Policy and Procedures
As an integral part of a Land-Grant university that receives funds from USDA through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), K-State Research and Extension is committed to fair and equitable treatment of all employees and program participants. In fact, as the nation’s oldest Land-Grant institution, K-State has been putting service and compassion into action since 1863. The university was only the second public institution of higher learning in the U.S. to admit women and men equally. Throughout history, the university has remained committed to creating a level playing field where all can succeed and overcome challenges.
K-State Research and Extension also believes in the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion because we know that human differences enrich our lives, work and communities. We embrace our responsibility to be a resource for all, regardless of their cultural, ethnic or economic background.
While there are clear distinctions between compliance concepts and diversity concepts, the two are intertwined. Our actions as Extension professionals should reflect our organizational beliefs. What is expected of us and the mechanisms used to demonstrate those actions are known as civil rights compliance.
Below, you can find information about Policies and Procedures related to civil rights compliance that must be followed to ensure we remain a resource for all members of our communities.
- Ensures access to Federally funded programming/assistance
- Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin
- Outlaws Employment Discrimination
- Prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin
- Created the Commission on Equal Employment Opportunity
- Outlaws discrimination on the basis of age in the workplace
- Focuses on persons age 40 and older
- Bans Sex Discrimination
- Focused on educational programming
- Prohibits Disability Discrimination in federal employment
- Governing remedies for disability discrimination
- Bans discrimination against those with physical or mental disabilities
- Focused on "all aspects of society"
- Compensatory and punitive damages for victims of disability discrimination
- Clarifies and broadens the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
- Compensatory and punitive damages for victims of discrimination
- Mandates reasonable accommodations and good faith efforts to avoid discrimination
- Requires that federal agencies develop and implement systems to provide their services so that Limited English Proficiency persons can have meaningful access to them
Abridged list of Federal Civil Rights for K-State Research and Extension offices
USDA and ECOP Policies
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
- USDA's Civil Rights Regulations and Directives
- USDA Statement on Civil Rights Policy
- National Institute of Food and Agriculture's (NIFA) Non-Discrimination Policy Statements
- Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) Notice of Non-Discrimination
- Learn about the Kansas Human Rights Commission
- Civil Rights enforced by the Kansas State Department of Education
- The United State's Attorney's Office, District of Kansas Civil Rights Resources and Complaints
Kansas State University Policies
- K-State's Policies related to Discrimination and Harassment
- K-State's Diversity and Inclusion Initiative
K-State Research and Extension Policies
Our All Reasonable Efforts Policy
The intent of the Civil Rights Act is that all people have the opportunity to participate in educational programs and employment opportunities in federally assisted programs. This intent and the means for achieving it are consistent with the Extension philosophy that its programs are open to all persons and that those programs will be designed to best meet their needs.
A sincere effort must be made to encourage participation by minority members and to overcome barriers and concerns that might interfere. It is not enough to simply announce the program is open to all. An effort must be made to tailor the program to meet the needs and concerns of the target audience.
Examples of barriers to participation include means of publication, location of meetings, etc., not normally used by the target
The minimum reasonable effort required by Extension staff include three steps:
- Use of all available mass media, including websites, radio, newspaper, and television, to inform potential recipients of the program and of the opportunity to participate.
- Personal letters addressed to defined potential recipients inviting them to participate, including dates and places of meetings or other planned activities.
- Personal visits by the Extension staff member(s) to a representative number of defined potential recipients in the geographically defined area to encourage participation.
Documentation is needed that"All Reasonable Efforts" have been made. Copies of mass media releases and circular letters meet requirements for 1 and 2 above. Personal visits may be documented by making a record for filing of personal visits including visitor, dates, person reached, responses and other related information.
- Tips for All Reasonable Efforts in 4-H
Local Partner Certification of Non-Discrimination
All local unit offices must provide partner agencies with written notification of non-discrimination and ask that they return a signed assurance of non-discrimination. Local partners are any clubs, groups and organizations with which local unit offices cooperate with on an on-going basis. These include but are not limited to 4-H clubs, Master Gardener groups, livestock producer groups, libraries, PRIDE groups, schools, senior centers, and non-profits.
Notification should state that K-State Research and Extension cannot provide assistance to any organization that excludes any person from membership or participation in any activities of the organization, or subject any person to discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age or disability.
There should be on file:
- Copies of this written notification from the local unit office to any club, group or organization with which local units offices cooperate on an on-going basis.
- Written responses from all organizations being served on a continuing basis stating whether or not that organization's policies or practices conform with conditions stated in the notification.
Written notification and collection of assurance of non-discrimination should be repeated every four years. Certification of non-discrimination from partner organizations should be kept in the local unit civil rights files.
- See an example of Local Partner Compliance Notice of Civil Rights
- General Template of Written Notification of Civil Rights for local partners
- Spanish Template for Written Notification of Civil Rights for local partners
Limited English Proficiency
As an agency that receives federal funds, K-State Research and Extension is obligated to take reasonable steps to ensure that those with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) have meaningful access to our programs, services and information. Limited English Proficiency refers to persons who do not speak English as their primary language and/or who have limited ability to read, write, speak or understand English.
K-State Research and Extension has certain legal obligations to ensure nondiscrimination for LEP persons.
- Requests for language support services--KSRE has a legal obligation to provide accommodations for individuals with limited English proficiency. Therefore, it is unlawful to deny a request for language support services to a person who is a participant, or wants to participate in KSRE programs, services, and activities.
- Requests made by members of the public—KSRE is legally obligated to provide translation or interpretation services any time a member of the public requests services in connection to their—or someone else’s—restricted ability to access or understand English-only information that is related to our educational programming activities.
- Programming that requires critical or vital communication--Critical or vital communication means information in any format that clientele/participants need to access programming. Any English-only document used by KSRE in an official capacity is subject to translation. This is particularly true for applicant participation, release or consent forms, documents related to a participant’s medical history, emergency information, and other documents that ask for information that is sensitive in nature.
- General educational programming--KSRE may be legally obligated per Title VI to provide language support services in educational programming based on, among other things, 1) the nature and scope of the project, 2) the target audience, and 3) community demographics within the designated service area.
Local units should access the number or proportion of limited English speakers in the local population to determine whether or not a local language services plan needs to be developed.
K-State Research and Extension's Limited English Proficiency Policy
Disability and Title IX protections in K-State Research and Extension
K-State Research and Extension's Plan for Public Notification of Civil Rights
- Public Notification Resources
K-State Research and Extension's Civil Rights Performance Plan
Program participants have a right to complain if they feel they have been denied access to extension programming. Each extension staff member should know the proper procedure for handling a complaint:
Responding to Discrimination Complaints
- USDA Procedure to respond to an Extension Program Discrimination Complaint
- University Policy for responding to a Student or Employee Discrimination Complaint
Resources Regarding Discrimination Complaints
- K-State Research and Extension Dispute Resolution
- K-State Research and Extension Grievance Procedure
- K-State Dispute Resolution
Filing Civil Rights Information
- Civil Rights Filing Checklist for Local Units