A Guide to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action

The Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) prevents and responds to discrimination, harassment, and retaliation at Columbia. Our office develops and implements policies and procedures that address prohibited conduct in accordance with relevant anti-discrimination laws.

EOAA responds to allegations of policy violations and provides education and consultations for departments, programs, and individuals to prevent discrimination and harassment. EOAA also assists departments in advancing affirmative action through their hiring practices. In addition, our office houses HERC, the Metro New York and Southern Connecticut division of the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium.

At Columbia schools, when an EOAA-related issue arises, Deans, departmental leadership, as well as human resources staff work closely with this office.

Key Responsibilities

The Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) works to prevent and respond to discrimination, harassment, and retaliation by developing and implementing policies and procedures that address misconduct, prohibit certain romantic and sexual relationships, require the duty to report and the duty to act, all in accordance with relevant federal, state, and local anti-discrimination laws. In addition, our office administers New York’s Anti-Harassment course.

Questions? Email [email protected].

EOAA consults with departments, programs, and individuals across the University to help navigate the challenges of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Our educational efforts are focused on teaching individuals and groups about EOAA policies; identifying what conduct is expected; and prohibited under University policies and laws concerning discrimination, harassment, and retaliation; and informing community members of their reporting obligations. We also help individuals and departments identify structural strategies to address bias and discrimination.

Questions? Email [email protected].

EOAA collaborates with departments and programs to achieve the University-wide goal of attracting and retaining a diverse faculty and staff across all our schools. We help departments create hiring plans that acknowledge and account for organizational and structural bias; provide tools to search committees, including departmental demographic data and candidate pool availability; offer support for applicant evaluation and interview metrics; and work with departments to help build and develop candidate pipelines.

Sheanine Allen, Senior Associate Director, [email protected]

EOAA receives and responds to allegations of discrimination, harassment, and other policy violations. EOAA regularly receives reports from individuals who are concerned about an issue or incident that may have violated EOAA Policies. The reports may come from the target of the alleged misconduct, a witness, or a mandatory reporter. EOAA promptly reviews and addresses these reports.

Jazmin Taylor, Director of Investigations, [email protected]

EOAA is the institutional home for the Metro NY & Southern Connecticut HERC (MSNSC HERC), which was established in 2007 with Columbia University as the region’s lead institution in collaboration with NYU and Yale. Together, along with over 30 other regional members, MNYSC HERC advances the ability of member institutions to recruit and retain the most diverse and talented workforce. HERC catalyzes inclusive excellence in the academic workforce and assists in building a diverse pipeline of faculty, staff, and executives in academia through outreach, advertising, career advice, and job opportunities.

Karen Fife, Director, Metro New York and Southern Connecticut HERC, [email protected]


Key Contacts

Laura Beth KirschsteinVice Provost for Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
email: [email protected]
Phone: (212) 854-5511

Jazmin Taylor, Director of Investigations
Sheanine Allen, Senior Associate Director

General Inquiries

[email protected]