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We Are Here to Support You

Dear colleagues,

We have heard from many of you about your concerns regarding HB2670/SB2290, which we anticipate will soon become law. The bill defines divisive concepts and prohibits indoctrination in a particular belief system. The bill also prohibits mandatory training that includes one or more divisive concepts as it defines them.

As a university that values free speech, challenging debate, and the free expression of ideas, we do not indoctrinate. We discuss. We research. We listen. We educate.

We have developed a web resource that details the bill, what it does and does not do, and how we are responding. We want you to hear from us that your work is important and that we are here to support you. Teaching about challenging topics, including race and racism, is important to our university and to our society. The language of the new law specifically outlines protections for academic freedom and free speech—two things we will always vigorously work to protect.

We understand that some members of our university community may feel targeted, and we are concerned about the potential chill that faculty and staff may feel about the outstanding work they are doing. We are here to support you and your ability to conduct your research, share your results, and teach your classes. If you have questions, contact provost@utk.edu and a member of the provost’s office will follow up with you.

The people working at UT Knoxville have a strong commitment to our mission, to one another, and to our students. It has never been more important that we keep that commitment and work to prepare our graduates to become the leaders of tomorrow.

Donde Plowman
Chancellor

John Zomchick
Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor