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Anti-Discrimination Policy - Faculty Handbook



The following policy was approved by the Board of Trustees on April 9, 1993 and revised on December 5, 2003 and April 13, 2007.

Article I. Purpose

Michigan State University's scholarly community-building efforts occur within the context of general societal expectations, as embodied in the law. The University, consistent with its policies and governing law, promotes institutional diversity and pluralism through mechanisms such as affirmative action, within an over-arching strategy promoting equitable access to opportunity. The University's commitment to non-discrimination is the foundation for such efforts.

This policy states expectations for institutional and individual conduct. It applies to all University community members, including faculty, staff, students, registered student organizations, student governing bodies, and the University's administrative units, and to the University's contractors in the execution of their University contracts or engagements, 1 with respect to the following:

  1. All educational, employment, cultural, and social activities occurring on the University campus;
  2. University-sponsored programs occurring off-campus, including but not limited to cooperative extension, intercollegiate athletics, lifelong education, and any regularly scheduled classes;
  3. University housing; and
  4. Programs and activities sponsored by student governing bodies, including their constituent groups, and by registered student organizations.
Article II. Prohibited Discrimination

Unlawful acts of discrimination or harassment are prohibited.

In addition, the University community holds itself to certain standards of conduct more stringent than those mandated by law. Thus, even if not illegal, acts are prohibited under this policy if they 2 :

  1. Discriminate against any University community member(s) through inappropriate limitation 3 of employment opportunity 4 , access to University residential facilities, or participation in educational, athletic, social, cultural, or other University activities on the basis of age, color, gender, gender identity 5 , disability status, height, marital status, national origin, political persuasion, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or weight; or
  2. Harass any University community member(s) on the basis of age, color, gender, gender identity, disability status, height, marital status, national origin, political persuasion, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or weight.
These prohibitions are not intended to abridge University community members' rights of free expression or other civil rights.

Article III. Mediation and Adjudication

Mediation of claims and disputes, through consultation provided by offices serving the University, is encouraged 6 .

Complaints under this policy may be submitted for non-disciplinary adjudication according to the provisions of the "Procedures of the Anti-Discrimination Judicial Board." Upon its review, the ADJB may recommend that appropriate disciplinary proceedings be initiated, if such has not already occurred. Disciplinary proceedings are governed by the documents listed in Appendix A.

Excepting the President and the General Counsel, any University community member may be named in a complaint.


The contracts, policy documents, and procedures listed below provide avenues for the consideration of disciplinary complaints or actions against the various members of the Michigan State University community.



1 This policy does not apply to the conduct of a contractor's internal affairs, nor does it apply to the conduct of contractual engagements to which the University is not a party.

2 The Anti-Discrimination Policy Users' Manual, University ordinances, written regulations and policies, and published ADJB decisions approved by the President, provide guidance on the conduct prohibited by Artile II of this Policy.

3 Limitations are inappropriate if they are not directly related to a legitimate University purpose. The Anti-Discrimination Policy Users' Manual provides additional guidance on inappropriate limitation as defined by this Policy.

4 For purposes of this policy, "employment opportunity" is defined as job access and placement, retention, promotion, professional development, and salary.

5 For the purposes of this Policy, the reference to "gender identity" shall be interpreted to include protection against gender stereotyping based on a person's gender expression.  In other words, gender stereotyping is impermissible discrimination or harassment based on a failure to conform to stereotypical gender norms.

6 Consultation with one or more of the following may be useful:

  • the chairperson, director, or dean of the relevant unit,
  • supervisory support personnel,
  • the Women's Resource Center,
  • the Ombudsperson,
  • the Office of Minority Student Affairs,
  • Student Life or Residence Halls Staff,
  • Sexual Assault Crisis & Safety Education,
  • faculty or staff academic advisors,
  • the MSU Counseling Center, and
  • the Faculty Grievance Official.
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