Council for Diversity and Interculturalism

Appointed by the Chancellor, the council advises the campus administration on creating and sustaining a welcoming, supportive, and inclusive campus climate to all groups. Goals for the group include attracting and retaining faculty and staff from under-represented populations; attracting, retaining, and graduating students from historically under-represented populations and international students; and ensuring that undergraduate curricular requirements include significant intercultural perspectives.

Message from the Co-Chairs


It is an honor and a privilege for us to serve as co-chairs on the Council for Diversity and Interculturalism (CDI).  Advancing diversity and inclusion on our campus and in the community requires  a continuous effort on everyone’s part as we work towards a common goal of being welcoming to all and hostile to none.  CDI strives to seek out best practices related to diversity and inclusion through collaboration and dialogue that can be implemented on our campus so that students, faculty, staff, and visitors can feel welcome.


News & Events

UT’s New Diversity Statement

DiversityIn June the Board of Trustees approved and adopted a new Diversity Statement for the system. The Diversity Statement was drafted by the System-wide Diversity Advisory Council appointed by the President. Click here to read the newly approved Diversity Statement.

Tanisha Jenkins Honored by Clemson University

Tanish_JenkinsTanisha Jenkins, Director of the Office of Multicultural Student Life and the Co-Chair of the Center for Diversity and Interculturalism (CDI) will be honored by Clemson University with the 2015 Counselor Education and Student Affairs program Alumni Award.

Tanisha was selected for this award for her demonstrated achievements and exceptional contributions in the following areas: (a) the academic program, (b) professional organizations, (c) students, (d) innovative programming and activities, and/or (e) institutional leadership.

Tanisha will be honored on May 7, 2015 at Clemson University. We are so proud of Tanisha and wish her congratulations on receiving this honor!

Diversity Professional Development Fund for Staff

diversitylogoOffice of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity recently announced the new Diversity Professional Development Fund for Staff (formerly Access and Diversity Staff Retention Fund). This fund provides financial support to allow Knoxville-area staff to attend a diversity-related conference, seminar, or other program.

If you are an exempt or non-exempt staff member who would like to attend a diversity-related conference, seminar, or other program and need financial assistance to do so, please apply to the fund as soon as possible.  If you are a supervisor, please encourage your staff to apply.

The next quarterly deadline to apply for the diversity professional development funding is June 15 2015 . For more information, visit the Office of Vice Chancellor for Diversity Website.

2015 Dr. Marva Rudolph Diversity and Interculturalism Unit Excellence Award


Haslam College of Business Office of Diversity and Community was awarded the Dr. Marva Rudolph Diversity and Interculturalism Unit Excellence Award at the 2015 Chancellor’s Honors Banquet on April 8th, 2015.

The Haslam College of Business Office of Diversity and Community is leading the way in the university’s ongoing efforts to enhance campus diversity and inclusivity. The well-established program celebrates the efforts of students, faculty, and staff involved in broadening the viewpoints and dialogue about diversity. Faculty and staff encourage students to better understand that diversity means more than race and that building a greater awareness of people from diverse cultures and backgrounds is critical to working in today’s global marketplace. Central to the office’s mission is recruiting diverse applicants. The office’s annual ten-day summer camp—Business Education for Talented Students, or BETS—is a cornerstone program that exposes students from underrepresented or economically challenged high schools to the business world with the help of area business partners. More than 150 students have participated; sixty-four enrolled in UT, and forty of those ended up majoring in business. The office also facilitates the college’s partnership with the Knoxville Area Urban League’s National Achievers Program, which provides high-achieving students with opportunities for personal and professional development. From its newsletter and diversity job fairs to staff workshops and college-wide Safe Zone training, the Office of Diversity and Community is making a difference every day.

The Dr. Marva Rudolph Diversity and Interculturalism Unit Excellence Award recognizes an office, program, or department that has demonstrated outstanding leadership and made consistent contributions to advancing diversity and inclusion at UT. The office, program, or department will have implemented sustainable diversity and inclusion initiatives that are linked to their mission. The award is named in honor of Marva Rudolph, an associate vice chancellor and director of the Office of Equity and Diversity who passed away in 2014 after more than twenty years with the university and more than thirty years of dedicated work in diversity and inclusion.

The award winner for the Dr. Marva Rudolph Diversity and Interculturalism Unit Excellence is selected by the members of the Council for Diversity and Interculturalism.