University of Tennessee, Knoxville: Individual Colleges Develop Diversity Action Plans | The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression

University of Tennessee, Knoxville: Individual Colleges Develop Diversity Action Plans

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Case Overview

In 2020, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville announced its colleges were developing “diversity action plans.” The plans contained several proposed policies that threatened free speech and academic freedom, including requirements that current and/or prospective faculty demonstrate contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion; mandated DEI syllabus statements; DEI-based course assessments; and bias reporting systems. After FIRE raised concerns about the plans in a September 15, 2022, letter to UT Knoxville, the university replied on September 26 stating the plans are “no longer in place.” FIRE repeatedly sought clarification about whether UT Knoxville had implemented any parts of the plans, but to no avail. On November 11, FIRE filed a public records request seeking this information.