The Indiana University Board of Trustees approved a motion during today’s meeting in Gary to add the terms “genetic information” and “gender expression” to the IU Non-Discrimination/Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Policy. IU Vice President and General Counsel Jacqueline Simmons presented the change to the board during Thursday’s meeting.
The inclusion of these terms further advances IU’s policy to be more inclusive. By including “genetic information,” faculty, staff and students cannot be discriminated against because of DNA differences that could affect their health. Gender expression is the external manifestation of gender expressed through a person’s name, pronouns, clothing and other characteristics.
The addition of the term “genetic information” indicates compliance with the federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, which makes it illegal to discriminate against employees or applicants on the basis of genetic information. Adding protection for gender expression will bring IU’s policy in line with the majority of Big Ten institutions, including Purdue, Ohio State and Michigan, as well as large corporations including Indiana-based Cummins Inc. and Eli Lilly and Co. The IU Bloomington Faculty Council included gender expression in its Statement on Diversity passed last year.