For additional diversity definitions, visit the Diversity Dictionary from Ohio University.


Adverse impact – A substantially different rate of selection in hiring, promotion, transfer, training or other employment-related decisions for any race, sex or ethnic group in comparison with other groups.

Affirmative Action – A strategy for pursuing equal opportunity for individuals, and diversity for organizations, through outreach in recruitment, development, and retention programs. Organizations employ affirmative action to engage in fair employment practices, and redress past inequities. Affirmative action is required by EO 11246.

Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) – A written plan required annually of all federal contractors, which details the affirmative action program for each of its establishments. The plan focuses on the hiring, training, and promoting of individuals in protected classes that are underrepresented in the organization's workforce. AAPs must be prepared and updated annually for women and minorities (41CFR60 1 and 60 2), special disabled veterans, Vietnam era veterans, and other covered veterans (41CFR60 250 and 41CFR60 300), and individuals with disabilities (41 CFR 60 741).

Applicant Flow – Analyses of recruitment data for applicants applying for a particular job over a given period of time in comparison to the number of individuals hired, analyzed by protected class characteristics.

Applicant Pool – All individuals who meet regulatory definition of an applicant for a particular vacancy or group of open jobs during a designated time period. It is the collection data that represents a group of candidates from which the employer makes a selection.

Applicants – All individuals who request consideration for employment in a specific position at Duke, whose application materials are reviewed in consideration for the position, meet minimum qualifications, and do not voluntarily remove themselves from consideration.

AvailabilityLabor Market– An estimate of the number of qualified women or minorities available for employment, from which Duke may reasonably expect to recruit to fill positions in a given job group. Availability estimates are derived from Census data, other demographic surveys, data from colleges, local job service offices, and other relevant entities, and current promotion-eligible workforce demographics. The purpose of the availability determination is to establish a benchmark, against which the demographic composition of the contractor's incumbent workforce can be compared, in order to determine whether barriers to equal opportunity may exist within particular job groups.


Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) – The code contains Presidential executive orders and regulations based on federal regulations. Title 41 CFR Chapter 60, for example, deals with the various Department of Labor EEO regulations and guidelines concerning federal government contractors. It is represented in this document as 41CFR60.

Compliance Obligations – Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity - Duke University must act in accordance with Executive Order 11246 (EO 11246), as amended, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (38 USC 4212), as amended, and their implementing regulations at 41 CFR 60. Executive Order 11246 prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. EO 11246 also requires federal contractors to take affirmative action to ensure that equal opportunity is provided in all aspects of their employment practices. The U.S. Department of Labor has designated the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) to administer and enforce EO 11246. OFCCP administers compliance with Section 503 (for individuals with disabilities) and VEVRAA (for qualifying veterans) as well.


Discrimination – An intentional or unintentional act which adversely effects employment opportunities because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, marital status, or national origin, or other factors such as age (under particular laws).

Diversity – Includes characteristics or factors such as personality, work style, religion, race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, having a disability, socioeconomic level, educational attainment, and general work experience. Diversity refers to all of the characteristics that make individuals different from each other, and functions as an indicator of an organization's success in providing equal opportunity for candidates and members. Compelling reasons for diversity stem not only from legal mandates, but from social, moral, and business imperatives.


Equal Opportunity – Offers individuals a fair chance for participation in the workplace or educational settings. Equal opportunities for employment and admissions also benefit the organization by resulting in increased diversity.

Ethnic Group – A group having different national or cultural traditions than the majority of the population. See Race & Ethnicity.

Executive Order 11246 (and 11375) – Issued by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965 requires that, as a condition for receiving federal contracts, employers must draw up written affirmative action plans, with utilization, analyses, goals, and timetables, for assuring equal opportunity in employment for minorities. In 1967 President Johnson's Executive Order 11375 amended 11246 to include women. Today, the term Executive Order 11375 is used to include women as well.


Individual with a Disability – Any person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having such impairment.


Job Group – A classification for a set of positions with similar job characteristics which the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) requires federal contractors to create when evaluating their workforce. Job Groups are divisions within a series of seven broader occupational categories. Within occupational categories, Duke has established 27 job groups to reflect the diversity in job functions and pay ranges offered. Job groups are comprised of corresponding pay levels and job classifications as described in the Duke University Job Classifications and Pay Ranges Guide.


Minority – For Equal Employment Opportunity reporting purposes, and for purposes of workforce analyses required in Revised Executive Order No. 4, the term "minority" includes people who self-identified their ethnicity as Hispanic, or those who are not Hispanic and identified their Race as American Indian/Alaskan Natives, Asian, Black or African American, Pacific Islanders, or two or more races.


Occupational Category – A set of job groups derived from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's scheme to classify jobs ("Job Categories"). At Duke University and Duke University Health system, there are seven occupational categories. These categories include Executive/Administrative, Faculty, Professional, Office Support, Technical/Paraprofessional, Skilled Crafts, and Service.

Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) – The agency charged with enforcing affirmative action regulations for government contractors under the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Duke University is a government contractor and is regulated by the OFCCP.


Placement Goals – Placement goals are not quotas, and are not legal justification for extending preferences in hiring. Placement goals are determined by labor market availability of qualified individuals, and are set equal to each job group's estimated availability. It is the overall personnel process and good faith efforts that are of primary concern in determining compliance, rather than the exact degree to which goals have been met.


Race & Ethnicity – For the purposes of this Plan, and as defined by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, employees may self-identify as one or more of the following racial categories:

  • American Indian or Alaska Native
  • Asian
  • Black or African American
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
  • White

 Regarding ethnicity, employees may also indicate if they are Hispanic or Latino, i.e., Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.

Retaliation – Any adverse employment or educational activity or conduct which is directed against individuals who come forward with harassment related concerns or complaints, as well as individuals who participate in an investigation.

Rule of Nines – A test used to determine whether utilization analyses for a job group are more appropriately assessed by standard deviation tests or the exact binomial test. If the total incumbents in a job group, multiplied by the availability of women or minorities in the group, multiplied by one minus the availability in the group, is greater than or equal to nine, then standard deviation tests are conducted. Otherwise, the exact binomial test is used.


Sexual Harassment – Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when submission to the conduct is either an explicit or implicit term of condition of employment, submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as a basis for an employment decisions affecting the person rejecting or submitting to the conduct, or the conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an affected person's work performance, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

Sexual Orientation – This term refers to an individual's attraction to a particular sex or multiple sexes. The attraction may be physical and/or emotional and can also be static or shift.

Standard Deviations – Standard deviations between an observed value and an expected value indicates the size of the discrepancy, independent of the particular distribution. In a normal distribution, two standard deviations represent a large enough discrepancy to be significant.

Statistical Significance – Statistical significance is denoted with a probability p value, which is the probability of observing a particular deviation (or one more extreme) of an observed value from a hypothesized or expected value. If the calculated probability p value is smaller than 5%, the deviation of the observed value from the expected is considered to be statistically significant. Each test used in the AAP utilizes a different mathematical strategy to answer this same question: how great is this likelihood that the difference occurred by chance?


Underutilization – Workforce representation of fewer women or minorities in a particular job group than would reasonably be expected, given their availability. The difference between availability of women or minorities with requisite skills in the reasonable recruitment area, and actual participation must be statistically significant in order for the disparity to indicate underutilization.

Utilization Analysis – Compares representation of women or minorities within Duke's workforce with the availability of these groups in the relevant labor market for each job group.


Veteran Status - The Department of Labor defines several veteran categories for the purposes of demographic reporting.

  • Armed Forces Service Medal Veteran - A veteran who, while serving on active duty in the U.S. military ground, naval, or air service, participated in a United States military operation, for which an Armed Forces service medal was awarded pursuant to Executive Order 12985 (61 Fed. Reg. 1209.)
  • Disabled Veteran - A veteran who served on active duty in the U.S. military ground, naval, or air service: (1) is entitled to disability compensation (or who but for the receipt of military retired pay would be entitled to disability compensation) under laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or (2) was discharged or released from active duty because of a service-connected disability.
  • Newly Separated Veteran - Defined as any veteran who served on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval, or air service, during the one-year period beginning on the date of such veteran's discharge, or release from active duty.
  • Other Protected Veteran - An other protected veteran means any other veteran who served on active duty in the U.S. military ground, naval, or air service during a war or in a campaign or expedition, for which a campaign badge has been authorized, other than a special disabled veteran, veteran of the Vietnam era, or recently separated veteran.
  • Recently Separated Veteran - Defined as any veteran who served on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval, or air service during the one-year period, beginning on the date of such veteran's discharge or release from active duty.
  • Special Disabled Veteran - A special disabled veteran means a veteran who served on active duty in the U.S. military ground, naval, or air service and (1) who was discharged or released from active duty because of a service-connected disability, or (2) who is entitled to compensation (or who but for the receipt of military retired pay would be entitled to compensation) for certain disabilities under laws administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (i.e., disabilities rated at 30 percent or more, or at 10 or 20 percent if the veteran has been determined to have a serious employment handicap.)
  • Veteran of the Vietnam Era - Under Section 4212, a Veteran of the Vietnam Era’ means a veteran of the U.S. military, ground, naval, or air service, any part of whose service was during the period of August 5, 1964, and May 7, 1975, who (1) served on active duty for a period of more than 180 days, and was discharged or released with other than a dishonorable discharge, or (2) was discharged or released from active duty because of a service-connected disability.  Vietnam Era Veteran also includes any veteran of the U.S. military, ground, naval, or air service who served in the Republic of Vietnam between February 28, 1961, and May 7, 1975.