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.
We recently celebrated fifty years of African American achievement at UT, honoring the vast accomplishments of African Americans over the past half-century. Our minority engineering program has been recruiting top students in the field for nearly forty years, and our business school recently increased its scholarship and outreach efforts to students from underrepresented populations.
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 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.