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Academic Diversity Initiative (ADI)

To promote the University’s mission to foster a welcoming campus for all Vols, Deans of the eleven academic colleges are eligible to apply for up to $10,000 in funding through the Office for Diversity and Engagement’s Academic Diversity Initiative designed to support Faculty Diversity Directors, College Diversity Committees, or other college diversity initiatives.

To facilitate progress on the University of Tennessee’s commitment to creating a welcoming and inclusive campus climate, the initiative is designed to advance efforts at the college level in one or more of the following areas:

  • Strategic planning through diversity action plans;
  • Gauging and fostering a more inclusive campus climate;
  • Diverse student recruitment, advancement, and retention efforts;
  • Diverse faculty recruitment, advancement, and retention efforts;
  • Developing an inclusive curriculum that privileges anti-bias materials and intersectionality, etc.

Applying

To apply for the initiative, please develop a proposal that responds to the general intention of building a climate that is welcoming and inclusive.

If you are planning to apply for a Faculty Diversity Director, please follow the application guidelines provided here.

If you wish to participate in the program in a way other than appointing a Faculty Diversity Director, please use the application guidelines for that program as a model for your application. That is, your proposal should describe the program and provide information about the use of the funds, the expected outcomes, the role duties and responsibilities of those who will lead or participate in the program, and any other information that you deem relevant.

If a faculty or staff appointment is necessary, deans should write a short letter to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Engagement at tsmall@utk.edu, no later than July 15, 2020. This letter should outline the following:

  • How the nominee meets the required qualifications,
  • The allocation of time for this role,
  • Any additional expectations for this nominee beyond those listed above, and
  • The College’s internal title for the person in this role, if applicable.

Faculty Diversity Director

Program Overview

To facilitate progress on the university’s commitment to recruit, advance, retain, and recognize exceptional and diverse faculty, the Provost and the Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Engagement propose the appointment of Faculty Diversity Directors in each of the eleven academic colleges, based upon a recommendation by their respective deans.

Beginning in August 2020, directors will serve renewable, three-year terms* and will assist the university in its efforts to foster an engaged, inclusive climate conducive to the professional advancement of diverse faculty.

*Renewable annually pending a satisfactory performance review by their respective dean

Job Duties & Responsibilities

Faculty Diversity Directors may have all or a portion of the following responsibilities, depending on the needs and culture of their colleges and the specific rights and duties designated to them by their respective deans:

  • Engage and collaborate with diverse faculty;
  • Serve as a resource for equitable and inclusive faculty search processes in the home college (i.e., serve as a formal and informal organizational change agent, coach the department members who serve on searches and pursue recruitment efforts);
  • Engage in and collaborate on college-level strategic planning, leadership, and accountability for diversity and inclusion, aligned with the university’s strategic plan for diversity, inclusion, and engagement, including serving as the representative for the college on the university diversity action plan committee;
  • Establish and coordinate the college diversity committee, or act in the capacity of staff support/dean’s liaison;
  • Participate in national diversity and inclusion organizations and network with colleagues to learn ‘best practices’ that will inform campus diversity/inclusion initiatives and faculty development (e.g., in the areas of teaching, research, and service and support and mentorship around all areas of faculty experience, in particular tenure acquisition, evaluation, etc.) and create a pipeline of professionals interested in pursuing opportunities at the University of Tennessee. Some travel will be expected and will be reimbursed;
  • Where appropriate and desired, collaborate on data collection and analysis (i.e. surveys, in-depth interviews, and focus groups) focused on identifying strategies to cultivate an inclusive, engaged university community);
  • Collaborate with other Faculty Diversity Directors at the University of Tennessee to create opportunities for sustained dialogue within colleges and departments, share existing practices and to develop goals, objectives and actions for cultivating an enriched diverse, inclusive, and engaged university community;
  • Act as a resource for the Office of the Provost and the Division of Diversity & Engagement to assist with special initiatives and projects/events, such as the Diversity Summit, if requested and with the agreement/support of the college dean;
  • Advance inclusive excellence as part of the culture of the University of Tennessee;
  • Additional responsibilities, as determined by their respective deans.

Compensation

Each college will receive $10,000 annually in support of the duties and responsibilities outlined above. These funds may be used in a variety of ways supportive of the effort, including as a stipend for the Director, support for the Director’s travel, for programming in this area, etc. Detail on the use and distribution of these funds will be reported annually to the Provost and Vice Chancellor, and appropriateness of the fund usage discussed. Any other compensation of the Director (e.g., additional stipend, course releases, service releases, etc.) will be determined by the respective dean. The Diversity Director’s responsibilities should be reflected in the allocation of release time dedicated to the position.

Eligibility

Given that a primary purpose of this position is to increase our effectiveness in recruiting and retaining diverse faculty, the operating assumption is that this position will be held by a faculty member. To that end, all full-time tenured faculty who have achieved the rank of associate professor or professor are eligible. Alternative eligibility guidelines for this position are possible, if jointly approved by the college Dean, the Provost and the Vice Chancellor. In such cases, alternative eligibility criteria will be distributed in a timely fashion. Other requirements may be established by the respective deans.

Required Qualifications

Applicants will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated ability to work with diverse populations in meaningful, relevant, and productive ways;
  • Evidence of a commitment to promoting the inclusion, equitable treatment and engagement of culturally diverse populations at the University of Tennessee as demonstrated through related experience in teaching, research, service, and leadership around unit, college, and university-level diversity and inclusion efforts;
  • Evidence of potential for leadership in faculty development initiatives and strategic planning;
  • Vision for inclusive excellence at the University of Tennessee as expressed in a well-articulated statement about intentions for serving in the Faculty Diversity Director role.

Process for Appointment

Deans should write a short letter to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Engagement at tsmall@utk.edu, appointing a faculty member for the FDD position no later than July 15, 2020.

This letter should outline the following:

  • How the nominee meets the required qualifications,
  • The allocation of time for this role,
  • Any additional expectations for this nominee beyond those listed above, and
  • The college’s internal title for the person in this role, if applicable.