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More Than One-Third in UCI Survey Complain of Bias

May 12, 1994|ALICIA DI RADO | TIMES STAFF WRITER

IRVINE — More than a third of UC Irvine employees who responded to a survey reported that they were the victims of harassment or discrimination at work, UCI officials said Wednesday.

The survey, conducted by the Staff Assembly Affirmative Action Committee in early 1993 to examine staff opinions on discrimination issues, gathered 582 responses from employees on the main campus as well as at the College of Medicine and UCI Medical Center in Orange.

About 8,700 staff and more than 1,000 faculty are employed by the university.

Results of the survey were described in UCI News, a weekly account of campus happenings written by university public information officers. The newsletter is accessible electronically to students, faculty and staff with computer accounts at UCI; outsiders with Internet accounts can also read UCI News postings, which are updated each week.

UCI officials could not be reached for comment on the survey late Wednesday.

In the UCI News report, Marion Metivier-Redd, assistant executive vice chancellor for affirmative action, cautioned that the number of responses to the survey may be too small to assume it reflects the experiences of the entire university staff.

Some staff members did not receive the survey through campus mail, while others sent the surveys back to an incorrect office, UCI officials reported.

But of the 582 people who responded to the survey, 220 staff members--or 38%--said they had been harassed or experienced discrimination, according to the UCI News report. Among other comments, people complained that they received physical threats, were told offensive jokes and remarks, were excluded from decisions or groups, were refused promotions or pay raises and were victims of favoritism.

More than 15% said they went through the experiences at least five times. Of the total number who submitted responses, almost 20% said their experiences could be termed sexual harassment, according to the report. Others said factors for discrimination included age, ethnicity, sexual orientation and political views.

Less than half of those responding to the survey said they knew where they could go to file complaints or grievances. Christine Moseley, chairwoman of the affirmative action committee, said in the report that her committee will act as a watchdog on staff discrimination and harassment issues, according to the news account.

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