1A11 Educational Institution Evaluations

If an educational institution holds a federal contract, it may be scheduled for a compliance evaluation. While the desk audit procedures and principles in this chapter apply to educational institution evaluations, the CO should consider the unique nature of these contractors. Educational institutions have the same obligation as other contractors to prepare and maintain AAPs and submit them along with Itemized Listing data when scheduled for a compliance evaluation. However, the data submitted by an educational institution may be structured differently and include identification of employment practices that are unique to them. Despite any differences in the nature of educational institutions compared to other contractors, the CO will evaluate the contractor’s compliance with all applicable regulations and conduct required analyses, such as impact ratio, compensation, selection process, and selection criteria analyses.

a. Institution type and organizational structure. When evaluating an educational institution, the CO should identify the institution type and its organizational structure, identifying autonomous components and individuals who have the authority to make personnel decisions. Educational institutions fall generally into four types: universities, senior colleges, vocational colleges and junior/community colleges. The structure varies not only based on the type and size of the institution but also on whether it is a public or private entity. This may impact how personnel data is grouped and how employment practices are analyzed.

b. Employment data and workforce composition. In educational institution evaluations, the CO will examine data regarding the educational institution’s workforce composition, tenure requirements, and practices on hiring, promotion, termination, and compensation. Unlike other contractors, the labor force of educational institutions is tracked through a reporting system called the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).11 The CO may start with the IPEDS categories to identify similarly situated employee groups but if they are too broad, the CO will narrow down the categories to more appropriate job groups to conduct meaningful analyses. Educational institution workforces generally include instructional staff and noninstructional staff.12 The instructional staff workforce includes nontenure track, tenure track, and tenured instructional staff while the noninstructional staff workforce includes executive, administrative, professional, technical, clerical, and all other nonteaching services at the institution. Whereas instructional staff are typically grouped by department or school, noninstructional staff may overlap or spread across the educational institution.

c. Hiring, terminations and promotion practices. Evaluating employment practices applicable to noninstructional staff is similar to that conducted in other compliance evaluations. However, evaluating employment practices concerning instructional staff may present a unique challenge requiring the CO to tailor inquiries, data requests and the required analyses. For example, instructional staff vacancies may be filled by departmental committees that are formed to recruit and screen for a vacant position. Candidates deemed qualified by the committees are submitted to the Dean or Provost for selection. Academic policies and procedures regulate who will be on the committees, where to advertise and the organizations from which to solicit candidates; and procedures and criteria to follow in instructional staff selection.

In addition to the hiring, termination and promotion practices, the granting of tenure to instructional staff and applicable tenure requirements and data should be examined by the CO. Tenure is protected academic status intended to grant instructional staff permanent appointments. Promotion for tenure track instructional staff usually follows a line of progression such as assistant professor, to associate professor, to professor. Comparable to hiring, the decision to grant tenure to an instructional staff member is made by a departmental committee. Some of the common criteria considered for granting tenure include: teaching ability and effectiveness; research and publications; professional services; and services to the institution or community. Not granting tenure or revoking tenure is an adverse employment action that may further result in the termination of the instructional staff member. As with hiring, termination, and promotion practices, it may be necessary to request data on tenure decisions.

d. Compensation. Educational institutions typically operate separate pay systems for each workforce, e.g., instructional staff and noninstructional staff. There are also different pay systems to reflect the different workforces when the educational institution is a public institution. The CO must obtain written policies and procedures on employee compensation, including policies on determining base salary, pay incentives, pay increases, bonuses and other factors impacting compensation such as union status and payment for additional responsibilities at the institution. In addition to base salary and bonuses, the CO should gather data on factors that may affect compensation such as the national ranking of the educational institution, field of study, scholarship, research, publications, honors and awards.

11. IPEDS is a system of interrelated surveys conducted annually, which gathers information from every college, university, and technical and vocational institution in the United States and other jurisdictions (such as Puerto Rico) that participates in the federal student financial aid programs.

12. OFCCP will use the terms instructional staff and noninstructional staff to distinguish between the two workforces. Instructional staff refers to faculty members and others in a teaching capacity. Noninstructional staff refers to all other employees who are not in a teaching capacity.