Office of Equal Opportunity

Established in 1974, the Office for Equal Opportunity resides in the Office of Government Affairs. Our work includes the following diversity and inclusion initiatives:

  • Oversight of equal opportunity and affirmative action programs, policies and procedures on harassment, programs related to the Americans With Disabilities Act and other civil rights and diversity policies and programs
  • Strengthening positive relationships on civil rights matters between Rush and government entities, or civic and professional organizations
  • Membership on the Diversity Leadership Council, and collaboration with its members on creating and improving diversity and all related policies and programs

The Office for Equal Opportunity works closely with Human Resources, the University provost, college deans and other Medical Center officers and departments to carry out its responsibilities.

The following programs have been implemented to help us meet our objectives:

  • The Diversity Leadership Council, created to build on existing programs at Rush to provide a commitment to diversity that reflects our Mission, Vision and Values
  • The annual Rush Affirmative Action Program since 1975
  • Longitudinal data covering more than 30 years on Rush University faculty, house staff and students by gender and ethnicity
  • A broad-based program since 1984 for the prevention of sexual harassment and harassment of all other protected classes, including an annual memorandum from the president to the Rush community
  • Widely recognized and honored programs for providing accessibility and other accommodations for patients, employees, faculty, students and visitors with disabilities, and for advocating for disability rights within and beyond the Rush community
  • The Thonar Award, given annually since 1991 to a member of the Rush community for efforts to turn a disability into a possibility
  • Spanish and Polish interpreters, and provision of interpreters for multiple other languages, including sign language
  • Patient forms, brochures and signage in Spanish
  • A program to permit service animals for inpatients, outpatients and visitors
  • Outreach to, and recruitment of, employees and students from underrepresented groups
  • Human Resources training related to ethnic and religious diversity and respect
  • Health benefits for same-sex domestic partners since 2000
  • Service to economically and ethnically diverse communities of Chicago, especially those on the West Side

Paula J. Brown
Manager, Diversity, Inclusion, Community Employment Liaison
paula_j_brown@rush.edu