By Zoe Morton, Staff Writer
UTC took a stand against racism by creating a new position in the Chancellor’s Executive Leadership team dedicated to diversity and inclusion, not only on the University’s campus but also within the Chattanooga community.
The Chancellor’s Chief of Staff, David Steele stated, “The creation of this position was a result of input he received from students, faculty, and staff concerning the need for a Chief Diversity Officer following the events of last year.”
Last year marked a time of great civil unrest, as people took to the streets protesting police brutality, including students and faculty from UTC.
The position of Vice Chancellor of Diversity and Inclusion will work to broaden campus diversity, equity, and inclusion, while also leading the Office of Equity and Inclusion and the Coordinator of Engagement.
UTC cites one facet of the job description as,
“The Vice Chancellor will work to promote an environment that appreciates individual differences, values equal opportunity for all, encourages free speech and exchanges of ideas, and serves to eliminate barriers based on factors such as race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, intellectual thought or covered veteran status.”
By working to promote diversity and inclusion on campus, our future Vice Chancellor of Diversity and Inclusion helps insure that the UTC campus is inclusive to those of all backgrounds.
Candidates for this position have now been narrowed down to the top four finalists: G. Anthony Brown, Stacy Goodwin Lightfoot, Tamra Minor, and Brandon L. Wolfe.
Each candidate is qualified in his or her field, as well as dedicating their professional lives to the cause of diversity and inclusion.
G. Anthony Brown, the first of the final four candidates, currently works at The City University of New York- Brooklyn College as the Executive Chief Diversity Officer and Special Assistant to the President. Before his time in university life, Brown worked as Supervisory Attorney at the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights where he supervised a team of attorneys who held responsibility for enforcing federal anti-discriminatory laws pertaining to higher education.
Stacy Goodwin Lightfoot, a Chattanooga native, worked in Chattanooga since 2018 as the Chancellor’s Multicultural Advisory Council Chair, as well as serving as the Executive Vice
President of the Public Education Foundation. Lightfoot studied abroad in three different countries and credits those years abroad to helping build her cultural experience.
Tamara Minor, who served as Chief Diversity Officer and Assistant Vice President for Office of Diversity and Inclusion at The University at Albany, SUNY from 2007 to 2021, is currently a Special Assistant of Develop Strategies with the University of Albany School of Public Health, the School of Social Welfare, and the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security, and Cyber Security, where she focuses on public health disparities among marginalized groups.
Finally, Brandon L. Wolfe currently works as Assistant Vice President in the Campus and Community Engagement Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, where he works to develop and implement policies at The University of Alabama at Birmingham.
“We have an outstanding pool of candidates,” Steele said.
Steele also noted the outpour of participation from students, averaging 90 people per forum and 75 feedback forms.
The Chancellor is currently working to narrow down the applicant pool to just two candidates, who will then be invited for the campus visit. Following that, Steele estimated the new Vice-Chancellor of Diversity and Inclusion to be announced within the following weeks.