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Equity, Diversity & Inclusion


The University of Tennessee, Knoxville 


The faculty, students, and staff of the University of Tennessee’s Department of Chemistry view diversity, multiculturalism, social justice, and equity as fundamental ethical, societal, and scientific values.  We must be inclusive and diverse in order to foster outstanding research, scholarship, and mitigate the “leaky pipeline” of traditionally underrepresented groups in chemistry such as racial minorities and women.  We recognize and value diversity in its myriad forms including ability status, age, ethnicity, family structure, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religion, spirituality, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, and veteran status.  Consistent with our strategic plan, our diversity plan seeks to “actively promote diversity and inclusion in our local, regional, and global communities.”  Further we seek to create and sustain a welcoming environment to recruit, retain, and support a diverse body of students, staff, and faculty; prepare students to conduct research, teach, and advocate in a diverse world; foster research that includes a broad range of backgrounds and perspective; and lastly to develop and strengthen community partnerships to further inclusion.


CLIMATE: Create and sustain a welcoming, supportive, and inclusive departmental climate

Climate: Actions Metrics
  • Maintain a Diversity Committee of consisting students, staff, & faculty to implement the Departmental Diversity Plan
  • Ensure departmental social and recruiting events are welcoming and inclusive, and incorporate student-provided feedback
  • Increase collegial interactions among students and faculty
  • Provide opportunities for students to be exposed to broader models of representation through departmental seminars from individuals of diverse backgrounds
  • Foster dialogue related to diversity through invited speakers, and training activities
  • Maintain a list of university and departmental resources for community and mentorship support
  • Maintain an anonymous comment portal with timely follow up
  • Conduct an annual department climate survey annually
  • Revise and update the diversity plan annually
  • Annual progress report from Diversity Committee that compares our departmental demographic trends to those reported for chemistry as collected by the National Science Foundation in order to target diversity goals for the next academic year 
  • #of department sponsored seminar speakers from under-represented groups per year
  • Average diversity/inclusion climate satisfaction index from the departmental climate survey
  • Maintain an online list of campus and community resources for support





FACULTY AND STAFF RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION: Recruit, retain, and mentor greater numbers of faculty and staff from historically under-represented populations.

Faculty and Staff Recruitment and Retention: Actions Metrics
  • Identify Diverse candidates for target of opportunity proposals
  • Identify and invite candidates for Future Faculty Programs each year
  • Encourage all faculty share in service related to diversity
  • Support and enhance faculty and staff mentoring networks within and across programs and career stages
  • Support academic outreach to minority serving institutions
  • Create and maintain online list of campus and community resources to support the professional and personal lives of diverse candidates/hires
  • % of applicants from underrepresented groups
  • % job search finalists from under-represented groups
  • # proposals for target of opportunity hires/ 5 years
  • # proposals for Future Faculty Program
  • % faculty workload forms reflecting service related to diversity
  • % faculty and staff participating in mentoring networks
  • Maintain updated online list of campus and community resources so that no links are out of date or broken

STUDENT RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION: Recruit, retain, mentor, and graduate greater numbers of students from minority and under-represented populations and international students.

Student Recruitment and Retention: Actions Metrics
  • Foster long-standing relationships with a wide range of feeder colleges and universities including HBCUs, through formal programs (e.g. NSF REU or PUI faculty coming to campus as visiting scientists)
  • Increased presence at meetings targeted towards minority scientists (e.g. ABRCMS, SACNAS)
  • Increased membership and activity in diversity supporting professional societies (e.g. NOBCChE)
  • Implement departmental policies that are inclusive of students with non-traditional familial obligations
  • Foster peer support networks for students from non-traditional and under-represented backgrounds
  • Encourage students to apply for fellowships and faculty to apply for diversity supplements and grants to financially support and retain a diverse workforce

  • % graduation rate for graduate students from under-represented groups
  • % retention beyond first year of graduate students from under-represented groups
  • % applications of students from underrepresented groups
  • % acceptances from students from underrepresented groups
  • Placement data on graduate students leaving the program from under-represented groups
  • % faculty mentoring students from under-represented and international populations
  • Average student ratings of faculty preparation to mentor diverse students
  • # of faculty and students doing outreach to minority-serving institutions
  • # of underrepresented-targeted conferences attended per year
  • # of fellowships and grants submitted and received geared towards the retention of underrepresented students
  • Conduct at least one Town Hall meeting between Department Head and graduate students per year
  • Maintain a list of diversity-targeted funding opportunities

TEACHING, CURRICULUM, AND CONTINUING EDUCATION: Ensure the curricular practices reflect the department’s commitment to diversity, economic disparity, global engagement, and social justice, and provide continuing education opportunities to faculty, staff, and students.

Teaching, Curriculum, and Continuing Education: Actions Metrics
  • Include diversity education during first year coursework on ethical conduct in research
  • Improve racial awareness and implicit bias in the classroom among faculty, lecturers, and teaching assistants
  • Provide training sessions and seminars to improve awareness of these issues in the classroom

  •  # of diversity, economic disparity, global engagement and social justice related trainings
  • % of students participating in diversity, economic disparity, global engagement, and social justice related programs/year
  • % of faculty participating in diversity, economic disparity, global engagement and social justice related programs/year

OUTREACH AND ENGAGEMENT: Develop and strengthen Departmental partnerships with diverse communities on the local, state, national, and international levels.

Outreach and Engagement: Actions Metrics
  • Foster and encourage interdisciplinary and community based involvement in research (e.g. K-12 schools, minority facing institutions)
  • Engage in outreach and advocacy in service of social justice at local, state, and national levels

  •  # of faculty and students with active research collaborations with community, regional, and national partners addressing diversity issues
  • # of faculty, staff, and students in diversity, economic disparity, global engagement, and social justice related outreach and advocacy

Campus Resources

Campus-wide resources are available to provide information about diversity and inclusion issues and initiatives and to assist those who have experienced or witnessed an incident of bias.

Resources and Guides

Handbooks and Manuals

Campus-Wide Diversity Programs and Activities

Diversity Page

Campus Councils and Commissions

Recruiting Resources

OED maintains information regarding:

The following resources can prove to be helpful supplements to other advertising and recruiting methods used by the search committee:

  • Ads placed in professional journals, membership lists or vita bank services
  • Departments and contacts at other universities offering relevant degrees
  • Personal contacts to colleagues in the profession to solicit names of potential qualified candidates
  • Internet resources, listservs, and/or e-mail lists
  • Professional associations and conferences serving specific populations (ex. Women in Engineering or Association of Black Psychologists)
  • The applicant pool from similar searches conducted by the department or other university departments recruiting similar types of positions
  • Current employees
  • Local and campus-based special interest commissions (Council on Interculturalism and DiversityCommission for WomenCommission for BlacksCommission for LGBTExempt Staff CouncilCenter for International Education) as well as local community-based agencies (Knoxville Area Urban League, Community Action Agency, and Tennessee Workforce and Development, particularly the Veteran Administration unit).

See also: Search Procedures

UTK Factbook

The online Fact Book is made available to provide official information about the university including student demographics, enrollment, graduation data, faculty and staff demographics, financial data, and facilities. The data in this book reflect inclusive figures for the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, the Institute of Agriculture, and the Space Institute. If you need information not found in the Fact Book, please contact the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment at (865) 974-4373,, or 915 Volunteer Blvd., Knoxville, TN 37996-4060.

UTK Fact Book

Comment Portal

The Chemistry EID Committee is always interested in hearing comments, concerns, or general thoughts about the diversity-related climate and environment in our Department. In response to the expressed need for a safe space to express these thoughts, we are implementing an online submission form as a mechanism for hearing and, to the best of our ability, responding to the needs and voices of individuals in our Department. The form is completely anonymous, so feel free to be as open and honest as possible. Please use this service as an opportunity to have your voice heard. The Diversity and Climate Portal is monitored by the Department Head, who will direct comments to the appropriate place.