Legislature Eliminates Funding for the Office of Diversity at the University of Tennessee

tennessee-eHouse Bill 2248 in Tennessee recently was passed by the legislature by a margin of 63-21 in the House and 27-3 in the Senate. Governor Bill Haslam neither vetoed the bill or signed it into law within the legal window for such actions, allowing it to become law. The bills strips $445,882 that had been earmarked for the Office for Diversity at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. As a result, the diversity office will receive no state funding from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017. The law also prohibits other university funds to be diverted to fund the diversity office.

Administrators in the diversity office at the university had angered legislators by calling for the use of gender-neutral pronouns and the suggestion that office holiday parties not be “Christmas parties in disguise.”

While the university’s organizational diversity efforts will be defunded, the silver lining of the legislation is that the funds will instead be used for scholarships for students in engineering programs who are members of underrepresented groups.

Related Articles


Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Three African Americans Appointed to New Academic Positions

Leon Prieto, Kofi Afrifah, and Andrea Moore have been appointed to new academic positions at Clayton University, Bowie State University, and Savannah State University, respectively.

Historic HBCU Landmark Revitalized Through National Park Service Grant

Through three restoration grants totaling $2 million, the Rosenwald Practice School and Principal House will be fully restored, becoming the new home for the Northeastern North Carolina African American Research and Cultural Heritage Institute.

Five Black Leaders Appointed to Administrative Positions

Here is this week’s roundup of African American who have been appointed to new administrative positions at colleges and universities throughout the United States. If you have news for our appointments section, please email the information to contact@JBHE.com.

North Carolina A&T University Establishes Research Partnership with Collins Aerospace

“There are direct relations to the research we do in the College of Engineering and the mission purpose of Collins Aerospace,” said Stephanie Luster-Teasley, interim dean of the College of Engineering at North Carolina A&T State University. “Being able to partner with Collins really gives our students the opportunities for hands-on research at each level – undergraduate and graduate.”

Featured Jobs