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Diversity Action Plan


The college’s Diversity Action Plan (DAP) was approved in the spring of 2021. It is a living document that is the culmination of hundreds of hours of thoughtful, intentional work by faculty, staff, and students of the college. It is intended to prioritize and guide activities to meaningfully better the culture and climate of the college in the areas of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Each of the six goals of the plan include specific actions the college intends to take to make strides in these areas.

Summer 2019

UT and the Division of Diversity and Engagement (DDE) announce Diversity Action Plan (DAP) initiative. All colleges are required to develop diversity action plans.

Fall 2019

Office of Diversity and Engagement hosts workshops to assist colleges with developing their plans. Templates are provided to the colleges.

February 2020

A call for nominations to participate in writing the college’s DAP is extended. 24 faculty, staff and students respond.

March 2020

An additional 15 individuals from key engineering student organizations and college faculty and staff are added to the original 24 volunteers to form the college’s DAP development committee. The 39 individuals are distributed to six subcommittees, one for each goal of the plan. An executive committee is also formed with a member from each committee plus the chair of the college’s Antiracism and Allyship in Engineering Taskforce and UTSI’s Human Resources Director and Equity & Diversity Officer Patricia Burks-Jelks. Director of the Office of Engineering Diversity Programs Travis Griffin and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Engagement Paul Frymier serve as co-chairs.

March–May 2020

Subcommittees meet to develop objectives, actions, benchmarks/metrics, implementation timelines, and responsible parties for each of the six goals.

Summer 2020

The executive committee and six subcommittees meet to refine the plan.

September 2020

The DAP is presented to college faculty, staff, and students for feedback through a survey. Feedback is received and forwarded to the subcommittees. The subcommittees meet and discuss the incorporation of the feedback. The plan is revised and approved by the executive committee.

October 2020

The plan is approved by the dean and is forwarded to DDE for feedback.

November 2020

The executive committee meets to address the feedback received by DDE. The revised plan is approved by the dean and resubmitted to DDE.

December 2020

A second round of feedback is received from DDE. Members of the executive committee meet to discuss revisions.

January 2021

The revised DAP is approved by the dean and resubmitted to DDE.

February 2021

Final approval of the DAP is received. Framework for the implementation of the DAP is put in place.

Executive Committee

  • Paul Frymier (co-chair)
  • Travis Griffin (co-chair)
  • Patricia Burks-Jelks (ex-officio as UTSI’s Human Resources Director and Equity & Diversity Officer)
  • Jamie Coble
  • Daniel Costinett
  • Ozlem Kilic
  • Angel Palomino (ex-officio as chair of the college’s Antiracism and Allyship Taskforce)
  • Keith Stanfill

Goal 1: Create and sustain a welcoming, supportive, and inclusive campus climate.

  • Jamie Coble (chair)
  • Kassidy Boone
  • Travis Griffin
  • Anne Skutnik
  • Kristen Wyckoff

Goal 2: Attract and retain greater numbers of individuals from historically underrepresented populations into faculty, staff, and administrative positions (particularly department heads, directors, deans, and vice chancellors).

  • Paul Frymier (chair)
  • Helen Cui
  • Jessica Jeffers
  • David Keffer
  • Margie Russell
  • Beth Thrasher

Goal 3: Attract, retain, and graduate increasing numbers of undergraduate and graduate students from historically underrepresented populations and international students.

  • Travis Griffin (chair)
  • Adiany Cartagena Febus
  • Jeremy Mobley
  • Katharine Page
  • Todd Reeves

Goal 4: Develop and strengthen partnerships with diverse communities in Tennessee and globally.

  • Keith Stanfill (chair)
  • Carla Arbogast
  • Chien-fei Chen
  • Emme Fitts
  • Yanfei Gao

Goal 5: Ensure curricular requirements include significant intercultural perspectives.

  • Ozlem Kilic (chair)
  • Michael Berry
  • Betsy Chesnutt
  • Chris Cox
  • Devina Sanjaya
  • Wendy Smith

Goal 6: Prepare graduate students to become teachers and researchers in a diverse world.

  • Daniel Costinett (chair)
  • Kendra Allen
  • Azarang Asadi
  • Kamal Sabi
  • Andrew Ten Eyck

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