September 17, 2020

Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action and Non-Discrimination

The University of Southern California is an equal opportunity, affirmative action educator and employer, proudly pluralistic and firmly committed to providing education and employment opportunities to outstanding, qualified individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience. The university strives to maintain a welcoming community in which all its members may live, work and learn in peace and dignity, be proud of who they are, and have equal opportunity to realize their full potential as individuals and members of society. To this end, the university places great emphasis on those values and virtues that bind us together as human beings and members of the Trojan Family. The university enthusiastically supports the principles of affirmative action and equal opportunity in their entirety, and expects that every person associated with the university will give continuing support to their implementation.

The university is committed to complying with all applicable laws and regulations—at all levels of government—that prohibit discrimination against, or mandate special consideration be given to, applicants for admission or employment, or current faculty, staff or students, on the basis of any protected characteristic. This commitment applies to all the university’s educational programs and activities—including admissions—as well as all employment actions, including but not limited to recruiting, hiring, promotion, demotion, compensation, benefits, transfers, layoffs, return from layoff, provision of leaves, training, education, tuition assistance, and other programs.

The university prohibits students, employees, contractors, volunteers, and visitors (collectively, “community members”) from engaging in discrimination and harassment based on any individual’s age, ancestry, citizenship, color, physical or mental disability, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, military status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, protected veteran status, or any other basis protected by applicable laws or regulations. The university also prohibits community members from engaging in sexual assault, non-consensual sexual contact, sexual misconduct, intimate partner violence, stalking, and violations of temporary administrative actions.

Retaliation by university community members is also prohibited, including intimidation, threats, or coercion, where the retaliation is because any students, employees, or applicants for employment or academic admission have objected to discrimination, engaged or may engage in filing a complaint, assisted in a review, investigation, or hearing, or have otherwise sought to exercise their rights under any federal, state, or local equal employment opportunity law.

The university makes good faith efforts towards compliance with all state and federal laws and regulations prohibiting discrimination in education or employment, even when relevant laws and regulations conflict with each other, or where obligations may be vague or otherwise unclear. Beyond mere compliance, the university strives to develop and implement best practices regarding non-discrimination and equal opportunity and access in both education and employment.

All students, staff, faculty, vendors, and contractors associated with USC must adhere to this policy and are encouraged to assist the university’s efforts in support of non-discrimination and equal opportunity and access.

Disability accommodations in employment

Otherwise qualified individuals must not be denied admission, participation in educational programs and activities, or employment solely due to their disability. University policies and procedures ensure that employees and employment applicants with disabilities will be provided reasonable accommodations to ensure equal access to employment opportunities, and in the performance of the essential functions of their work.

Employees with questions or concerns about workplace accommodations should contact the Disability Accommodations Coordinator. If employees have questions about the adequacy or appropriateness of a provided accommodation, they should contact the ADA/504 Coordinator. Individuals who feel they have been improperly denied accommodations in employment should contact the Office of Equity and Diversity. Applicants with questions about access or requiring a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process should contact USC Human Resources. (See Resources section below for contact information.)

Equal access for students with disabilities

Otherwise qualified individuals must not be denied admission, participation in educational programs and activities, or employment due to their disability. University policies and procedures ensure that students and student applicants with disabilities will be provided full and equal access to and enjoyment of academic and co-curricular programs or activities, regardless of disability status, in an environment free from discrimination or harassment.

The Office of Disability Services and Programs is the campus unit that reviews requests for and determines reasonable student accommodations and auxiliary aids and services for any student or student applicant with a disability. (See Resources section below for contact information.)

Responsibility for equal opportunity and affirmative action

USC provides employment equity for all persons without regard to any characteristic protected by university policy, as stated above. With the support and consensus of senior leadership, specifically including the President, the Office of Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX is responsible for implementing institutional affirmative action efforts to ensure the principle of equal employment opportunity is understood, followed, and a reality for our university. The university also implements an internal audit and reporting system to measure the effectiveness of our affirmative action plans. All members of management must be familiar with this policy, fully support it, and apply these principles in good faith.

The Affirmative Action Plan for Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities is available for inspection in the Office of Equity and Diversity by any student, employee or applicant upon request, during normal business hours. (See Resources section below for contact information.)

Duty to report

All USC employees are required to report incidents or conduct that may fall under this policy.


Questions regarding the application of the various rules and regulations concerning equal employment opportunity, affirmative action and non-discrimination, and Title IX should be addressed to the Office of Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX.

Office of Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX

University Park Campus
3720 S. Flower Street 2nd floor
Credit Union Building, 200
Los Angeles, California 90089-0704
(213) 740-5086

Health Science Campus
2001 N. Soto Street, Suite 203
Los Angeles, CA 90002-9236
(323) 442-2020

Title IX Coordinator
Catherine Spear
(213) 740-5086
USC Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX
USC Credit Union Building
3720 South Flower Street, 2nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0704

ADA/504 Coordinator
Christine Street
(213) 821-4658

Affirmative Action and EEO Coordinator
Contact the Office of Equity and Diversity
(213) 740-5086

Disability Accommodation Coordinator
Contact USC Human Resources
(213) 821-8100

Office of Disability Services and Programs
(213) 740-0776

USC Human Resources
(213) 821-8100

External reporting options

Any individual may file reports and/or complaints about the university’s handling of prohibited conduct to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) with the U.S. Department of Education at (415) 486-5555 or OCR complaints should be filed within 180 days of the last date of alleged discrimination. OCR may extend this deadline in a variety of circumstances.

Employees may file reports and/or complaints with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) at or, or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) at (800) 669-4000 (TTY (800) 669-6820) or Complaints must be filed with the DFEH no later than one year from the date of the alleged unlawful conduct. If the DFEH believes that a complaint is valid and settlement efforts fail, the DFEH may seek an administrative hearing before the California Fair Employment and Housing Commission (FEHC) or file a lawsuit in court. Both the FEHC and the courts have the authority to award monetary and non-monetary relief in meritorious cases.

Any person who believes that the university as a federal contractor has violated nondiscrimination or affirmative action obligations may contact the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) at (800) 397-6251 (TTY: (202)693-1337).

Responsible offices

Office of Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX
(213) 740-5086

Lauren Helsper, Interim Title IX Coordinator

Issued by

Michael Quick, Provost and Senior Vice President, Academic Affairs
Todd R. Dickey, Senior Vice President, Administration