . employment, promotion, demotion or transfer, recruitment or recruitment advertising, lay-off or termination, rates of pay or other forms of compensation, and selection of training, including apprenticeship."
Contractors must develop for each of their facilities a written plan of affirmative action. [note]The plan must include an analysis of problems and an evaluation of opportunities for the use of minority employees, as well as specific goals and timetables for correcting existing discrimination (i.e. the university undertakes to increase the percentage of female faculty by a minimum of 7% each year until women are equitably represented).
The Executive Orders cover equal opportunity in employment only, not in education. HEW, however, has adopted a policy that paid teaching, research, and graduate assistants and fellows are included in the University's employment responsibility.
WHO ENFORCES THESE ORDERS? The Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCC) in the Department of Labor has responsibility for policy guidance and oversees the enforcement programs of the other executive agencies. The Department of Labor has designated the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) as the compliance agency responsible for enforcing these orders for all contracts with universities and colleges.
COMPLIANCE REVIEWS: Compliance reviews can be called for by complaints that indicate a pattern of discrimination by the employer. Or, in the case of $1 million plus contracts, the award should not be made unless first the assigned federal agency finds that the prospective contractor is in compliance with the Executive orders, both as to non-discrimination and as to the adequacy of its affirmative action program.
The Compliance Agency is supposed to run a thorough compliance review, including an on-site visit and interviews with employees. Where discrimination is found, the government requires the employer to make specific written commitment for its correction, including the dates and details of action to be taken.
POWER OF ENFORCEMENT: Contracts can be canceled, or can be delayed until personnel records are released to HEW, or until an acceptable plan for affirmative action is worked out. In cases of persistent violation or determined non-compliance, the university can be barred from any further contract awards.
ACADEMIC DISCRIMINATION KIT
complete kit available from
1952 East 73rd Street
Chicago, Ill. 60649
$1 to cover costs
FILING A COMPLAINT
WHO CAN FILE A COMPLAINT? Any individual, group, or group acting for one or more individuals can file a complaint. You describe the discrimination in a letter or form (available from OFCC, Dept. of Labor, Washington, D. C. 20210) include any documentation if you have it, keep a copy for yourself, include your address and phone, and send:
The Civil Rights Division
Department of Health, Education & Welfare
Washington, D. C. 20201
or to the OFCC-Labor, address above.
If you prefer not to file directly, any women's rights group such as NOW (National Organization for Women) or WEAL (Women's Equity Action League) should be willing to act on your behalf. Remember that the burden of proof is on the University, not on you.
THE COMPLAINT: THIS CAN BE, BUT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE, one person's complaint of discrimination. You can charge that a pattern of discrimination exists. Any number of complaints can be filed by any number of people or groups; each only strengthens the other's case. Single complaints can be filed in any of the following categories, or others consistent with the OFCC's Sex Discrimination Guidelines, or with the intent of the Executive orders. If you have evidence of a pattern of discrimination in one or more of the categories, you should demand a compliance review (an investigation of the employment of women in the entire institution). You can add incomplete complaints if you have reason to suspect discrimination; the compliance agency will have to investigate those too. You can submit additional evidence to your complaint as it comes up, or add grounds.
You may, therefore, make your complaint as complete or as brief as you wish. The more charges and evidence in the complaint, however, the more likely you are to get a full compliance review and the more thorough it will have to be.
PATTERN IN FACULTY EMPLOYMENT: The most useful and easily available information you can provide is on the comparative numbers and percentages of women and men at each rank--either for selected departments, or for the whole school.
Does your university have an explicit non-discrimination policy that includes sex, and is it disseminated to all women employees?
Does it advertise for faculty or administrative positions (including president, by sex?
What percentages of department chairmen are women?
How many women have responsible appointive positions on committees? in top administrative posts (or are they all "assistants"?)
If there is a committee for hiring minority faculty, does it consider women as a separate minority?
Are there higher percentages of women graduate students than women faculty in the departments?
How do the salaries of women and men compare?
Does the University or any department have either an explicit or unwritten policy against nepotism? Against inbred hiring?
Is the low-level termination rate (i.e. at expiration of a 1, 2, or 3 year contract) higher for women than for men?
How many faculty wives work in peripheral jobs (night-school, temporary assisgnments, fill-ins or introductory courses) for which they are overqualified because of a nepotism rule?
Is there a higher rate of tenure for men than for women, and at a lower number of years served?
Does the University have an affirmative action plan at all, and does it specifically include women considered as a separate minority?
PATTERNS IN STAFF EMPLOYMENT: Remember, the Executive Orders cover all paid employees--administrative staff (assistants "to", non-teaching professionals, librarians, professional counsellors, etc.) as well as operational personnel (i.e. secretaries, charwomen, food service personnel etc.) Operational personnel are covered, in addition, by the Equal Pay Act of 1963. Consult the OFCC Sex Discrimination Guidelines.
Are women in administration prevented by an unwarranted criterion of academic degree from reaching top administrative posts?
Are charwomen paid as much per hour as male cleaners; are they prevented by job specifications requiring lifting from having the same promotional opportunities?
Are women office personnel afforded promotions to office manager, or are men constantly brought in over their heads?