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


University of Tennessee - Knoxville

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Case Overview

FIRE Victory closed

In 2020, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville announced its colleges were developing “diversity action plans” that contained several proposed policies that threatened free speech and academic freedom. They included requirements for current and/or prospective faculty to demonstrate contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion; DEI syllabus statements and DEI-based course assessments; and bias reporting systems. After FIRE raised concerns in a September 15, 2022, letter, UT Knoxville replied on September 26, stating the plans are “no longer in place.” After reviewing documents produced by the university in response to a FIRE records request in November 2022, we determined that no parts of the plans we originally objected to were implemented.