UTK Chancellor Plowman gives 2020 Flagship Address

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — University of Tennessee Knoxville Chancellor Donde Plowman has been at the helm of the university for a year now, and a challenging year at that; with 2020 bringing a shake-up to the lives of students and staff.

Chancellor Plowman took on some big topics in her annual address: COVID-19, and systemic racism.

On the COVID-19 front, Plowman was optimistic and proud of the work students and staff have done to slow the spread of the coronavirus around campus.

Elsewhere, she talked about racial injustice, and the work the university is doing to create a more diverse and inclusive campus.

It’s been on the minds of students and as you may recall at one point the state legislature shifted funding away from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

The university, before Plowman’s tenure, also faced times when white nationalist groups brought their messages to campus. She said that she’s committed to making campus a safer environment where all Vols feel included.

Actions UT is taking moving forward

  • They have hired an outside firm to evaluate the racial climate on campus
  • They’ve also added diversity officers to every academic department – Plowman says UT is actively recruiting more diverse faculty and students
  • To provide more funding to university programs focused on equality


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