Cooperative Extension Service
Some Things You Should Know About
(EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY)
If you are an employee or a prospective employee of the
Cooperative Extension Service, University of Arkansas, you should be familiar
with your equal opportunity for employment, benefits and promotions. You should
also be aware of your responsibilities.
The Cooperative Extension Service, University of Arkansas, is an
Equal Opportunity Employer. It is the policy of the Cooperative Extension
Service that no person shall be discriminated against on the basis of race,
color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, marital or veteran
status or any other legally protected status, in the areas of hiring,
assignment, transfer, promotion, termination, compensation, terms, conditions or
privileges of employment. Extension policy does not limit, segregate or classify
employees or prospective employees in any way that will deprive individuals of
employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect a person’s status as an
employee on the basis of discriminatory conditions, whether purposeful or
The Cooperative Extension Service complies with both federal and
state laws pertaining to Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO). As the educational
arm of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the agency complies
with regulations, policies, rules and guidelines as interpreted by USDA. As part
of the University of Arkansas, the agency is governed by policies and
regulations of the University.
What the Cooperative Extension Service Program is all about
The Cooperative Extension Service is an educational
organization, funded cooperatively by federal, state and county governments. Its
program encompasses the broad areas of agriculture and natural resources, family
and consumer sciences, 4-H and youth development and community development.
Through its educational program, Extension helps people to help themselves.
Extension education helps people to identify and under stand their needs and
problems and to use modern technology or information in solving them.
One of the objectives of the Cooperative Extension Service is to
provide educational opportunities for all people – regardless of race, color,
religion, national origin, gender, age, disability, marital or veteran status
and social, economic or related factors.
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service has an Affirmative
Action Plan for meeting nondiscriminatory legal standards in employment and in
the conduct of all programs. This Plan, which was approved by the U.S.
Department of Agriculture in 1973, is a statement of Extension’s position on
providing equal opportunity in employment and in program benefits. The Plan
projects how Extension expects to continue to fulfill its commitment to equal
The purpose of Affirmative Action is to promote efficient, fair
and honest management. However, no one must be employed or promoted who is
unqualified, and employment need not be continued if work performance is
Affirmative Action Provides Equal Opportunity in Extension Program Benefits
Organizations and groups that receive program assistance or
other benefits from Extension are covered by the Affirmative Action Plan. No
person shall, on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, gender,
age, disability, marital or veteran status or any other legally protected
status, be excluded from participation, be denied the benefits of or be
subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving assistance
from Extension. Program benefits are made available to eligible persons by race
and gender, in proportion to the racial and gender composition of the potential
Employees of Extension are not assigned or limited to working
only with people of their own race. All employees are expected to work across
racial lines with potential recipients of program benefits within the position
assignment of the employee.
Legal Authorities For EEO in the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service
The primary legal authorities for EEO in Extension are:
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and as amended by
the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972.
Title 7 - Agriculture, Subtitle A - Office of the Secretary,
USDA, part 18.
Equal Pay Act of 1963, which requires equal pay for equal
work, regardless of sex.
Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 which protects
persons over the age of 40 against discrimination in employment on the basis
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Americans With Disabilities
Act of 1990 which prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 which prohibits
discrimination on the basis of sex.
Annotated Code of the General Laws of Arkansas which
prohibits unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, national
origin, sex or religion.
Responsibilities As An Extension Employee
Extension employees are members of an educational team. You as a
team member must use good judgment and be sensitive to the interests, needs and
problems of the clientele you are to serve. You must be willing and able to work
with all people interested in the benefits of Extension education regardless of
their race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, marital
or veteran status or any other legally protected status. Extension employees
have a responsibility to serve the public with courtesy, integrity and
efficiency. You must be able to get along with people, have a sincere desire to
be of service to others and have a keen interest in your professional
Extension employees are responsible for conducting official
business in such a manner that the organization does not directly or by
implication (1) support, encourage, condone or permit the practice of
segregation or other forms of discrimination or (2) conduct programs in ways
that permit economic barriers or social inhibitions to limit participation.
You Should Know the Rules
The Extension Policy and Procedures Guide contains the policies
of the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service. Access is available to all
Extension employees, and every employee is expected to comply fully with
Training and Career
Extension employees are provided on-the-job training and other
Each category of personnel (non-classified and classified) has
its own developmental needs as well as needs which are common to all. The broad
areas of personnel training include the following:
— Orientation – New employees, regardless of previous training,
education and experience receive an appropriate introduction to their jobs.
— Continuing in-service training – Experienced staff members
receive in-service training to assist them in maintaining up-to-date knowledge
and skills in their respective fields.
— Graduate education – It is generally assumed that advanced
degrees and other graduate education increase the competence of professional
Extension workers and signify professional growth. Extension professionals are
encouraged to continue to update their knowledge and skills through graduate
Training in the civil rights responsibilities of the Extension
organization and its employees is provided during the orientation of new
employees and is continued as a part of in- service training programs.
Your Work is
Measured and Weighed
The job performance of each Extension employee is evaluated
continuously. A written performance evaluation is prepared and discussed with
each employee annually. An employee’s job performance affects salary increases
and promotions. Unsatisfactory job performance can result in disciplinary action
or termination. The performance evaluation review provides an opportunity for
supervisor-employee communication on the satisfactory or unsatisfactory aspects
of an employee’s work performance. It gives the employee information needed to
improve job performance and provides an opportunity to clear up
misunderstandings about job expectations. It also provides an opportunity to
warn an employee if disciplinary action is contemplated.
Salary or Wage Rate May Change
Non-Classified Staff - Minimum starting salaries for the
various job classifications are established by Extension administration.
Experience and academic degree level are considered in determining an
individual’s starting salary. Thereafter, within the constraints of available
funds and salary limitations established by state law, the primary factors
affecting an individual’s salary are performance rating, length of service,
academic degree level and job assignment.
Classified Staff - The classified staff is paid according to
the Higher Education Employee Classification and Compensation Plan. Each
position is assigned to a salary grade with established minimum and maximum
salary levels. Within the limits of available funds, salary increases are based
on work performance. Also, cost-of-living adjustments and changes in minimum and
maximum salary levels may be instituted by legislative action.
Promotions depend to a great extent on your ability and work
performance. Any Extension employee may apply for and be considered for
promotion to another position. When a vacancy occurs, the position is advertised
internally, externally or both. Selection of a candidate is made without regard
to race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, marital or
veteran status or any other legally protected status. Safeguards are in place to
prevent discrimination in selection, and justification of selection is carefully
documented. Additionally, procedures for promotion in rank are available for
county Extension agents, specialists, assistant specialists, Extension
associates and program assistants.
The Associate Vice President for Agriculture-Extension is the
administrative position with final responsibility for initiating and
implementing all aspects of the Extension EEO program. Administrative,
supervisory and management staff members are held responsible for the total
effectiveness of the program. Their performance is reviewed and evaluated
regarding the promotion of nondiscrimination and the achievement of affirmative
EEO Advisory Committee
The State Internal EEO Advisory Committee is comprised of men
and women from various job classifications and racial-ethnic groups within the
Extension organization. The function of the committee is to provide feedback on
EEO from employees to Extension Administration. The committee identifies EEO
problems, recommends solutions and serves as advisors to Administration.
It is the policy of the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service
to protect all employees and prospective employees from discriminatory
situations. Consequently, both informal and formal complaint procedures are
available. Either or both may be used.
Most complaints, grievances and misunderstandings can be
resolved satisfactorily in an informal conference between the employee and his
or her immediate supervisor.
If, however, the employee does not wish to discuss the concern
with the immediate supervisor, the employee may talk with an EEO counselor. The
role of the EEO counselor is to serve as a bridge between employees and
management and to resolve EEO problems on an informal basis.
If a matter is not resolved through consultation with an EEO
counselor, an employee may request a conference with the supervisor of the
employee’s immediate supervisor.
The names of EEO counselors are listed on an insert to this
leaflet. The names may also be obtained from a county Extension office or the
state Extension office.
If a matter is not resolved through the informal procedure, or
if the complainant does not wish to use the informal procedure, a formal
complaint may be filed.
A formal complaint must be made in writing and must give the
name and address of the complainant, state the basis of the complaint and
indicate whether the alleged discrimination was based on race, color, national
origin, religion, gender, age, disability, marital or veteran status or any
other legally protected status. The complaint must be submitted within 180 days
of the conduct giving rise to the complaint. A complainant will at all times be
free from reprisal.
A complaint may be filed by an employee or by an applicant for
employment who believes that discrimination in employment has been practiced
against him or her or that an employment practice of the Arkansas Cooperative
Extension Service has resulted or will result in discrimination in employment
against him or her. An employee, a former employee or an applicant for
employment may file a complaint of general discrimination practices, provided
that upon request of the President of the University of Arkansas, the
complainant shall furnish the names of individuals who are adversely affected by
A complainant is entitled to the advice of counsel at his or her
expense at all stages of the proceedings.
A complaint may be filed with the Associate Vice President for
Agriculture-Extension, Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, 2301 S.
University Ave., Little Rock, AR 72204, or with the Secretary of Agriculture,
Washington, D.C. 20250.
More details about the steps in an informal or a formal EEO
complaint are available from the EEO counselors or the state civil rights
coordinator. This information may also be obtained from the Office of Equal
Opportunity, USDA, Washington, D.C. 20250.
Equal Employment Opportunity Coordinator
2301 South University Avenue
2301 S. University Ave.
Little Rock, AR 72204
Equal Employment Opportunity Counselors (link)
Acknowledgment is made of the help provided in the preparation
of this leaflet by Curtiland Deville, Director, Equal Opportunity Staff, CSREES
- USDA; Michael B. Wright, former Assistant Director; and Byron Huddleston,
former State Coordinator - Civil Rights, Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.
For More Information
A copy of Extension’s EEO Plan as approved by the Secretary of
Agriculture is available upon request.
The Plan of Work contains a section on Affirmative Action and
Equal Employment Opportunity. This Plan is available to anyone wishing to
The Associate Vice President for Agriculture-Extension is
responsible for the administration of equal employment opportunity. The three
district directors located at the state office are responsible for equal
employment opportunity in their districts. The county Extension agent - staff
chairman in each county Extension office is responsible for EEO. Any of these
persons can provide additional information and answer questions you may have
about EEO in the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an Affirmative
Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and therefore does not discriminate on the
basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, disability,
marital or veteran status, or any other legally protected status.