Definition: Equal Opportunity

“The University shall...provide equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, or sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.”

Adopted by the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota, September 7, 1995 (Amended July 8, 2009)

The University of Minnesota Regents Policy on Equity, Diversity, Equal Opportunity, and Affirmative Action concisely states the commitment to a nondiscriminatory work and educational environment for all faculty, students, and staff.

The University is an international employer and educational institution whose diversity strengthens its educational programs. Its mission of research and discovery, teaching and learning, and outreach and public service involves a search for solutions to world problems, not just problems of a particular culture, race, or geographic area. The concept of racial and cultural diversity, extended to all levels of participation at the University, strengthens the workforce in the same manner.

In addition, the University receives contracts and grants from local, state, and federal agencies. The agencies providing these funds stipulate that a recipient must provide equal opportunity and affirmative action to its faculty, students, and staff.

Equal opportunity and affirmative action place the University in a better position to meet its land-grant mission of eliminating problems in the state by applying research knowledge. The multicultural, multiracial, social and economic problems of the state need multicultural, multiracial input to provide solutions.

Each college, administrative unit, and campus has an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Liaison responsible for coordinating the equal opportunity efforts at that level. The EOAA Liaison receives training to properly prepare for the duties. For information on your unit EOAA Liaison, call your collegiate or administrative office, or refer to our Unit Liaisons page at