What is Discrimination?

Discrimination means conduct that is directed at an individual because of his or her protected class and that subjects the individual to different treatment by agents or employees so as to interfere with or limit the ability of the individual to participate in, or benefit from, the services, activities, or privileges provided by the system or colleges and universities or otherwise adversely affects the individual's employment or education.

What is Non-Discrimination?

No person shall be discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment, personnel practices, or access to and participation in, programs, services, and activities with regard to race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. In addition, discrimination in employment based on membership or activity in a local commission as defined by law is prohibited.

This policy is directed at verbal or physical conduct that constitutes discrimination /harassment under state and federal law and is not directed at the content of speech. In cases in which verbal statements and other forms of expression are involved, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities will give due consideration to an individual's constitutionally protected right to free speech and academic freedom. However, discrimination and harassment are not within the protections of academic freedom or free speech.

Examples of Discrimination

  • Vanessa was not recommended for hire by the search committee because they were nervous about her religious affiliation at a public institution. During the interview, it was noticed that Vanessa was wearing a crucifix necklace, which several committee members noticed.

  • Jamal was not considered for a promotion because of a hearing impairment that he has. He has the same qualifications and experience as the peer who received the promotion and is able to perform all essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodations.

  • During a tenure review committee meeting a faculty member calls into question another faculty members dedication to the position by saying, “I don’t think Sarah should be given tenure because she has four children and does not have the time to be dedicated to the role right now”.

What should I do if I think I have experienced or witnessed discrimination?

To report an incident of Sexual Violence, Dating Violence, Stalking, Harassment, or Discrimination, please visit here or contact your respective campus representative.

Students contact:

Elton Dahn, 763-488-0229, ES 51
Director of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution

Employees contact:

Victoria DeFord, 763-424-0955, ES 31
Chief Human Resources Officer


To read the policy in full, please see Minnesota State 1B.1 Non-Discrimination in Employment. For a list and text of all currently policies and procedures, please visit here.