UT Responds to Questions about Its Best Practices for Inclusive Workplace Holiday Celebrations

As noted in the first line of the best practices web post, the university does not have an official policy regarding religious and cultural décor and celebrations in the workplace.

We are fully committed to a diverse, welcoming, and inclusive environment. We recognize that our campus community and its members observe various religions and faiths.

Our campus has numerous holiday parties and celebrations and we do not monitor these activities.

We honor Christmas as one of the celebrations of the season and the birth of Jesus, and the corresponding Christmas observance is one of the Christian holidays on our cultural and religious holidays calendar.

The suggested practices are a resource for our faculty and staff to use in creating a more inclusive holiday environment within their campus departments and administrative units.

Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek addressed the issue today.

“First let me say that we honor Christmas as one of the celebrations of the season. We are in no way trying to dismiss this very important Christian holiday,” he said. “As a diverse campus, we do promote ways to be inclusive of all cultures and religions. I am disappointed that our efforts to be inclusive have been totally misconstrued.”


Karen Simsen (865-974-5186, ksimsen@utk.edu)