University of Tennessee, Knoxville — Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion

Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion

The University of Tennessee College of Social Work (UTCSW) invites applications for our associate dean for equity and inclusion (ADEI). We seek a colleague who will continue the groundbreaking work of our previous ADEI through further implementation of our active diversity action plan and leading our strong commitment to social justice. The ADEI is responsible for the strategic direction of the CSW’s DEI activities, promoting an equitable, anti-racist, anti-oppressive and respectful environment for faculty, staff and students. The ADEI is a member of the senior administrative leadership team and reports directly to the dean. Faculty rank and appointment will be based on experience and qualifications.

The scope of responsibilities of the associate dean for equity and inclusion includes:

  • Leading the College’s Committee for Equity and Inclusion to oversee the development, implementation, and assessment of the college’s equity and inclusion plan.
  • Providing leadership in curriculum, academic assessment, and strategic planning related to diversity/inclusion.
  • Developing and disseminating information about best practices for teaching as relates to diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Developing and implementing enrollment management and retention strategies with program directors and the associate dean for academic affairs, with the goals of increasing representation of Black, Indigenous, and People of color (BIPOC) students, along with other underrepresented and minoritized students, and maximizing positive outcomes for these students.
  • Fostering collaborative working relationships with internal and external constituents to communicate and coordinate diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives that support CSW and University goals.
  • Coordinating the ongoing collection, analysis, and presentation of data and other feedback opportunities from faculty, staff, and students from minoritized populations and working with the faculty, staff, students, alumni, and other constituencies to disseminate findings.
  • Working closely with the College leadership and standing committees to ensure that the College reflects the values of diversity, equity, inclusion, shared governance, integrity, and belonging in all of its policies, practices, and communications.
  • Serving as the College’s liaison to external stakeholders (university, community, social work education/profession, and community groups) to understand needs and secure resources to work for equity and inclusion.

The University and the College of Social Work

The University of Tennessee recognizes its role as a land-grant, flagship research institution as stated in its new strategic vision that imagines “a world enriched by our ideas, improved through action, and inspired by the Volunteer Spirit of service and leadership.” ( The College of Social Work is moving forward on this vision under the dynamic leadership of Dean Lori Messinger and our senior leadership team. We seek to deepen our work as national leaders in critical, social justice-focused, and engaged scholarship, education, and community service. With over 850 students enrolled in undergraduate, MSW, DSW, and PhD programs in Knoxville, Nashville, and online, the College is preparing highly qualified social workers to address areas of need across the state, the country, and the globe. College faculty, staff, and administrators are enthusiastically creating equity-minded, inclusive work and learning environments, providing community spaces for critical conversations, and developing interdisciplinary research that focuses on addressing the needs of under-resourced groups. The person hired in this position would become a member of this exceptional, thriving academic community.

The University of Tennessee Knoxville and the College of Social Work are committed to our tenure track and practice faculty. There is a strong mentoring program and university support for teaching and research innovation and success. The ADEI position serves our Knoxville, Nashville, and online campuses, and can be located in Knoxville or Nashville.

Campus Locations

The City of Knoxville is a hidden gem with a beautiful and walkable downtown, a diverse music scene, active neighborhoods, unique restaurants, outstanding athletic opportunities, and a robust offering of outdoor and cultural activities. Knoxville enjoys the charm of a small city with activities that range from green energy initiatives and community greenways to thriving festival culture, music, culinary, and outdoor recreation scenes. Knoxville’s community brings events such as the Asian Festival, Knoxville Opera’s Rossini Festival, Kuumba Festival, Hola Festival, Dogwood Arts Festival to name a few. The city is also home to the Knoxville Museum of Art, the Beck Cultural Center, Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, the Frank H. McClung Museum of Natural History, and the Museum of Appalachia. Citing affordability and quality of life, U.S. News and World Report ranks Knoxville among the best places to live.

Nashville is an action-packed and vibrant metropolis with so much more to offer than its famous Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry. It is currently listed as #30 on the U.S. News and World report’s best Places to Live (2021) and offers events such as the CMA Festival, the Nashville Film Festival, Live on the Green, Tomato Art Fest, and the Nashville Pride Festival. Nashville is also home to several HBCUs with dynamic campus activities. Outside of Nashville’s busy downtown Broadway scene, there are lots of unique neighborhoods filled with fantastic ethnic food options and cultural events, with unlimited opportunities to explore gorgeous parks and greenways, both inside and outside the city limits. Nashville is a short distance away from national parks that are great for camping and hiking.


Required qualifications

  • Doctoral degree in social work or a related field
  • Academic credentials and leadership skills
  • Evidence of high-quality teaching/training
  • A clear commitment supporting and promoting anti-racism, equity, and inclusion of students, faculty, and staff from differing backgrounds
  • History of successful leadership in promoting diversity, equity, and anti-racism, and engaging in activities that support equity and respect in the work environment

Preferred qualifications

  • Master’s degree in social work
  • Advanced training around issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, anti-racism, and the lived experiences of oppressed or marginalized populations
  • Practice or research expertise and/or publications in the areas of oppressed or marginalized populations or systems of oppression, marginalization, and liberation
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion training experience

The Knoxville campus of the University of Tennessee is seeking candidates who have the ability to contribute in meaningful ways to the diversity and intercultural goals of the University.

Application Instructions
Interested individuals should provide
: (1) a cover letter addressing professional experience relevant to each required and preferred qualification, (2) curriculum vitae, (3) three examples of scholarly or creative materials, and (4) contact information for three professional references. Priority consideration will be given to applications submitted by November 1, 2022, though review may continue until an appointment is made. Materials should be submitted electronically through Inquiries may be addressed to the search committee chair, Dr. Lizzie Bowland

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement
All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment and admission without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, veteran status, and parental status, or any other characteristic protected by federal or state law. In accordance with the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the University of Tennessee affirmatively states that it does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, or disability in its education programs and activities, and this policy extends to employment by the university. Inquiries and charges of violation of Title VI (race, color, and national origin), Title IX (sex), Section 504 (disability), the ADA (disability), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (age), sexual orientation, or veteran status should be directed to the Office of Equity and Diversity, 1840 Melrose Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37996-3560, telephone 865-974-2498. Requests for accommodation of a disability should be directed to the ADA Coordinator at the Office of Equity and Diversity.