Diversity Initiatives 

  • Opportunity Hire: 

The Opportunity Hire process is intended to provide a framework and funding mechanism for the recruitment of “faculty who meet identified needs within the university.” This would include individuals who “offer diversity in areas where under-representation exists or who bring a unique or different perspective because of their professional or personal backgrounds, interests, or expertise.”

 Opportunity Hiring is a special hiring process that is typically characterized by one or more of the following:

  • There is no immediately available hiring line or open position in the hiring unit, although there is anticipation of one in the coming years,
  • Bridge funding” is requested from OED to support the costs of the hire in the early years (the bridge period) until the hiring unit can fully fund the position, and
  • The individual being hired is exceptional in all regards; the assumption being that this candidate would be lost to future searches if not immediately pursued.
      OED typically waives the normal open search requirements however some departmental setting is required.It is important to note that Opportunity Hires are not intended to circumvent a normal search process. In all cases where a candidate might be hired through a normal, open and competitive search process, then, that   should be the preference.
  • Future Faculty Programs:
 future faculty The Future Faculty Program (FFP) introduces potential faculty to UTC.  The goal of FFP is to increase the diversity of our faculty through identifying and meaningful relationships with promising, quality, diverse doctoral graduates, post-doctoral scholars and doctoral candidates.The Future Faculty Program engages participants regarding their academic work and career interests by providing exploratory interviews to learn about potential career choices at UTC through meetings with Deans, department heads, administrative faculty, students and community representatives as well as participation in campus and community tours. 


  • S.R.E.B. ( Southern Regional Education Board):

sreb The Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) was created in 1948 by Southern governors and legislators who recognized the link between education and economic vitality. To this day, the organization maintains its focus on critical issues that hold the promise of improving quality of life by advancing public education. The region’s track record shows that setting goals and maintaining the commitment to work toward them can make a difference.SREB serves as an asset to the university in terms of recruiting diverse candidates. The focus of SREB is to ensure quality education is granted to minority candidates seeking to further their education. Dr. Samuel Director of OED and Dr. Rutledge Dean of CHEPS continue to be a part of the recruitment process on behalf of UTC by annually attending the SREB conference where they get the opportunity to speak with various candidates and inform them on the opportunities that await them at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.


  • Doctoral Scholars Directory:


   The Doctoral scholar directory is a recruitment tool for faculty members looking for a particular candidate to fill a vacancy. In the directory there is a number of candidates that can be sorted by major, degrees, and education. This is available for any search committee seeking assistance. In order to log on to the directory OED request that a search chair or department head contact OED through e-mail at Bryan-Samuel@utc.edu or by phone at 423-425-5670. DSP Scholar Directory.


 Professional Development Funds:                                                                                                                                                           

professional development

This initiative supported the professional development and retention of women, minorities and individuals from underrepresented populations in particular EEO categories or departments. The initiative helped faculty and staff with conference attendance for the purpose of enhancing their knowledge and skills in their area of expertise and/or presenting their research at professional  conferences.


  • Diversity Incentive Initiative:

diversity initiatives


Through the Diversity Incentive Initiative, OED supports departments with an under utilization of women and minorities with recruiting, including interview costs and relocation  assistance. The Diversity Incentive Initiative has supported the recruitment of  quality diverse faculty and staff including women minorities, employees with disabilities and members of the LGBT community.



  • O.G.A. (Opportunity Graduate Assistantship):




 Degree-seeking first generation graduate students enrolling for the first time in graduate school are eligible to apply for the opportunity assistantship. Full-time awards include a $3,500 stipend and full tuition waiver each semester. Recipients will work in their areas of academic discipline or in other University units 20 hours per week for a full-time assistantship. The Office of Equity and Diversity paired eligible applicants with pre-tenured women and minority faculty that serve as professional and educational mentors.