Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Plan: Classified Employees
Introduction and Commitment
Blue Ridge Community College is a two-year institution of higher education under the state-wide system of community colleges in the Commonwealth of Virginia, serving the cities of Staunton, Harrisonburg, Waynesboro, and the counties of Augusta, Highland, and Rockingham.
The College is devoted to serving the educational needs of the community and the needs of workers in its region through a cooperative effort with local industry, business, professions, and government.
It is the policy of the Virginia Community College System and Blue Ridge Community College to maintain and promote equal employment opportunity without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, political affiliation, disability, veteran’s status, or sexual orientation.
By way of this document the College reaffirms its desire and intent to comply fully with all Federal, State, and local laws, regulations and executive orders relating to equal employment opportunity. This plan only addresses the College’s EEO commitment and is not intended to be a formal hiring policy. The College will follow DHRM and VCCS hiring policies in regard to the specific requirements of the recruitment process.
The President of the College has overall responsibility for the College’s equal employment opportunity and affirmative action policy. The President has delegated the authority for the administration of the EEO/AA policy to the Vice-President for Finance and Administration (VPFA) and HR Director. The VPFA will ensure that all employees are informed of Executive Order Six (10) and the College’s equal employment opportunity statement. The HR Director will prepare pertinent EEO/AA reports.
The VPFA and HR Director are also responsible for monitoring employment procedures and practices to ensure the effective use of human resources in compliance with Federal regulations and State equal employment practices.
Dissemination of Policy
Equal Employment and Enrollment Opportunity Policy Statement
It is the policy of the Virginia Community College System and Blue Ridge Community College to maintain and promote equal employment opportunity without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, political affiliation, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation (except where a bona fide occupational qualification has been established) in all terms and conditions of employment.
The BRCC Equal Employment and Affirmative Action Policy is included in the BRCC Faculty/Staff Handbook and on the College’s website. The following statement is always the final paragraph of any advertisement for any college position:
“Blue Ridge Community College is an EEO/AA Employer and auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.”
The EEO/AA policy and complaint reporting procedures are posted on bulletin boards throughout the College.
Each new employee is informed of the Plan and has access to the Faculty/Staff Handbook. When the Plan is revised, college personnel are notified of the revision(s).
Responsibility for Implementation
The president of the College has the overall responsibility for the College's Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action policy for the College. The President has delegated the authority for the administration of the plan to the Vice-President for Finance and Administration (VPFA) and the HR Director. The VPFA and HR Director assist college officers, faculty and staff in the interpretation and administration of the College's plan and will prepare pertinent EEO/AA reports and plans.
The HR Director is responsible for monitoring employment procedures and practices to ensure the effective use of human resources in compliance with Federal regulations and State equal employment practices.
Each administrator will be responsible for ensuring that the EEO/AA plan is carried out within his/her respective area.
Classified Policies and Procedures
It is the College’s objective to utilize a consistent hiring process that promotes equal employment opportunity. Department of Human Resource Management Hiring Policy (2.10) sets forth the provisions of the College’s recruitment and hiring process.
Recruitment and Selection
The HR Director is responsible for ensuring that all selection procedures are job related and that the procedures and selection records are in compliance with appropriate policies.
The following selection procedures are followed for classified personnel:
- When a classified vacancy occurs, the immediate supervisor recommends to the president or appropriate VP that the position be filled.
- The job description and criteria for the position are reviewed and updated by the immediate supervisor, if appropriate.
- A vacancy announcement is prepared by HR, using recommendations of the immediate supervisor, the president or the appropriate VP. Each vacancy announcement states the position title, the minimum qualifications for the position, a summary of the responsibilities for the position, a deadline for receipt of applications, application instructions, contact information, and the statement, “BRCC is an Equal Opportunity Employer and auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.”
- At a minimum, the announcement is advertised in local newspapers and on the state’s online Recruitment Management System (RMS). Positions will be shared with various minority contacts and advertised in appropriate minority publications and/or websites. The announcement is posted on campus bulletin boards and on the BRCC website.
- All applications and applicant EEO data are tracked in the RMS.
- The president, appropriate VP, HR, and/or the immediate supervisor determine the procedure for performing the initial screening of the applicant pool. Only applicants whose application files are complete and received by the deadline are included in the pool.
- The president or appropriate VP and the supervisor may appoint a screening committee to review the applications and select persons for an interview, or the immediate supervisor and/or HR may perform this review. Committee members shall be familiar with the basic responsibilities of the position. If members are classified employees, they should be in the same or higher pay band as the advertised position, unless an individual is participating as an HR professional or has particular expertise related to the position being advertised. The supervisor and/or the screening committee members shall meet with HR to ensure that they are familiar with lawful and effective selection and employment practices, unless all members of the committee have been recently trained in the college’s recruitment process.
- After applications are initially screened, the chairman of the screening committee and/or the immediate supervisor checks with HR to determine whether or not there are any minority applicants. If none of the candidates selected for interview is a minority and there are minority applicants who meet the minimum job qualifications, the committee again reviews the files of the minority applicants and determines whether any of the minority candidates could be considered as reasonably competitive. If either the immediate supervisor and/or the majority of the committee believe a minority candidate is reasonably competitive, then the offer to interview will be extended.
- Applicants invited for an interview should be sent written notification by the hiring manager containing information about the time and place of the interview. The notification should include the following statement: “If you have a disability for which you need to request an accommodation during the interview, please make your request in writing at least two working days prior to the interview.” After the request is received, the supervisor and HR Director will determine if the requested accommodation is reasonable. This determination may require that additional documentation concerning the disability be obtained from the applicant.
- A consistent format is used for all interviews, including an established list of questions that are asked in the same order during each interview. While additional follow-up questions may be asked, it is the responsibility of the Chair to assure that they are job-related. If a screening committee is used, the Chair of that committee is also responsible for ensuring appropriate notes are maintained on each interview; if the interview is conducted by the immediate supervisor, he/she is responsible for keeping appropriate records. After each interview, the pertinent information about the candidate is summarized, and a final report is written outlining the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates. This report is sent to the president and/or the appropriate VP, and HR. The President has final authority in hiring decisions. However, he may delegate the final employment decision to the appropriate VP and/or HR Director in certain situations.
- Any testing that is conducted is consistent with applicable federal and state requirements. Test results are not the sole criteria used for selection.
- The supervisor shall attempt to verify the following job-related information on the top one or two candidates: name, employment dates, position held (job title), job duties, beginning and ending salaries, training completed, eligibility for rehire, and required license, certificate or degree. The supervisor obtains the name of the person providing this information and notes the date it was obtained and provides the information for the recruitment file. The supervisor also gathers information from former supervisors or others, as appropriate, concerning prior work
experience. The supervisor documents the information received and provides this for the recruitment file.
- If an acceptable candidate is not found among those interviewed, the applications are reviewed again. If no qualified candidates are obtained or selected in the first recruitment effort, the search may be extended and/or re-advertised.
- Employment is verbally offered to a candidate by the supervisor. A formal offer letter from the HR Director will confirm the details of the offer. A statement explaining the background check requirements and probationary period is included in all letters for individuals entering the classified system. Those candidates interviewed, but not offered employment, are notified of the decision.
- Background checks will be conducted as a condition of employment in accordance with VCCS Policy. For criminal violations, recency, relevancy, and severity of the identified violations will be the main criteria evaluated by the President in regard to whether an applicant is acceptable for employment with BRCC.
Accountability and Documentation
The following are actions to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the EEO Plan.
- The following records are maintained by HR for a period of at least three years from the date the position is filled: position description, records related to recruitment efforts, copies of advertisements, employment applications, race and gender data on all applicants, screening and selection criteria applied, interview questions and notes on applicant response, and reference checks.
- The Health, Safety, and Human Resources Committee includes in its annual report to the president its internal assessment of the Faculty EEO/AA Plan, making recommendations as appropriate for corrective actions or modifications to the EEO/AA Plan.
Health, Safety, and Human Resources Committee
The Health, Safety and Human Resources Committee is appointed in accordance with the College governance structure. This Committee represents a cross-section of the College's employees.
- This committee represents the administration, classified employees, and faculty, for one to three-year terms.
- The duties and responsibilities of this committee include the following:
- Serve as an independent channel for individuals and groups within the College for expression of views on equal opportunity matters.
- Assist in the writing of appropriate EEO/AA plans and reports as requested by the Vice President for Finance and Administration.
- Assist with exit interviews. HR will contact departing employees and inform him/her of the opportunity for an exit interview to be conducted by the committee chair or HR Director. Departing employees will also be offered the opportunity to complete a confidential written exit interview form, which will be submitted to HR and forwarded to the Committee Chair.
- Meetings are held periodically during the academic year.
- The agenda is developed by the committee chair with input from members.
- The minutes are published in the College's Intranet along with other committee meeting minutes.
- These duties may be further delegated to a Human Resources Subcommittee of the Health, Safety, and Human Resources Committee.