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Classics and Diversity

Classics Department Diversity Action Plan
Executive Summary, January 31, 2022

The faculty, students and staff of the University of Tennessee’s Department of Classics view diversity and multiculturalism as fundamental ethical, societal, and cultural values.  We must be inclusive and diverse in order to foster outstanding scholarship and teaching, and to work and lead in an increasingly multicultural and global society.  We recognize and value diversity in its myriad forms, including status, age, ethnicity, family structure, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religion and spirituality, sexual orientation, physical ability, socioeconomic background and veteran status.  We seek to create and sustain a welcoming environment; recruit, retain, and support a diverse body of students, staff, and faculty; prepare students to learn, research, teach, and advocate in a diverse world; foster scholarship that is multiculturally informed; and develop and strengthen campus and community partnerships to further inclusion. We support intellectual endeavors from all directions, so long as they use the evidentiary standards of the discipline.

The ancient Mediterranean world has long been a source of examples for later generations to use in the pursuit of their own interests, for better and for worse. We condemn “the use of texts, ideals, and images of the Greek and Roman world to promote racism or a view of the Classical world as the unique inheritance of a falsely-imagined and narrowly-conceived western civilization.” The appropriation of the Classical past toward promoting hatred and racism is injurious and wrong.  It is intellectually shallow.  It runs counter to the spirit of the study of history that requires a mature understanding of the past in all its failures and virtues, and the role that history has in the present. It is imperative that the lessons of the Classical world should serve not as a justification for the basest prejudices of this age, but as an inspiration for greater empathy and understanding.

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

  • Objective 1: Annually assess the department’s overall progress
  • Objective 2: Involve all departmental constituencies in promotion of diversity
  • Objective 3: Monitor departmental well-being in terms of diversity and inclusion
  • Objective 4: Educate, encourage, and support diversity-related professional development for faculty staff, and undergraduate and graduate students
  • Objective 5: Ensure departmental events that welcome speakers from underrepresented groups and foster dialogues related to diversity and justice
  • Objective 6: Establish an online presence pertaining to diversity in Classics

Goal 2: Recruit and retain greater numbers of people from historically underrepresented populations in our field into faculty and staff positions

  • Objective 1: Identify and recruit faculty and staff from diverse and underrepresented populations following OED guidelines
  • Objective 2: Make every effort to create a welcoming and nurturing environment for diverse faculty and staff

Goal 3: Recruit and retain greater numbers of students from historically underrepresented populations in our field

  • Objective 1: Recruit more students from underrepresented populations
  • Objective 2: Do every effort to retain students from underrepresented populations
  • Objective 3: Foster professional development among students from underrepresented groups

Goal 4: Ensure that our curriculum reflects the department's commitment to diversity, and prepares students for an increasingly diverse world

  • Objective 1: Foster among our students an understanding of diversity in antiquity, and reflection on how it differed from diversity in current western culture
  • Objective 2: Foster among our students a greater understanding of different cultures in the modern world

Goal 5: Develop and strengthen partnerships with diverse communities in Tennessee and globally

Objective 1: To foster an understanding of diversity in antiquity among the general population, including diverse communities


Diversity Resources

The Office of Equity and Diversity has resources here on the following topics. Those include:

ADA Accomodations
Discrimination and Harassment
Discrimination Complaint Procedure
Information for Complainants
Information for Respondents
Title IX
Education and Development
Diversity Curriculum
Education and Training Request Form
Intercultural Development Tool Kit

Campus Councils and Commissions
Commission for Women
Commission for Blacks
Commission for LGBT
Commission for Disability
Exempt Staff Council
Council for Diversity and Inclusion
Veteran Student Services
Stop Bias
-what is bias?
-how to report an incident
-bias education and referral team
-bias incident definitions
-freedom of speech and response to reports of bias

Student Resources

Office of Omsbuds Services
The Office of Ombuds Services serves as an independent, impartial, confidential, and informal resource for UT Knoxville. It provides the university community with an informal channel of conflict resolution and allows faculty and staff to obtain access to impartial and honest resolution of problems.

Office of Diversity and Engagement: This office overlaps with the Office of Equity and Diversity, but it has links to additional resources on its web page including:


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