Specialties and national benchmark data

Prior to beginning the search, the Search Committee, faculty Principal Investigator, and/or AP analyst should review the pool of U.S. degree recipients by race/ethnicity, gender, veteran’s status, and disability status that is specific to the specialty area(s) for the particular recruitment. These data are automatically provided in AP Recruit in the Diversity tab, based on the specialty areas specified in the Basic Recruitment section, and represent the broad benchmarking goals for the recruitment. The applicant pool should be compared to these data regularly during the application period to evaluate the search and recruitment outreach efforts.

Affirmative action goals

As a federal contractor, UC Berkeley must establish and maintain an Affirmative Action Program and a yearly written Affirmative Action Plan (“AAP”), and fulfill requirements established by the Federal Department of Labor, Office for Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) to provide equal employment opportunity and nondiscrimination. The UC Berkeley AAP provides yearly data on groups that are underutilized on the Berkeley campus by job type and by schools and colleges. Underutilization is defined as having fewer minorities,women, individuals with disabilities, or protected veterans[1] in a particular job group than would reasonably be expected given their availability in the job market. 

The Affirmative Action goals for searches reflect this underutilization. We set our annual percentage goals equal to availability for all underutilized job groups and must make good faith efforts to recruit a broad and inclusive pool of qualified applicants. Affirmative action goals have been established where underutilization has been identified using the “any difference rule.” UC Berkeley’s goals are directed to achieve a level of gender and ethnic representation equal to availability in all job groups.

The tables linked to in AP Recruit are taken from the UC Berkeley AAP, divided by job types and Schools/Colleges. A shaded cell denotes underutilization of a group. Refer to the table and then check the boxes next to the groups that are underutilized on the Berkeley campus in the relevant job group.

Please note that AP Recruit invites all individuals applying for non-senate academic positions to voluntarily self-identify their gender, race/ethnicity, disability status, and status as a protected veteran. The OFCCP requires that we ask individuals to self-identify, but individuals may choose not to reveal this information without any negative repercussions.

It is important to be informed about and know the distinction between Federal Affirmative Action requirements and California Proposition 209.

California Proposition 209

In 1996 the voters of California passed Proposition 209, now part of the California State Constitution (Article 1, §31(a)) which prohibits discrimination against or preferential treatment to “any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, education or contracting.” It does not, however, prohibit actions necessary to establish or maintain eligibility for any federal program, where ineligibility would result in loss of federal funds to the University. Therefore, UC Berkeley is obligated to take affirmative action to ensure equal opportunity in employment, but we may not set aside positions for specific groups.

The prohibition against discrimination described in Proposition 209 is consistent with University policy prohibiting discrimination in employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, medical condition (cancer‐related or genetic characteristics), ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or status as a covered veteran. The prohibition against discrimination supports the University’s commitment to address the barriers that face under‐represented groups in academic careers and to serve the needs of our diverse state.

Federal Affirmative Action Requirements vs. California Proposition 209

  • Affirmative Action relates to recruitment. Federal regulations require collection of gender/ethnicity/disability/veteran status data along with good faith efforts to obtain a broad and inclusive candidate pool.
  • Proposition 209 relates to selection. State law prohibits both discrimination against or preferential treatment to a group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin.
  • DO diversify the applicant pool. DO NOT extend preferences.

Related policies and guidelines:

Office for Federal Contractor Compliance Programs
Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act
Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act


[1] A protected veteran is defined as a disabled veteran, a recently separated veteran, an armed forces service medal veteran, or a veteran who served on active duty in the U.S. military during a war, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge was authorized under the laws administered by the Department of Defense.