Oregon State University

OSU Policy of Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Religion

Policy Description

It is the policy of the Oregon University System and Oregon State University that no one shall be subject to discrimination based on age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Policy Prohibiting the Promotion of Religion

With regards to religion, this policy prohibits the University, and its employees while at work or representing OSU, from taking action that promotes religion or promotes one particular religion over another. The University may not create an atmosphere which in any way suggests it favors one religion over another, or religion over non-religion. As a public university, it is equally important not to inhibit voluntary religious expression. The University's obligation is to balance these two elements -- to refrain from promoting and at the same time to refrain from inhibiting. This policy is premised on respect for each individual's right to make personal choices regarding the nature, if any, of his or her religious beliefs and practices.

This policy does not preclude a faculty member or employee from being an advisor to a recognized student organization which may have a religious affiliation.

Policy Prohibiting Discrimination on the Basis of Religion in Employment

Oregon State University does not discriminate against employees or applicants for employment because of religion in any personnel action including, but not limited to: recruitment, hiring, promotion, transfer, demotion, layoff, termination, rate of pay, and training.  Further, Oregon State University makes affirmative efforts to ensure that employees or applicants for employment are treated without regard to their religion or national origin in any personnel actions.

Who to Contact

Any student or employee who feels he or she is being treated inappropriately based on religion is encouraged to contact the Office of Equity and Inclusion, 327/330 Snell Hall, (541-737-3556).

Religious Accommodation for Students, Job Applicants, and Employees

Oregon State University ensures that religious observances and practices of job applicants, employees, and students are accommodated unless doing so presents an undue hardship or requires a fundamental alteration of a course or program of study.  In determining undue hardship, the university will consider the following factors: business necessity, financial costs and expenses, and resulting personnel problems.  Consultation with the Office of Equity and Inclusion is required before denying a requested accommodation for religious observances and practices.

Religious Accommodation Process for Job Applicants and Employees

Oregon State University is required to provide reasonable accommodations for the religious observances and practices of job applicants in the application and selection process, AND for the religious observances and practices of employees, unless doing so presents an undue hardship as described in the above policy.  Job applicants and employees are asked to make such requests as early as possible.  A department receiving such a request does not need to contact the Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI) unless the unit wishes to deny the request., Departments are required to contact OEI before denying a religious accommodation requested by a job applicant or an employee.

Religious Accommodation Process for Students

Oregon State University is required to provide reasonable accommodations for employee and student sincerely held religious beliefs.  It is incumbent on the student making the request to make the faculty member aware of the request as soon as possible prior to the need for the accommodation.  If a faculty member receives a request to grant an absence for Religious or Holy days, or receives a request for any other type of religious accommodation, there is no need for the faculty member to contact OEI unless the faculty member wishes to deny the request.  The faculty member is required to contact OEI prior to the denial of a request for religious accommodation. The link to the full policy can be found here: Religious Accommodation of Students Policy.


The development of the Religious Accommodation Policy was a collaborative effort of the Office of General Counsel, the Office of the Dean of Student Life, the Office of Equity and Inclusion and OSU Religious Advisors.  This group was convened to address faculty and students’ questions related to providing accommodations on the basis of students’ sincerely held religious beliefs.  This policy is intended to provide more complete guidance for faculty who receive requests for religious accommodations from their students

Effective Date: May 7, 1997. Last revised October 9, 2015.

Contact Info

Equity and Inclusion 327/330 Snell Hall Corvallis, Oregon 97331 phone: 541-737-3556
fax: 541-737-8232
Email OEI
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