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The purpose of the Council for Diversity and Inclusion is to serve as a resource for the Division of Diversity and Engagement as it works toward creating inclusive learning and work environments. The Council achieves this through partnerships, monitoring diversity data, and education. The Council is an organization whose collaboration, communication, and accountability structure works with the Chancellor’s Commissions to create a culture of inclusive excellence.


The Council shall:

  1. Support the Division for Diversity and Engagement and its initiatives
  2. Facilitate collaboration and communication across campus
  3. Financially support diversity initiatives and events on campus
  4. Support affinity groups (co-sponsoring events with affinity groups, providing opportunities for collaboration) that do not have an official organization on campus
  5. Provide a platform for commissions to share information with the Chancellor and DDE


A.  Membership

  1. Council membership shall consist of one representative appointed by each of the Commissions;
  2. A representative for the following areas will be appointed by their respective senior administrator:  Student Life, Academic Affairs, Athletics, Communication, Advancement, Diversity and Engagement, Finance and Administration, Human Resources, Research and Engagement, Office of Institutional Research and Assessment, and Center for Global Engagement;
  3. The following constituency groups will appoint one representative to the council: Student Government Association, Graduate Student Senate, Faculty Senate, Exempt Staff Council, and Employee Relations Advisory Organization (non-exempt staff);
  4. An additional 10 elected positions that include faculty, exempt and non-exempt staff, and students distributed among the various colleges, schools, and administrative units of the University.
  5. All members are voting members of the Council.
  6. Members are expected not to miss more than two consecutive meetings. Upon a third occurrence, the co-chairs will contact the member to discuss interest/availability to continue service on the council. Failure to attend more than one half of the meetings in an academic year may result in non-renewal of an appointment. If an absence is unavoidable, members are expected to contact the co-chairs to arrange alternate representation for their unit at the meeting.
  7. Members are expected to serve on one of the Council committees. Appointments will be made in consultation with the co-chairs.

 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 the Membership and Award 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. 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; conducts institutional research related to improving communications about diversity, equity, and inclusion across campus.
  2. Membership and Awards Committee – solicits and suggests names for membership and for Council co-chairs; evaluates the first round of candidates for at-large members; communicates with the Chancellor’s Office and the Division of Diversity and Engagement about annual diversity awards; maintains and updates application process for annual diversity awards; solicits applicants for annual diversity awards and selects recipient(s); makes suggestions for either retiring awards or introducing new awards.
  3. Events and Programming Committee – considers applications for Council sponsorship requests; maintains and revises application forms and processes for sponsorships; collaborates with Commissions and the Division of Diversity and Engagement in event planning; makes suggestions for Council-led events and programming.
  4. Ad –Hoc Committees shall be formed as needed.


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 of Council committees 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, Division of Diversity and Engagement, 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.


  1. The Council shall be provided with funds through the Division of Diversity and Engagement 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 Division of Diversity and Engagement, shall aid the co-chairs by attending and taking notes at Council meetings and assisting with other tasks as needed and required.


  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 and Engagement.

By-Laws Version: October 2020