UTM discusses diversity plan, initiatives on campus

MARTIN, Tenn. — A university discussed new plans to make the campus a more inclusive learning space.

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One of the major conversations in Friday’s UT Martin advisory board meeting was the campus plans for diversity.

“We’re all trying to figure out a way to talk, and not just to talk, but to listen and to act,” University of Tennessee at Martin Chancellor Keith Carver said.

UT Martin advisory board members discussed ways to do just that, and how to create positive change.

During the meeting, the new chief diversity officer, Dr. Mark McCloud, discussed the 90 day campus diversity plan.

“What it will do is really help us chart a course for making sure that our campus is a place where people can come with different ideas, they can voice those ideas, and we can learn more about each other, but do it in ways that are civil,” Carver said.

One of the initiatives is the Beyond Colorblind Tour.

“We’re doing a series of virtual town halls where students can come together and talk about issues in a safe and affirming environment,” Carver said.

The university is also launching a new reporting system.

“We just launched a bias reporting initiative, where students, faculty, and staff can report instances of bias,” Carver said.

The university is also looking at curriculum, student programming, making changes to the student code of conduct, and working on new courses.

“I think it will also impact things that we need to be thinking about each day, and think about all aspects of our student life and how they feel on our campus,” Carver said.

“If we can make it a better place on our college campuses, they become better places when folks graduate and move into new communities,” Carver said.

The board also discussed athletics, which are pushed back into the winter and spring.

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