Legal and Ethical Guidance

Equal Employment Opportunity
The right of all persons to apply and be evaluated for job opportunities without regard to their race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, mental or physical disability, and veteran’s status.

Forms of Discrimination
Intentional – Treating people differently based on the protected classes mentioned above, stereotypes or prejudices.

Unintentional – Application of the rules or practices affect one group more negatively than another and the rules are not related to the needs of business, such as major or GPA.

Iowa State University is committed to maintaining equal employment opportunity on our campus.  As a faculty or staff member, you play an important role in ensuring that all of our students have an opportunity to compete for job positions.  Thanks to your efforts, our students are highly sought after and employers are very active on our campus as they work to identify and engage with the engineering talent that meets their needs. Due to your access to students and knowledge of student performance, employers are likely to seek your assistance.

You are encouraged to engage with employers and help students in their job searches, but care should be taken to avoid unanticipated illegal or unethical activities.  This begins with:

  • Protecting student information per FERPA requirements and
  • Making sure an employment opportunity is posted in CyHire (formerly ISU CMS) before assisting an employer Since ISU operates an electronic job board, the Department of Labor requires that all employment opportunities be posted in the system to protect the employer and ISU from legal issues.  Once an employer has posted a position in CyHire, they can work with faculty, staff and student organizations to further spread the word about the position.  If an employer informs you of an employment opportunity, please forward this information to Engineering Career Services (ecs@iastate.edu) and we will work with the employer to get the position posted.

In addition to the above, the following information was prepared to help faculty and staff avoid the major pitfalls that can be encountered when helping employers and students with employment related activities.  Please feel free to contact Engineering Career Services if you have any questions.

Basic Goal and Principles
The basic goal of the placement/hiring process is to achieve the best match between the individual student and the employing organization while:

  • Maintaining an open and free selection of employment opportunities in an atmosphere conducive to objective thought, where job candidates can choose optimum long-term uses of their talents that are consistent with personal objectives and all relevant facts.
  • Maintaining a recruiting process that is fair and equitable to candidates and employing organizations.
  • Supporting informed and responsible decision making by students.

The Do’s and Don’t
Students’ success is best realized when all parties involved in the recruiting/hiring process work cooperatively, ethically, and within the established guidelines.  ISU, like the vast majority of employers, follow principles established by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).  NACE principles are based on fairness, truthfulness, non-injury, confidentiality, and lawfulness.   ISU faculty and staff are expected to also follow these principles in order to provide students with open and equal access to job opportunities. In cases of uncertainty relative to the rights of students and practices that may subject the college to legal scrutiny, contact Engineering Career Services for information and direction.  The information at the following links was adapted from a NACE article titled, ‘A Faculty Guide to Ethical and Legal Standards in Student Hiring.’

Making Referrals

Affirmative Action in Recruiting

Providing References

Additional  Faculty Guidance from NACE (Links to NACE Website)
Writing a Reference Letter
Sample Faculty Reference Letter
Suggested Guidelines for Writing References
Legal Q&A Regarding Writing Reference Letters