The Office of Affirmative Action Planning and Programming (OAAPP) oversees UW–Madison’s strategies and compliance related to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action. This includes developing and implementing UW–Madison’s Affirmative Action Plans and providing data-informed service to the university and schools, colleges, and divisions. OAAPP serves as a resource hub for workforce diversity, equity, and inclusion and supports institutional efforts in creating a welcoming and inclusive community.
Key Products and Services
Affirmative Action Plans
As federal contractor, UW–Madison is required by federal regulations and laws to take affirmative action to employ and advance minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and protected veterans in the workplace. These regulations and laws include Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, and Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA), enforced by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs of the U.S. Department of Labor.
Pursuant to those laws and orders, OAAPP develops and maintains three Affirmative Action Plans for each year:
- EO 11246 AAP (general program with focus on women and minorities)
- Section 503 AAP (for individuals with disabilities)
- VEVRAA AAP (for protected veterans)
Workforce Diversity Reports
OAAPP provides annual divisional Workforce Diversity Reports for schools, colleges, and divisions that mirror the analysis found in the Affirmative Action Plan for the university.
These reports provide a foundation for ongoing collaborations and conversations between OAAPP/DDEEA and divisional leadership at schools, colleges, and divisions on institutional efforts on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workforce.
Workplace Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Service
OAAPP provides analysis and consultation for schools, colleges, divisions, and units to support their institutional affirmative action and workforce diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Services include:
- Assessment of diversity, equity, and inclusion programs and initiatives
- Fulfillment of reporting requirements from government and funding agencies
- Recommendation of outreach efforts to underrepresented and underserved applicant and employee groups
- Comparison of the workforce with labor market, peer institutions, and professional organizations
- Adverse impact analysis on personnel activities
- Trend analysis of the workforce
The university is required to collect and report demographic information (sex, race, ethnicity, disability status, and veteran status) about applicants and employees to comply with Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action laws and regulations. This information will be used for summary reporting purposes and to assess and improve our affirmative action and workforce diversity efforts. All information will be kept confidential and submission of this information is voluntary.
OAAPP reports are heavily dependent on the integrity, accuracy, and timeliness of self-reported demographic information. The university is required to invite employees to update their information every five years, minimally.
Current UW employees can log into MyUW self-service portal to submit or update their information about race, ethnicity, disability status, and veteran status. In the “Personal Information” app, click “Update My Personal Information.”
View step-by-step instructions (PDF files) for updating your self-identification in: English, Español (Spanish), Hmoob (Hmong), བོད་ཡིག (Tibetan), 中文 (Chinese), and नेपाली (Nepali).
Self-Identification Frequently Asked Questions
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Why is UW–Madison asking employees to self-identify demographic information (race, ethnicity, disability status, and veteran status)?
UW–Madison is a federal contractor and is subject to federal laws and regulations pertaining to affirmative action, including Executive Order 11246 (as amended), Sections 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (as amended), and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (as amended). UW–Madison is required by these laws and regulations to collect and analyze employee demographic information. Failure to comply with federal affirmative action regulations could result in conciliation agreements (e.g., monetary back pay) or even the loss of eligibility to receive federal contracts, including federal research funding. When used, data will not identify any specific individual.
Am I required to self-identify?
No. Self-identification is voluntary. However, we hope you will participate so that we have the most complete information for reporting and analysis. We appreciate your contribution.
When can I self-identify?
You can review and update your information at any time in Personal Information in MyUW. We also acknowledge that self-identification may change over time; you can update your information as necessary. Doing so ensures we have the most up-to-date and accurate information.
What does UW–Madison do with the self-identification demographic information collected?
UW–Madison uses the employee demographic information collected to fulfill federal reporting requirements and monitor and assess the workforce and personnel activities (including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, retention, promotion, and compensation), as required by federal affirmative action laws and regulations. When used, data will not identify any specific individual.
Who has access to the self-identification demographic information that I provide?
Employee demographic information is classified as sensitive data. Only a limited number of individuals whose job duties require use of employee demographic information have access to it.
Can my self-identification information be used in making employment decisions?
No. Your self-identification information will be kept confidential and will not be used in making employment decisions. It is not stored in employment files or records. You will not be subject to any adverse impact if or how you report your demographic information.
What are the current race and ethnicity categories in use?
A two-part question in “Ethnic Groups” asks first about whether you identify as “Hispanic or Latino” and then about your race.
Federal government considers “Hispanic or Latino” a national origin (ethnicity) category, not a race category. “Hispanic or Latino” is defined as a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.
The current federal race categories are:
- American Indian or Alaska Native: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community attachment.
- Asian: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian Subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.
- Black or African American: A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.
- Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.
- White: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.
You can select more than one race category.
When federal reporting requires the use of mutually exclusive race and ethnicity (non-overlapping) categories, individuals who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino are reported in the “Hispanic” category, regardless of race. Those who report two or more races and do not indicate Hispanic or Latino heritage are reported in the “two or more races” category.
What is considered to be a disability?
You are considered to have a disability if you have a physical or mental impairment or medical condition that substantially limits a major life activity, or if you have a history or record of such an impairment or medical condition. The “Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability” form includes a list of physical and mental conditions that may be considered a disability. Please note this is not a complete list of disabilities. You will not be asked to disclose a specific disability.
Is self-identifying as an individual with disabilities the same as requesting a disability accommodation?
Identifying yourself as an individual with disabilities does not automatically start a disability accommodation request. Nor is self-identifying as an individual with disabilities a prerequisite for disability accommodation. To make a disability accommodation request, contact your divisional disability representative (DDR).
I am concerned about others knowing if I have a disability. Do I have to disclose?
Disability self-identification is voluntary. You also have the option of choosing “I Don’t Wish To Answer.” Your disability self-identification information will be kept confidential and will not be used in making employment decisions. You will not be subject to any adverse impact if you self-identify as an individual with disabilities or not.
Who is considered a protected veteran?
Under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA), as amended, “protected veterans” include the following four categories:
- Disabled veteran: A veteran of the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service who is entitled to compensation (or who but for the receipt of military retired pay would be entitled to compensation) under laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs; or a person who was discharged or released from active duty because of a service-connected disability.
- Recently separated veteran: Any veteran during the three-year period beginning on the date of such veteran’s discharge or release from active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval, or air service.
- Active duty wartime or campaign badge veteran: A veteran who served on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service during a war, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized under the laws administered by the Department of Defense.
- Armed Forces service medal veteran: A veteran who, while serving on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service, participated in a United States military operation for which an Armed Forces service medal was awarded pursuant to Executive Order 12985.
Federal Laws & Regulations
- Executive Order 11246
- Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act
- Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA)
- Academic Planning and Institutional Research
- Developing Inclusive Job Criteria (PDF) – Office of Human Resources
- Diversity Connect and Advertising – Office of Human Resources
- Employee Disability Resources office, providing reasonable accommodations for employees and applicants
- Engagement, Inclusion and Diversity – Office of Human Resources
- Equal Opportunity Complaint Investigation – Office of Compliance
- Inclusion Resources
- Faculty Diversity Initiative – Office of the Provost
- Women in Science & Engineering Leadership Institute
- Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action in Employment (UW Regents Policy Document 17-4)
- Affirmative Action Data Collection (UW System Administrative Policy 220)
- Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Policy Statement (UW–Madison Policy UW-300)
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