I’m pleased to announce that I have appointed Tyvi Small UT’s interim vice chancellor for diversity and engagement, effective January 2, 2019.
The vice chancellor for diversity and engagement will lead efforts to coordinate existing student success programs and diversity initiatives across the university. Tyvi will work closely with deans, department heads, directors, commissions, councils, and other campus leaders to advance our strategic priorities outlined in Vol Vision 2020. The position will report directly to me and serve on the chancellor’s cabinet.
This new position will contribute to the success of our students and be focused on closing gaps in retention, increasing graduation rates, and improving student satisfaction on campus.
To recruit the best students and ensure that they graduate, we must create a campus environment in which everyone is engaged and feels welcomed and respected. The success of our students is closely linked to the economic success of our state, which depends on a well-educated workforce that can compete in a global environment.
There have been many discussions in recent months—across campus and beyond—about the importance of this position. Interim President Randy Boyd and I have spent the past several weeks engaged with members of our campus community, alumni, legislators, business partners, and others about putting a structure in place that supports the kind of community and results we want to create.
I am excited to bring Tyvi into this role to lead those efforts. At his core is a passion to help students succeed. He has been instrumental in recruiting, developing, and supporting students since joining UT 11 years ago. Tyvi has an impressive track record as executive director of talent management, diversity, and community relations in the Haslam College of Business, having established programs and industry partnerships that have been critical to the success of our students.
He co-chaired the university’s strategic planning diversity and inclusion working group and is past co-chair of the Council for Diversity and Interculturalism.
Tyvi is active in the community and serves on many boards—the Development Corporation of Knox County, Knoxville Area Urban League, Knoxville Utilities Board, Tennessee Valley Fair, and the Change Center.
Tyvi has a bachelor’s degree in communication and a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction, both from the University of South Florida. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in higher education from UT.
Please join me in welcoming Tyvi to this role.