June 30, 2020 Asst. Professor Dean Named Director of Diversity  

In its continuing focus on diversity, engagement and inclusion, the College of Architecture and Design announces the appointment of Asst. Professor Felicia Francine Dean as director of Diversity Relations, the first such role in the college.

In this role, Prof. Dean facilitates progress of the college’s and university’s commitment to recruit, advance, retain and recognize exceptional and diverse faculty and students. As a liaison between the college and the university’s Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Engagement, Office of Equity and Diversity and the Student Success Center, Prof. Dean will assist the university to foster an engaged, equitable, inclusive climate conducive to the advancement of diverse faculty and students.

“As the director of Diversity Relations, I am dedicated to working with the college community to challenge and change the customs that have perpetuated inequities in our college and architectural and design education,” said Prof. Dean. “We must do this together by working collaboratively to increase accessibility, inclusivity, equitability, diversity and engagement. This does not take place successfully without creating a supportive and understanding community around these core values. I look forward to working collectively with Dean Poole, students, faculty, staff and administration now and the future ahead.”

Prof. Dean will work with many in the college, including student groups National Organization for Minority Architecture Students and Dialogue of Multiple Extracurriculars, as well as the college’s Council for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, among others to help advance the college’s diversity initiatives in support of the university’s efforts.

While continuing her teaching and research roles in the School of Interior Architecture, she will assist the college in assessing goals and strategies to increase faculty and student recruitment from diverse backgrounds and serve as a resource for faculty search processes in the college to ensure equitable and inclusive practices. Additionally, Prof. Dean will gather and share best practices to inform campus initiatives in teaching, research and service and to help the college cultivate an enriched diverse, inclusive and engaged community.

“Prof. Dean is key to helping coordinate our college’s many initiatives as we reinvent our culture,” said Scott Poole, dean of the college. “We have much work to do to improve our efforts, assess existing initiatives and establish a clearer path forward. I look forward to working with Prof. Dean and many others in the college as we continue our charge to make positive progress quickly.”

The position of director of Diversity Relations was coordinated with Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Engagement Tyvi Small, the Office of Equity and Diversity and others. Colleges and units across UT Knoxville are proceeding similarly to create a broad network of strategic and effective focus on the issues of diversity, engagement and inclusion across campus.