From the Senior Vice President
and Senior Vice Chancellor
Message from UTIA Leadership
The death of George Floyd, and the growing protests in its wake, challenges all Americans to confront the inequalities of justice, inclusion, and access that still exist for people of color in our nation.
The deans and I have been in discussion with leaders across the university on how we, and our programs, can more effectively work to resolve these gaps. With respect to the UT Institute of Agriculture, we want to affirm the following principles and actions.
1. Our agriculture, veterinary medicine, and natural resource programs focus on nurturing and sustaining people and communities, as well as nurturing and sustaining plants and animals. Every human and animal is important.
2. We will implement a new integrated approach to enhancing diversity and inclusion among our agricultural teaching, research, and Extension programs:
- We will develop a unified diversity and inclusion task force to formulate and lead integrated strategies to ensure that our programs are welcome to all.
- We will continue and deepen our engagement with the national 4-H diversity initiative. This includes implementing a two-day training for UT Extension agents called Coming Together for Racial Understanding that will be offered on an ongoing basis.
- We will increase resources and commitment to diversity within the Institute.
3. We will participate in an institute-wide dialogue to identify ways we can combat racism and create a truly welcoming environment for students, employees, and stakeholders that respects every individual and advances our mission of providing real-life solutions. We must all be involved in leading our campus and Tennessee communities to realize liberty and justice for all.
Working together, we believe our Institute can make a difference by demonstrating respect for all. Through respect and advocacy for all individuals in each of our communities, we can model positive behavior to others. Whether those communities are Tennessee or global, composed of rural areas, towns, and cities; or are communities of our students, peers, professions, and the clients we serve, together we can show that all members matter. All are welcomed. All are served.
Your thoughts on these matters are valued. Your suggestions of how we can do better are important. We encourage you to share them with us as we move forward.
Senior Vice President and Senior Vice Chancellor
Dean, UT Herbert College of Agriculture
Interim Dean, UT Extension
Dean, UT College of Veterinary Medicine
Dean, UT AgResearch