Creating a welcoming environment where people are open to learning from one another lays the foundation. We grow through conversations and experiences with people who have different beliefs and come from other places, cultures, and backgrounds.
We choose to celebrate our differences and the opportunities they create for our students, faculty, and staff. Our students find them everywhere, from coursework and lectures to campus entertainment and informal gatherings.
Our students hail from 100 countries and all fifty states. Educating students to achieve excellence requires our consistent focus on recruiting and retaining a diverse student body, faculty, and staff.
The College of Communication and Information received the inaugural Dr. Marva L. Rudolph Diversity and Interculturalism Unit Excellence Award at the 2014 Chancellor's Honors Banquet in recognition for exceptional work encouraging and advancing diversity and inclusion at UT.
The university's chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers was recognized as the National Medium Chapter of the Year in spring 2014.
And Vice Chancellor for Diversity Rickey Hall was selected as an ACPA Educational Leadership Foundation 2015 Diamond Honoree.
But diversity means more than race and ethnicity; it’s about moving beyond just tolerance to a place of understanding. Approaching differences in political views, religion, gender identity, values, age, abilities, and sexual orientation with an open mind helps get us there.
We infuse diversity principles beyond just the student body. We allocate more resources for faculty and staff hiring and for new programs, like Arabic Studies, to expand the content and perspectives our students encounter in the classroom.
We are continually striving to put our principles of civility and community into action here in Knoxville.
Our students embody the Volunteer spirit by helping others at home and abroad, whether serving as Spanish translators on a medical mission trip in Guatemala, recording jazz CDs to benefit young people in war-torn northern Uganda, or producing music concerts to raise money for regional flood relief efforts.
Working with campus leaders and organizations, we are building a community that values critical inquiry, civil debate, and discovery.
By showing respect and finding common ground, we set the stage for the free exchange of ideas and the pursuit of knowledge and intellectual curiosity.