Appendix C: Definitions

Discrimination:  Discrimination within the context used in Affirmative Action, refers to the process of illegally differentiating between people on the basis of group membership rather than individual merit.  Systemic discrimination may occur when unequal treatment results from “neutral” institutional practices that continue the effect of past discrimination.  Individual discrimination may result when a person is subjected to unequal treatment on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, or disability.

Equal Employment Opportunity:  The concept of equal employment opportunity proclaims the right of each person to apply and be evaluated for employment opportunities without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, or disability.  It guarantees everyone the right to be considered solely on the basis of his/her ability to perform the duties of the job in question, with or without reasonable accommodations. 

Affirmative Action:  The principle of affirmative action requires that aggressive efforts be utilized to employ and advance women and minorities in areas where they are employed in fewer numbers than is consistent with their availability in the relevant labor market.  Purdue University’s objective is to employ and promote the best person for the job.  Consistent with this practice, affirmative action requires that where the candidates for a position appear to be equally well qualified, the person selected should be the one who will contribute to the achievement of affirmative action goals.

Parity: An Extension program is in parity when the participation rate of new, diverse, and historically underserved audiences reflects proportionately their incidence in the general population of the geographic area being served.

Compliance: A program is in compliance with participation requirements of the Civil Rights Laws and Regulations when the participation rate of new, diverse, and historically underserved audiences has reached 100% of parity. 

Potential Audience/Recipients: Potential audience and recipients are persons or groups within a defined geographic area (county/region) who might be interested in or benefit from an Extension educational program.  Potential audience and recipients should be estimated for each Extension program by using a combination of census demographic data as well as the Educator’s knowledge and information about the population of the geographic area being served.  When a target audience is defined during program planning, it should be inclusive of the entire potential recipients, as defined by the demographic data.

“All Reasonable Effort:” Extension must be able to demonstrate that its federally funded programs, services, and activities have been made available to the maximum possible potential audience of a given geographic area.  This process entails at least the following activities:

  1. The use of all available mass media, including radio, television, and newspapers to inform potential recipients of the program and of the opportunity to participate.
  2. Sending personal letters, e-mail, social media, flyers, and publications, targeted at potential recipients and inviting them to participate, including dates and places of meetings or other planned activities.
  3. Personal visits to a representative number of potential recipients in the geographically defined area to encourage them to participate.

“Adequate Public Notification:” Extension programs should utilize the most diversified means of communication available in order to attract persons of all races, colors, religions, sexes, national origins, and abilities to participate in its programs.  Examples include posters, flyers, stuffers, public mailings, bulletin boards, etc.  Additionally, all publications should contain the University’s Equal Opportunity Statement and the Extension office environment should visibly display Equal Opportunity posters such as the “And Justice for All.”  Notices of meetings should include the ADA statement.