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Table of Contents:

I. Purpose
II. Responsibilities
III. Composition
IV. Meetings
V. Resources/Budget
VI. Approval and Amendments



The Council for Diversity and Interculturalism is a body appointed by the Chancellor to serve as an advocate to improve the campus climate for diversity and inclusion.

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The Council shall:

  1. Serve as a resource for academic and administrative units working to  develop and implement diversity plans;
  1. Serve as an information resource to the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor for Diversity regarding diversity issues that require administrative attention, action, and, support.
  1. Monitor ongoing campus efforts focused on identifying and achieving diversity initiatives by assessing and annually reporting on the status of unit level diversity plans;
  1. Assist with campus-wide initiatives related to diversity and creation of a welcoming, supportive, and inclusive campus climate;
  1. Ensure that UTK develops and delivers extracurricular programs capable of providing the campus community with adequate diversity and intercultural training and education;
  1. Identify and ensure that research is conducted and peer school comparisons are provided on the status of diversity and interculturalism;
  1. Collect and provide information about research and best practices related to diversity issues at peer and aspirational peer institutions;
  1. Provide advice and input to the campus Commissions, Councils,  and other faculty, staff, and student committees and organizations that address diversity and inclusion issues and international and intercultural understanding;
  1.  Assist with the development and strengthening of partnerships with diverse communities in Tennessee and globally.

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A.  Membership

  1. Council membership shall consist of one representative appointed by  each of the three Commissions. (Commissions for Blacks, LGBT, and Women) (3 members)
  2. A representative for the following areas will be appointed by their respective Vice Chancellor:  Student Life, Academic Affairs, Athletics, Communication, Development and Alumni Affairs, Diversity, Finance and Administration, Human Resources, Research and Engagement.  Additional appointees may be added at the request of a Vice Chancellor in consultation with the Vice Chancellor for Diversity. (9 members)
  3. The following constituency groups will appoint one representative to the council: Student Government Association, Graduate Student Senate and Faculty Senate. (3 members)
  4. An additional 10 positions that include faculty members, exempt and non-exempt staff members, and additional students distributed among the various colleges, schools, and administrative units of the University shall be designated as open positions. (10 members)
  5. All members are voting members of the Council.

 B. Appointments and Terms of Service

  1. Each of the representatives from the membership may serve multiple years on the Council as determined by their director, department/unit head, or chair of the group they represent.
  2. The additional 10 positions are appointed for a three-year term.  Each term may be renewed once. Terms shall be refilled on a staggered basis, with approximately one third of the total to be re-elected each year.
  3. Open positions for membership will be advertised in the spring and summer, and nominations (including self-nominations) will be reviewed by a Membership/Nominating Committee and brought forward to the Council for approval.

C. Co-chairs

Two co-chairs, a chair and chair-elect, recommended to and approved by the Chancellor, shall lead the Council. They shall be elected for a two-year term, with the chair-elect ascending to the chair position in his/her second year. The Membership/Nominating Committee shall solicit nominations and prepare a slate of candidates to be brought forward to the Council for a vote.

D. Committees

Committees of the Council shall include:

  1. Diversity Plan Assessment/Review Committee – reviews campus diversity plans and monitors progress on a regular basis at the request of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity.
  2. Communications Committee – considers website updates and/or changes to be brought before the Council; suggests and prepares newsletters or other public relations materials about Council activities.
  3. Climate Committee – reviews bias incident reports and other diversity issues brought to the Council by students, faculty, or staff or as identified by Council members.
  4. Membership/Nominating Committee – solicits and suggests names for membership and for Council co-chairs;
  5. Ad –Hoc Committees shall be formed as needed.


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A. Frequency

  1. The Council shall schedule regular monthly meetings at a time to be agreed upon at the beginning of each academic year. Additional meetings shall be scheduled as needed.
  2. The agenda for each meeting shall be submitted to members of the Council and may include items placed on it at the request of the Chancellor, Vice Chancellor for Diversity, a member of the faculty, staff, or student body, or any member of the University of Tennessee community with an issue that might require attention. All meetings shall be open to any member of the UT community.
  3. A quorum is constituted by a majority of the members of the Council.

B. Rules of Order

The meetings of the Council shall be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order.

C. Record of Council Meetings

The graduate assistant shall arrange meetings and prepare correspondence related to the work of the Council. S/He shall attend all meetings of the Council and prepare minutes of the meetings. The minutes will be sent to the membership along with an agenda for the next meeting.

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  1. The Council shall be provided with funds through the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity to cover such expenses as a graduate assistant, research and assessment projects, communication and public relations, special events, and other miscellaneous operating expenses.
  2. A Graduate Assistant, as assigned by the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, shall aid the co-chairs by attending and taking notes at Council meetings and assisting with other tasks as needed and required.

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  1. If a quorum exists, these bylaws shall be approved by a two-thirds vote of the membership present at the meeting. If a quorum does not exist at the meeting, or if the Council is unable to convene, voting can be conducted by electronic means. (i.e. email)
  2. The bylaws may be amended by a similar vote taken at a subsequent regularly scheduled meeting.
  3. Bylaws and amendments shall become effective upon the approval of the Chancellor or Vice Chancellor for Diversity.

By-Laws Version: June 2014
Download the By-Laws in PDF Format