Office for Civil Rights
- Mission and Responsibilities
- Order of Succession
- Functions and Responsibilities of OCR Components
- Primary Delegations of Authority
The Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights serves as the principal advisor to the Secretary on civil rights matters. The Office directs, coordinates, and recommends policy for activities that are designed to:
- Administer the provisions of legislation and Departmental policy prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, handicap, or age.
- Develop and recommend the adoption of regulations and policies of general applicability regarding civil rights.
- Conduct investigations and negotiations to secure voluntary compliance and conduct administrative enforcement proceedings to secure compliance with legislative and regulatory civil rights requirements.
- Conduct research and surveys on civil rights issues and on the participation of minorities, women, the aged, and handicapped persons in Federally assisted education programs.
- Assist other Departmental offices in developing and implementing plans to meet civil rights objectives.
- Assist recipients of Departmental funding to understand their responsibilities consistent with statutory and regulatory requirements.
- Assist beneficiaries of programs and activities that receive Departmental funding to understand their rights consistent with statutory and regulatory provisions.
The Office for Civil Rights is under the supervision of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, who reports to the Secretary and Under Secretary. The Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights provides overall direction, coordination, and leadership to the following major elements:
- Resource Management Group
- Program Legal Group
- Enforcement Divisions.
In the event that the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights dies, resigns or is otherwise unable to perform the functions and duties of the office and the office is thereby deemed to be vacant, as defined by the Vacancies Act, and the President has not designated in writing another individual to act as the Assistant Secretary, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, as the designated “first assistant” under the Vacancies Act, shall perform the functions and duties of the office in an acting capacity. If both the offices of the Assistant Secretary and the Deputy Assistant Secretary are vacant, or the time period during which the Deputy Director for Administration and Policy may serve in acting capacity has expired, the individuals listed below the Deputy Assistant Secretary, in the order shown, are authorized to perform the functions and duties of the office of the Assistant Secretary, except for any functions and duties that are required by law to be performed only by the Assistant Secretary or by someone officially acting in such capacity.
In instances where the office of the Assistant Secretary is filled, but the Assistant Secretary is absent, unavailable, otherwise unable to perform the functions and duties of the position, and/or there is a disruption in the normal channels of direction and communication, and there is no person officially serving in an acting capacity, and unless the Assistant Secretary or the Secretary, in writing, designates another individual to perform the functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary, the following officials, in the order shown, are delegated the authority to perform the functions and duties of the office of the Assistant Secretary, except for any functions and duties that are required by law to be performed only by the Assistant Secretary or by someone officially acting in such capacity:
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary;
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement; and
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy