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Unity at the Rock
Tyvi Small, vice chancellor for diversity and engagement, places his handprint on the Rock on February 20, 2019. Photo by Steven Bridges

Tyvi Small, who has been serving as the interim vice chancellor for diversity and engagement since December, will take on the role permanently.

Tyvi Small
Tyvi Small

“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,” said Chancellor Donde Plowman. “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.”

In the past 10 months, Small has helped launch 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 has also started to implement the recommendations of the Vol Vision Diversity and Inclusion Working Group.

 “I am excited to serve the campus alongside the many students, faculty, and staff who are committed to advancing our goals of diversity and inclusion,” said Small. “I’m honored to work with them as we create a campus where everyone matters and belongs.”

Before joining the chancellor’s senior leadership team, Small spent 11 years in UT’s Haslam College of Business, most recently as executive director of talent management, diversity, and community relations. He is active in the Knoxville community, including roles with the Development Corporation of Knox County, Knoxville Area Urban League, Knoxville Utilities Board, Tennessee Valley Fair, and the Change Center.

Small 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.


Tyra Haag (865-974-5460,