STATEMENT on DIVERSITY
The College of Arts and Sciences of The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga champions a modern liberal arts and sciences education as an approach to learning that aims to free the human mind, stamp out ignorance, and cultivate meaningful dialogue through well-rounded instruction with diverse voices, perspectives, experiences, and contributions at its core.
Our College serves an increasingly diverse metropolitan area, region, and world that we aim to authentically reflect as an academic community. We recognize that diverse and inclusive communities serve as rich learning environments that cultivate growth in both intellectual knowledge and philosophical perspectives. We aspire to create and sustain an academic community that includes and values diverse experiences, ideas, passions, and talents toward enriching the academic experience for all and motivating social justice beyond campus. Toward these goals, the College of Arts and Sciences will prioritize the following diversity-centered actions:
- Promote and support our existing major and minor in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and minors in Africana Studies, Asian Studies, and Latin American Studies and support the development of new additional degree programs that focus on diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice.
- Encourage the development and delivery of existing and new courses to include focus on diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice.
- Provide pedagogical training and professional development opportunities focused on best practices for integrating discussion of diversity and inclusion in the classroom for instructors in all academic disciplines and formally recognize such efforts by our faculty.
- Facilitate the coordination and delivery of interdisciplinary programming that features speakers from underrepresented groups toward fostering communication and learning across departments.
- Prioritize diversity in faculty and administrative recruitment by including language to encourage diverse applicants in position advertisements and broadly advertising on minority-recruiting websites.
- Require diversity statements that are considered equally important to teaching and scholarship statements from all applicants to all faculty and administrative positions.
- Target the recruitment and retention of students and faculty from underrepresented groups through College- and department-level diversity pipeline initiatives that recognize potential and support success through formal mentorship and development opportunities.
- Consider bias and inclusion training for all faculty and administrators to illuminate personal and systemic biases that could negatively impact our academic community and minimize these impacts.
- Recognize the demonstrated negative impacts of personal and systemic biases in student evaluations of faculty instruction and adopt more comprehensive faculty evaluation practices that utilize a broader variety of tools and/or metrics.
- Acknowledge and address the invisible service burden that often befalls faculty from underrepresented groups.
- Host periodic panel discussions to encourage minority members of our community to share their experiences in ways from which we can all learn and recognize ways to improve.
- Increase budget transparency and prioritization of initiatives to support diversity and inclusion, including appointments specifically tasked with diversity efforts.
Our College commitment to diversity calls for inclusion regardless of race or ethnicity, indigenous heritage, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religious affiliation, socioeconomic status, age, or ability. We want every member of our diverse academic community and everyone with whom we interact in our increasingly global society to feel accepted, respected, appreciated, and supported.