Overview of Affirmative Action Programs

Affirmative Action

Columbia University is committed to providing a working, learning and living environment free from discrimination, and harassment and to fostering a nurturing and vibrant community founded upon the fundamental dignity and worth of all of its members.

Under Executive Order 11246, the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA), on behalf of Columbia University, each year prepares and implements Affirmative Action Programs (AAPs) for the Morningside campus, the Medical Center and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.  Columbia’s programs include the cornerstones of effective Affirmative Action Programs: (1) equal opportunity, nondiscrimination and affirmative action policies which the University has established, implemented, and disseminated; (2) diagnostic procedures which allow the University to determine employment patterns and compare them to the composition of the relevant labor pool; and (3) action-oriented programs designed to assure that women, minorities, veterans and those with disabilities are being employed at a rate to be expected given their availability in the relevant labor pool.

Affirmative Action Program for Persons with Disabilities

In accordance with Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. 793a, the University maintains a written affirmative action program for the employment of persons with disabilities. Employees and applicants for employment who have a disability are invited to identify themselves as disabled and to participate in the program.  Employees and applicants for employment may also contact EOAA for information about the program or to discuss concerns they have about their own situations.

Section 503’s regulations define an individual with a disability as “any person who (1) has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such person’s major life activities, (2) has a record of such impairment, or (3) is regarded as having such an impairment.”

If you have a disability and would like to be considered under the affirmative action program, and have not indicated so in the past, please notify EOAA’s Senior Associate Director.

The Affirmative Action Plan is updated annually in the fall and is available for review in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action.

Affirmative Action Plan for Covered Veterans

In accordance with Section 402 of the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, 38 U.S.C. §4212 as amended by Section 7 of the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998, 38 U.S.C. §4212(b), the University maintains an affirmative action plan for the employment and advancement in employment of persons who are special disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam era and any other veterans who served on active duty during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized. Persons who may be subject to the statutory benefits are invited to participate in the program. Questions concerning the University’s compliance with the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act should be directed to EOAA’s Senior Associate Director. 

Copies of the written program are available for inspection at the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action.