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Institutional Equity & Diversity

Old Dominion University has a long and proud legacy of commitment to the principles of equality and equal opportunity for all students, faculty and staff. The mission of the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity is to provide leadership and support on matters relating to equity, diversity, respect and inclusiveness for all members of the Old Dominion University community. The staff provides guidance, support and delivery of programming, services and educational initiatives to University faculty, staff, and students to support diversity, inclusiveness, equal access, equitable treatment, cultural understanding and the prevention of prohibited discrimination and harassment.

Under the direction of ReNeé S. Dunman, Assistant Vice President, the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity oversees, facilitates and supports the University's efforts to ensure equal opportunity for all persons regardless of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex (including pregnancy), political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, disability, religion, or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.

To fulfill our mission, the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity provides:

  • Information, consultation, training, resources to the University community with regard to diversity, harassment and discrimination prevention, affirmative action, equal opportunity and disability matters;
  • Individual consultation with University supervisors, staff, faculty, students, and administrators;
  • A mechanism for responding to complaints of harassment and discrimination including alternative dispute resolution options;
  • Oversight of and support for the University's compliance efforts in the areas of equal opportunity, affirmative action, harassment and discrimination prevention, and compliance with all applicable State and Federal civil rights laws.

Harassment of any one or in any context is unacceptable at Old Dominion University. Below, please find links for the University's Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures. A member of the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity staff is available to answer your questions about the applicable resolution process.

Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures

ODU faculty, staff and students who believe that they have been discriminated against based on any of the protected categories listed in the policy below have the right to seek resolution through the Office of Institutional Equity & Diversity. The policy offers both formal and informal resolution options. Use of the informal option does not preclude a complainant from later pursuing the formal process.

Discrimination Complaint Policy and Procedures


Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education. It reads:

"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from

participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination

under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and its implementing regulation

at 34 C.F.R. Part 106 (Title IX).

Sex discrimination includes sexual harassment and sexual assault.

While it is often thought of as a law that only applies to athletics programs, Title IX is much broader than Athletics and applies to many programs at Old Dominion University.

For more information see: Title IX

The University's salary equity review process is designed to resolve, as fairly and completely as human judgment allows, the problems associated with salary differentials that affect members of protected classes of employees. The University's policies prohibit discrimination, whether of not intentional on the basis of race, ethnic origin, sex and sexual orientation. The exercise of this policy seeks to eliminate statistically significant salary differentials that have arisen because of these factors. This policy does not deal with salary differentials that have arisen because of other factors such as salary compression.

For further information see:

Salary Equity Review

For Self-Identifiers:

Self-Identification Forms

Examples of Submission Statements


Under applicable disability laws, an individual with a disability is a person who (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; (2) has a record of such impairment; or (3) is regarded as having such an impairment. Temporary, non-chronic impairments that do not last for a long time and that have little or no long-term impact usually are not disabilities. The determination of whether an impairment is a disability is made on a case-by-case basis.

What is a "major life activity" under the law?

To be considered a person with a disability, the impairment must substantially limit one or more major life activities. Examples of major life activities include walking, speaking, breathing, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, learning and caring for oneself.

What does "qualified" mean?

To be protected, a person must not only be an individual with a disability, but must be qualified. For students, a qualified individual with a disability is a person who, with or without reasonable modifications to rules, policies or practices; the removal of architectural, communication or transportation barriers; or the provision of auxiliary aids or services, meets the essential requirements for the receipt of services or participation in programs or activities provided by the University.

For University employees, a qualified individual with a disability is a person who satisfies the requisite skill, experience, education and other job-related requirements of the employment position and who, with or without a reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the position.

What is a reasonable accommodation?

For Students

A reasonable accommodation is a reasonable modification in policies, practices, or procedures, when the modifications are necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability, unless the modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of a University service, program or activity. Examples of reasonable accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

extended time for testing

permitting priority seating

allowing unanticipated class absences

permitting attendance at duplicate lecture sections

permitting tape recording of classes

For Employees and Applicants

A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a job, employment practice, or the work environment that makes it possible for a qualified individual with a disability to enjoy an equal employment opportunity. The University will provide a reasonable accommodation to the known disability of a qualified applicant or employee with a disability unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship. Examples of reasonable accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

modified work schedules

obtaining or modifying equipment or devices

modifying examinations, training materials or policies

reassignment to a vacant position

making facilities readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities

When and how does the University provide reasonable accommodations?

Old Dominion University is committed to increasing opportunities for success for persons with disabilities. The University is responsible for providing a reasonable accommodation only to the known disability of an otherwise qualified employee, applicant or student. In general, it is the responsibility of the employee, applicant or student to make the disability status and subsequent need for an accommodation known to the appropriate University official. Students may request accommodations through the Office of Educational Accessibility, located at 1021 Student Success Center. Employees and applicants may make a request through the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity located at 1301-A Spong Hall. The University's Section 504/ADA Coordinator is ReNee S. Dunman, Esq.

Once on notice of the need for accommodations, it is the responsibility of the University official and the individual with a disability to discuss possible accommodations and assess the reasonableness and effectiveness of each potential accommodation. Determinations regarding accommodations on campus will be made on a case-by-case basis. Determining a reasonable accommodation is very fact-specific. In general, the accommodation must be tailored to address the nature of the disability and the needs of the individual within the context of the requirements of the job or the program of study.

Services for Students with Disabilities


Services for Individuals with Disabilities


Old Dominion University Policy -

Accommodations For Individuals With Disabilities


Accommodations For Students With Disabilities


Filing A Complaint

The commitment of Old Dominion University to the most fundamental principles of academic freedom, equality of opportunity, and human dignity requires that decisions involving students and employees be based on merit and be free from invidious discrimination in all its forms. ODU will not engage in discrimination or harassment against any person because of the following protected categories: race, color, religion, sex( including pregnancy), national origin, ancestry, age, political affiliation, genetic information, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or veteran status and will comply with all federal, state and applicable local nondiscrimination, equal opportunity and affirmative action laws, orders and regulations.

In furtherance of the University's commitment to the principles of equality and equal opportunity for all students, faculty, staff and visitors, this statement and the associated procedures are established to provide a means to address complaints of discrimination or harassment based on the protected categories. The University will comply with all federal and state nondiscrimination, equal opportunity and affirmative action laws, orders and regulations.

The University is committed to providing prompt and effective resolution of incidents of discrimination or harassment. The University encourages informal resolutions of discrimination complaints as close to the source as possible. If disciplinary action is warranted, discipline will be imposed in accordance with applicable university statutes and relevant university rules and regulations. Retaliation against any person for participating in this process will not be tolerated. Additionally, the University can unilaterally initiate any and all steps under this policy and procedures when it learns, either directly or indirectly, that discrimination, sexual harassment or retaliation is alleged to be taking place.

Inquiries or complaints may be directed to the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity, 121A Spong Hall, (757) 683-3141, fax (757) 683-5844, officeofinstitutionalequitydiversity@odu.edu .