Human Rights Access and Inclusion
The Office of Human Rights, Access and Inclusion (HRAI) focuses on practices that make all members of the University of Idaho community feel welcome, wanted, accepted, respected and supported. Chief among these practices is providing professional and authoritative advice with respect to university matters that concern access and inclusion in all aspects of the university, including developing campuswide faculty, staff and student diversity recruitment practices and climate-focused initiatives to enhance retention.
The office also is responsible for addressing and redressing issues related to discrimination and harassment. The director, who reports to the president and is a member of the cabinet, serves as the university’s Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity officer. The director oversees discrimination and harassment issues, as well as general diversity and equity issues, by ensuring compliance, reporting and enforcement in the areas of employment practices; equal and equitable educational opportunities; and in the discrimination and harassment of students, faculty and staff.
As such, the director audits hiring and other practices and advises managers, supervisors and employees on compliance with university policies related to diversity and human rights, including equal employment opportunity, affirmative action, harassment (including sexual), disability discrimination and other forms of discrimination. The director undertakes necessary investigations and prepares recommendations and written reports. The director of HRAI also serves as the Title IX compliance officer and the university’s Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator, monitoring ADA activities for compliance with university, state and federal policies.
The director provides guidance and support to the dean of students, who is responsible for investigating incidents of harassment and/or discrimination in which a student is the alleged perpetrator.
To ensure the embedding of successful diversity policies and practices in all facets of the university, integral to achieving inclusive excellence and cultural change, the director recommends and assists in carrying out policies and strategies that integrate diversity and human rights into the university’s strategic goals and diversity plan. To achieve the strategic goals, the Office of Human Rights, Access and Inclusion coordinates and collaborates with other university offices, in particular the Office of Diversity, Equity and Community. Together, they make up the Chief Diversity Operations of the University of Idaho.
An integral part of the office’s activities is the development and delivering of workshops, seminars and training on a variety of topics, including effective search procedures and hiring practices, anti-discrimination initiatives, a wide variety of diversity programming, and sexual harassment prevention.