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Diversity & Inclusion

Information Sciences Diversity and Inclusion

The School of Information Sciences is committed to diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity for all. Our commitment to promote, protect, and ensure diversity is rooted in the belief that a diverse society, and diverse information professoriate, are essential for the free exchange of ideas, debate, research, academic freedom, growth, responsibility, knowledge, integrity, cooperation and success in both local and global contexts.

We believe it is critical for information professionals to have diverse perspectives in order to have the compassion and empathy needed to effectively serve their communities, and make a positive impact on society.

View Our Most Recent D&I Statement

What do we mean by diversity?

By diversity, we mean differences based on races, ethnicities, religions/spiritualities, creeds, national origins, languages, genders, sexual orientations, disabilities (mental, learning, physical), ages, veteran status, marital/partnered status, physical appearances, political affiliations, and social, economic, or educational backgrounds, amongst other variables; all are honored, welcome, and respected in the School of Information Sciences.

We support a number of initiatives and activities to create a diverse and inclusive learning environment, and an information professoriate with diverse perspectives.

Diversity and Inclusion Officer

The role of the School of Information Sciences Diversity and Inclusion Officer is to monitor and advocate for diversity and inclusion within SIS, College of Communication and Information, and University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Our current Diversity and Inclusion Officer is Carolyn Hank.

Please reach-out to her if you would like to discuss any issue related to diversity, equity and inclusion at SIS.

Diversity and Inclusion Badge

The SIS Diversity and Inclusion Badge is an opportunity to recognize a student’s commitment to diversity and inclusion as exemplified though scholarship, professional service and reflective participation while enrolled in the MSIS program. It is awarded to graduating master’s students (fall, spring or summer degree dates) in the School of Information Sciences during the spring hooding ceremony.

CCI Diversity and Inclusion Week

SIS participates in the College of Communication and Information’s Diversity and Inclusion Week which takes place each fall semester. The four-day event offers participants an opportunity to gain diversity skills and knowledge along with a chance to dialogue about diversity and inclusion issues, and to share best practices by bringing together leaders and experts from inside and outside the college and university.

Diversity and Inclusion Lecture Series

Diversity, inclusion, and fairness are foundational principles with the University of Tennessee School of Information Sciences. To further our commitment to diversity, 2018 marked the inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Lecture Series, where guest speakers are invited to share their perspectives, research, and initiatives.

Spring 2018 SIS OrientationSpring 2018

“What’s Often Done Right & Wrong, and What the Future May Hold for Academic Libraries” – Jason Alston, PhD, Information Literacy Librarian, Coastal Carolina University 

In this talk, Alston presented findings from his research, which used both surveys and interviews, and sought to understand diversity residents’ experiences in programs hosted by academic libraries. Dr. Alston discussed four factors that correlate positively with diversity residents’ overall views of their residency experience, as well as six emergent themes wherein residents encountered satisfaction or dissatisfaction if certain elements were present in the residency. Read more here.

The School of Information Sciences willingly complies with applicable laws adopted by the University of Tennessee regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. Visit the Office of Equity and Diversity website to view the details of UT’s Equal Employment Opportunity/Non-Discrimination/Affirmative Action Statement.