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Diversity & Inclusion

UT Diversity Definition Image

The School of Information Sciences is committed to diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity for all. Our commitment to promote, protect, and ensure diversity is rooted in the belief that a diverse society, and diverse information professoriate, are essential for the free exchange of ideas, debate, research, academic freedom, growth, responsibility, knowledge, integrity, cooperation and success in both local and global contexts.

We believe it is critical for information professionals to have diverse perspectives in order to have the compassion and empathy needed to effectively serve their communities, and make a positive impact on society.

What do we mean by diversity?

By diversity, we mean differences based on races, ethnicities, religions/spiritualities, creeds, national origins, languages, genders, sexual orientations, disabilities (mental, learning, physical), ages, veteran status, marital/partnered status, physical appearances, political affiliations, and social, economic, or educational backgrounds, amongst other variables; all are honored, welcome, and respected in the School of Information Sciences.

We support a number of initiatives and activities to create a diverse and inclusive learning environment, and an information professoriate with diverse perspectives.

Diversity and Inclusion Officer

The School designates one faculty member to serve as Diversity and Inclusion Officer. This faculty member is responsible for monitoring and advocating for diversity and inclusion within SIS, CCI and UTK. The SIS Diversity and Inclusion Officer is Dr. Bharat Mehra (bmehra@utk.edu).

Diversity and Inclusion Badge

The SIS Diversity and Inclusion Badge is an opportunity to recognize a student’s commitment to diversity and inclusion as exemplified though scholarship, professional service and reflective participation while enrolled in the MSIS program. It is awarded to graduating master’s students (fall, spring or summer degree dates) in the School of Information Sciences during the spring hooding ceremony.

Diversity and Inclusion Lecture Series

The Diversity and Inclusion Lecture Series is held each spring and features prominent speakers whose scholarship is focused on diversity and inclusion. Our inaugural Spring 2018 lecture featured Dr. Jason K. Alston, Information Literacy Librarian at Coastal Carolina University presentation titled “Diversity Residency Programs: What’s Often Done Right & Wrong, and What the Future May Hold for Academic Libraries.”

CCI Diversity and Inclusion Week

SIS participates in the College of Communication and Information’s Diversity and Inclusion Week which takes place each fall semester. The four-day event offers participants an opportunity to gain diversity skills and knowledge along with a chance to dialogue about diversity and inclusion issues, and to share best practices by bringing together leaders and experts from inside and outside the college and university.

The School of Information Sciences willingly complies with applicable laws adopted by the University of Tennessee regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. Visit the Office of Equity and Diversity website to view the details of UT’s Equal Employment Opportunity/Non-Discrimination/Affirmative Action Statement.