Mission

Mission: The Office of Equity & Employee Relations supports St. Edward’s commitment to being a diverse, equitable and inclusive institution where all persons across the spectrum of identity experience an equitable, accessible, and vibrant community.  With a comprehensive and holistic view of compliance and inclusion, this office engages with employees and leaders to drive innovative employment practices that promote an equitable educational and work environment free from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.

The Office of Equity & Employee Relations is committed to promoting an equitable educational and work environment that is free from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in accordance with Title VII of The Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, other applicable federal and state laws, and University policy.

The Office of Equity & Employee Relations also strives to foster an inclusive campus environment that embraces the talents and achievements of all individuals regardless of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, religion, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, veteran status, age, or genetic information.

 

Values

Our commitment to social justice drives and grounds our work so that everything we do continuously fosters excellence through shared responsibility for:

Access and Inclusion - continuously preparing, inviting, and welcoming people to an environment where all have the opportunity to thrive at the university and beyond.

Community - creating equitable and collaborative partnerships to better work together within and outside the university towards shared goals.

Education and Learning - actively and intentionally using models and practices that incorporate content that reflects diverse ways of knowing, being and experiencing the world.

Sustainable Transformation - engaging in continuous individual and institutional reflection and collaboration to build capacity and integrate what we learn into our culture and infrastructure.

Accountability - evaluating and assessing progress towards realization of the University’s vision for equity and diversity.

 

Our Role

  • Oversight of and support for the university’s efforts to comply with all applicable federal and state civil rights laws and SEU’s policies prohibiting discrimination, harassment, and retaliation;
  • Collaboration with campus partners, consultation, training, and resources to the university community regarding equal opportunity, diversity, and preventing discrimination, harassment, and retaliation;
  • Acting on behalf of the University to conduct prompt, fair and unbiased investigations into allegations of workplace discrimination, sexual misconduct, and retaliation.

 

Equity Core Functions

Policy management

We ensure equity and inclusion are valued and integrated into university policies, practices, and culture.

Workplace Complaint Process

  • Intake
  • Report review
  • Referral
  • Fact gathering based on type of case
  • Investigation plan
  • Discuss role of outside attorney / investigator (if needed)

Informal Resolution (Mediation & Dialogue Facilitation)

Formal Investigation (Due Process)

Compliance

This office provides oversight and support for the University’s efforts to comply with all applicable federal and state civil rights laws and SEU’s policies prohibiting discrimination, harassment and retaliation.

Professional learning and development

DEI Education and Training

  • Search Committee Training
  • DEI Dialogue and Reflection Sessions
  • Individually Customizable Training / Workshop Facilitation
    E.g.: Activating Your Values and Personal Power to Impact Positive Change, Creating a Culture of Inclusion, Creating a Culture of Respect, Emotional Intelligence & Diversity
    Inclusive Conversations, Awareness, Acceptance, Authenticity and Conscious Choice
  • Professional Coaching Sessions
    Coaching sessions are centered around identifying behaviors that may be hindering the full alignment with SEU’s mission, values and operational principles.The sessions held determine ways of enhancing or changing behaviors in critical factors of DEIJ success.

 

Proactively identify needs / areas of concern

By cultivating a safe environment open to discussion, understanding and transparent communication the office encourages collaboration and constructive feedback from individuals and departments and will leverage employee insights for process and practice improvements.

  • Community Dialogue Sessions - Create space for community building and dialogue opportunities for leadership, faculty, and staff.

Community Engagement

This office collaborates with the Hilltop campus community and offers targeted and thoughtful experiences where individuals from all backgrounds are engaged, integrated, and valued. 

Complaint process

The Office of Equity and Employee Relations consistently follows a formal complaint and investigative process in order to promptly and effectively resolve employee concerns. 

Alternative Resolution Practices

This office promotes informal resolution practices designed to create space and dialogue for parties to work toward voluntary and consensual agreements.

Our Team

Melissa Esqueda Ph.D

Melissa Esqueda Ph.D

Associate Vice President, Office of Equity & Employee Relations

Georgie Komeiner SHRM-SCP, ACC

Georgie Komeiner SHRM-SCP, PHR, ACC

Associate Director Talent Management & Training