I am pleased to announce that Tyvi Small, who has been serving as interim vice chancellor for diversity and engagement since December, will take on the role permanently.
Tyvi has proven himself to be a compassionate, thoughtful, and creative leader who has built strong relationships based on trust and respect across our campus and the broader community. Through his experience as a first-generation student and his various roles on campus, he understands the importance that mattering and belonging play in student success.
With Tyvi’s guidance, we have launched new faculty and staff training programs, including the Intercultural Development Inventory and the UT Inclusive Leadership Academy; provided a framework for academic colleges to create diversity action plans; co-created the new Research Development Academy; worked with faculty to support the development of the Intergroup Dialogue Program; and expanded speaker series. He’s also started to implement the recommendations of the Vol Vision Diversity and Inclusion Working Group.
Before joining the senior leadership team, Tyvi spent 11 years in the Haslam College of Business, most recently as executive director of talent management, diversity, and community relations. It was there that I first got to know Tyvi when I was a faculty member, and I have long respected his energetic leadership and meaningful contributions. Since returning to UT, I have witnessed firsthand how respected he is in the Knoxville community, where he plays important roles with 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.
I am grateful for Tyvi’s continued leadership, and we are making meaningful progress on these issues. I hope you will join me in congratulating Tyvi and, more importantly, join us in the effort to make UT a welcoming campus where everyone can feel they are supported and know they belong.