I am excited to begin my tenure as vice chancellor for diversity at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. I do so fully understanding I am starting from a place of strength. The Council on Diversity and Interculturalism, the commissions, and many others have worked diligently to advance diversity and inclusion at UT. I look forward to working with students, faculty, staff, and senior leaders to build on the strong foundation that is already in place. This will be critical to the institution’s drive to the Top 25, as diversity and excellence are inextricably intertwined.
One of the most important lessons I have learned in many years of doing this work is that you have to put context before content. In order to get a sense of the context of UT, the state, and the region, over the next six months I plan to spend some dedicated time listening and learning—both on campus and off. What I learn will help shape the work we will do together as a campus community.
I am thrilled to be a part of the UT and Knoxville communities. I am confident we will do good and important work together. I look forward to highlighting some of that work during the 2013-14 academic year. Thoughts and suggestions can be e-mailed to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.