Frequently Asked Questions

Affirmative Action is a term that encompasses measures adopted by an employer to correct for past or present discrimination in hiring or hiring practices, or to prevent discrimination from recurring in the future. Affirmative Action is designed to ensure that all applicants have equal opportunity to be considered for a position for which they are qualified, and hired for that position if they are the most qualified applicant. Affirmative Action goes beyond the simple termination of a discriminatory practice.

As stipulated in federal regulations, a prerequisite to the development of a satisfactory Affirmative Action Plan is the evaluation of opportunities for protected group members, as well as an identification and analysis of problem areas inherent in their employment. Also, where a statistical analysis of the employee workforce reveals a numeric disparity between incumbency and availability of minorities or women, an adequate AAP details specific affirmative action steps to guarantee equal employment opportunity. These steps are keyed to the problems and needs of protected group members. For minorities and women, such steps include the development of hiring and promotion goals to rectify the disparity between incumbency and availability.

NMSU is a federal government supply and service contractor subject to the affirmative action requirements of Executive Order 11246, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended, and the Vietnam Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, Section 4212. Because NMSU has $50,000 or more in annual contracts with the federal government and employs 50 or more employees, we are required to prepare an annual written Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) for minorities and women, covered veterans, and persons with disabilities. Failure to comply with these laws and their implementing regulations, which are enforced by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), can result in the University being barred from future contracts and subcontracts with the federal government. Further, the University has made employee diversity a priority as part of the Leads 2025 Strategic plan.

Underutilization occurs when the percentage of minorities or women employed in a particular job group is less than would be reasonably expected given their availability percentage in the relevant labor pool.

Availability is described as the number of qualified minorities or women available for employment in a given job group, expressed as a percentage of all qualified people available for employment in the given job group. Job Groups is defined as one or more group(s) of jobs having similar content, wage rates and opportunities.

Yes, all search committees are required to conduct an underutilization review to ensure compliance with Affirmative Action policies.
Please take a look at Affirmative Action Process Checklist