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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
320 Student Services Building
Knoxville, Tennessee 37996
Phone
(865) 974-1111
Email address
admissions@utk.edu
School Information
"What began in 1794 as a small college in the Southwest Territory has grown into Tennessee’s flagship university and premier public research institution. For more than 225 years, Volunteers have been lighting the way for others, across Tennessee and throughout the world. UT Knoxville, which includes the UT Space Institute and the UT Institute of Agriculture, serves the state by educating its citizens, enhancing its culture, and making a difference in people’s lives through research and service. We embody excellence in teaching, research, scholarship, creative activity, outreach, and engagement" (Source: https://www.utk.edu/aboutut/). The school has approximately 30,000 students with 24,000 undergraduates and over 6,000 graduates and professionals. The student to faculty ratio is 17 to 1. Within 11 colleges, 370 undergraduate and 547 graduate programs of study are offered.
General Information
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville has engaged in numerous anti-racist initiatives. Namely, the university offers anti-racism training to students. Several departments have released their responses to the death of George Floyd. The school has an Office of Equity and Diversity, an Office of Multicultural Student Life, and a Council for Diversity and Inclusion which host numerous programs and events for anti-racism. UTPD has also held an event in response to the death of George Floyd. See developments below:

Actions Taken

Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • Students in the Master's of Social Work program were urged to attend trainings that separated the students by their race, provided by the White Accountability Group and the Black, Indigenous, Multiracial People of Color Affinity Group. Part of the orientation, these programs "are an integral part of the CSW Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programming and Diversity Action Plan" because they discuss "how implicit bias, racism, and white supremacy impact the CSW's culture and climate," as the College of Social Work (CSW) explained.
  • The school has set a University Libraries Diversity Action Plan which involves professional development and training for diversity.
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • The B.A. in Sociology program has a Critical Race and Ethnic Studies concentration.
Program and Research Funding
  • The University Libraries Diversity Action Plan entails that funding will be dedicated towards "active recruitment and retention of individuals from underrepresented groups."
Resources
  • The University of Tennessee, Knoxville has a website dedicated to offering resources for Black Lives Matter.
  • The Department of Anthropology hosted a Visiting Lecture Series in 2021 with the theme of "Decolonization, Anti-Racism, Abolition."
  • The College of Social Work has its own Office of Equity and Inclusion which offers numerous resources, events, and programs related to anti-racism.
  • The library offers numerous diversity resources.
  • The school has a website dedicated towards Diversity and Engagement, supported by the Office of Equity and Diversity. The school states that it is committed to "inclusive excellence."
  • The school's Office of Multicultural Student Life published an "Allyship and Anti-Racism Reading List" on June 16, 2020. This list includes "How to Be an Anti-Racist" by Ibram X. Kendi.
  • The school has a Council for Diversity and Inclusion. Furthermore, the school states, "The purpose of the Council for Diversity and Inclusion is to serve as a resource for the Division of Diversity and Engagement as it works toward creating inclusive learning and work environments. The Council achieves this through partnerships, monitoring diversity data, and education. The Council is an organization whose collaboration, communication, and accountability structure works with the Chancellor’s Commissions to create a culture of inclusive excellence."
  • The College of Architecture and Design offers resources for allyship and anti-racism.
  • The College of Arts and Sciences created an Allyship and Anti-Racism Initiative which involves hosting College Conversations and the Cost of Hate Symposium, both of which are related to anti-racism.
Symbolic Actions
  • The school states that, "The Office of Multicultural Student Life lists several Student Organizations doing invaluable work towards diversity, inclusion, and engagement."
  • The College of Arts and Sciences released a statement in response to the death of George Floyd.
  • The African Studies program released a statement saying, "Reflecting on the vicious and tragic end to the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, we the Core Faculty of the Africana Studies Program at the University of Tennessee strongly condemn ongoing blatant acts of white supremacist violence that result in the deaths of Black peoples."
  • The Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences released a "Departmental Diversity Statement in the Wake of George Floyd's Death."
  • On June 5, 2020, the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology released a statement saying, "The horrific issues of racism and police misconduct grabbing our attention lately are not news to the black members of our department, who experience it their entire lives. This racism, whether overt or unconscious, is present in our department, our field, and in our community."
  • The Department of Sociology released its "statement and resources on racial justice and police violence."
  • The University of Tennessee Police Department released a statement responding to the death of George Floyd. UTPD also held a virtual town hall on June 9, 2020.
Last updated October 25th, 2022
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