I. Policy Statement:

Title IX of the Higher Education Act states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance…”

The University of Wisconsin System prohibits participation in, support for, or sanction of activities that discriminate on the basis of sex, when in fact, no exception can be allowed except on the basis of a bona fide physical dichotomy. The University of Wisconsin System is an equal opportunity educational institution. All University of Wisconsin System funded or sponsored functions and/or activities shall be generally available to all students without regard to gender.

Each institution in the System is directed to:

  1. Review all educational functions and activities for discrimination on the basis of gender.
  2. Prescribe corrective actions where gender discrimination is identified; and
  3. Act affirmatively to eliminate gender stereotypes through leadership in such areas as student support services, public service, instruction/instructional support, and research.

Each institution will make a yearly report to the President of the University of Wisconsin System, summarizing the results of efforts to identify and eliminate any existing discriminatory practices.

II. Guidelines:


Implementation of the Regent Policy on Equal Opportunities in Education is desirably a matter for institution/unit initiative. Problems and problem areas will vary, and the methods used to resolve any identified problems for resolution will also vary. The following guidelines are offered to assist institutions/units as they identify and resolve problems.

The institution/unit program for eliminating discrimination based on gender will be strengthened if students, faculty, and administrators are involved in the identification of problem areas and the development of solutions.

A. Recruitment:

Occupational stereotyping by gender unduly restricts equal employment opportunities. Such stereotyping probably will continue as long as certain professions are heavily dominated by members of a single gender. Departments or divisions in which most students are of one gender should exert leadership in modifying stereotypes by striving to attract students of the underrepresented gender into the discipline. Institutions/units should evaluate their recruitment procedures to insure that occupational stereotypes are not reinforced.

B. Admissions:

Admission at the undergraduate level is currently open to all resident and most nonresident students who meet the prescribed criteria. If any admissions policy or practice appears to have the effect of favoring one gender, it should be examined by the faculty to insure that it does not contain gender bias. Faculties should give consideration to non-traditional prior learning in assessing qualifications for admission and placement of non-traditional students. At the graduate and professional school level, standards and criteria for admission should be well-publicized and uniformly applied to all applicants without consideration of gender.

C. Financial Aids:

All forms of student financial aid (fellowships, scholarships, work-study, loans, graduate grants such as teaching assistantships, etc.) should be administered uniformly on the basis of demonstrated individual need and ability, without regard to gender. Application and eligibility information, as well as criteria for granting each type of award, should be well publicized. Supplementary awards such as dependency allowances should also be granted without regard to gender.

If the institution finds that current financial aid statistics show (a) the proportion of students of one gender who receive financial aid is smaller than the proportion of that gender who request financial aid, or (b) the average dollar amount of financial aid is higher for recipients of one gender than the other, a study should be made to determine whether policies or practices that have the effect of being discriminatory have caused the discrepancies. When discrimination has been determined to exist, corrective action should be taken to ensure that all financial aid in the subsequent school year and thereafter will be granted equitably.

Each institution should devise a flexible and fair means by which students eligible for financial aid can continue to qualify and receive such aid after temporary interruption of progress toward a degree. Eligible part-time students should be able to receive financial assistance on a prorated basis. Because many types of grants are restricted to full-time students, it may be advisable to solicit aid for part-time students. Each institution should have a method of recording the number and percent of applicants and those granted financial aid by gender, level, type of award and dollar amount.

D. Counseling: 

Each institution should ensure that academic and nonacademic counseling is free from prejudgments or assumptions based on the gender of the student.

Career counseling should be based on the individual student’s aptitude and interests, and vocational aptitude testing should likewise be unbiased. Those who counsel women should be aware of patterns that show growing numbers of women joining the work force for substantial periods of years, and otherwise increasing their participation in the leadership of society. Faculty and other staff members who do academic counseling of students should keep current with new research and scholarship on changing roles and expectations of women and men in society.

In-service training programs, developed or sponsored by the University for counselors, should include up-to-date information and techniques to deal with the unique problems and expectations that both men and women face in college and after.

E. Housing:

There should be University-owned and/or listed housing available to men and women. Each University should have an equity code to be adhered to by those who wish to list housing with the University.

F. Child Care:

As an alternative to community child care, when it does not meet the needs of the institution/unit, each University should set a goal of seeing that top quality, low-cost child care and extended child care services, preferably campus based, are available to the children of students, faculty, and staff.

G. Women’s Studies:

Sex-role stereotyping can be eliminated, in part, through education. In its role of shaping educational policy, the faculty of each institution/unit is encouraged to:

  1. give support to women’s studies courses,
  2. recruit faculty with an interest in women’s studies,
  3. support research in women’s studies,
  4. integrate the results of women’s studies research into existing curricula, and,
  5. evaluate and recommend for purchase library holdings, including periodical literature, books, and other instructional materials, in the area of women’s studies.

H. Physical Education:

Physical education facilities and courses should be open to all students without regard to gender, except where bona fide reasons for separation can be documented.

I. Complaints/Grievances:

The University mechanism for hearing student complaints/grievances should provide for: consideration of matters related to gender discrimination, and should be well publicized. An appropriate institutional officer should be designated to oversee investigation of such complaints/grievances.

J. Placement Service:

The placement service should guarantee that all services, listings, and interview proceedings are free of discrimination based on gender.

K. Co-curricular Activities:

Institution/unit support for co-curricular activities, including recreation and intercollegiate athletics, should be equitable for all students. Facilities for co-curricular activities shall be open to recognized student groups without regard to gender. Men and women should be included on University committees that make recommendations on allocation of student segregated fees. Such committees should scrutinize carefully organization requests to assure equitable funding. Committees planning lecture series or forums, arts festivals, performing arts series, and related events should assure that women are included.

L. Health Services:

There should be on-going evaluation of health service policies to guarantee quality treatment for both men and women. Gynecological services are an integral part of a quality health program for women.

M. Class Hours:

Institutions/units are urged to make or to continue to make courses available in the evening, early morning and on weekends as well as during the day.

Faculty members should continue providing outreach courses for credit and non-credit, off-campus scheduling of classes including those in general education, independent study, ETN and televised course offerings, and other kinds of continuing education programs consistent with institutional missions. Faculty members should be encouraged to experiment with innovative programs, delivery systems, and teaching strategies to accommodate non-traditional students.

N. Security:

Institutions/units should assure that maximal efforts are made to promote a secure University environment.

O. Appointment of Students to University Committees:

Men and women should be represented equitably among student appointments to University committees.

P. Publications:

Continued effort should be made to include women and men in text and illustrations of catalogs, brochures, and other institutional publications.

Q. Monitoring Institution Progress:

An appropriate member of the University administration should be responsible for coordinating efforts to eliminate gender discrimination affecting students. The identification and solution of problems of discriminatory practices should be effected through the cooperative effort of students, faculty/staff, and administration.

This coordinator should direct compilation of all special reports that analyze University practices to determine whether any discrimination based on gender exists and what solutions are proposed, when such practices are identified. The University should maintain an official file that includes a plan for and results of efforts to provide leadership in eradicating gender stereotypes.


This statement of policy and guidelines on Equal Opportunities in Education should be available to students, faculty, staff and administrators in all institutions and units.


History: Res. 2927 adopted 10/7/83; amends 74-4.