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The Commission for Women is a body appointed by the Chancellor to advise on the planning, implementation, and evaluation of university programs, policies, and services designed to improve the status of women on the Knoxville campus of the University of Tennessee.


Statement of the Commission for Women on Racial Injustice

The Commission for Women wants to alert you to the fact that one of our sister commissions, the Chancellor’s Commission for Blacks, has released a powerful statement regarding the disparate impact both the COVID-19 pandemic and pervasive, continuing racial profiling, harassment, and violence have had on people of color. The statement expresses “discontent, disappointment, and frustration with the injustice facing many Blacks in our great nation.”

As fellow advocates for diversity, equity, and inclusion at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, the Commission for Women shares the concerns of our friends and colleagues in the Commission for Blacks. The injustices are clear; the effects on those in and outside our campus community are devastating. Like the Commission for Blacks, we support impacted students, faculty, staff, and others. As many have noted, we can and must do better in addressing the inequities that divide us and harm members of our community—especially, in these times, those that affect our Black brothers and sisters.

In that spirit, we join in the hope and optimism expressed by the Commission for Blacks about overcoming our past and creating a new, more positive future. We, too, sense an increased energy directed toward meaningful change. We look forward to combining efforts with the Commissions for Blacks and LGBT People, as well as the Council for Diversity & Interculturalism, the Office for Diversity & Engagement, and other groups and individuals on and off campus, to contribute to this change.

Please click the link below for the Statement On Racial Justice from the Commission for Blacks

There is much work to do. In unity and solidarity, let’s act together now.

Rachel Fu, Outgoing Chair
Joan Heminway, Incoming Co-chair
Catherine Luther, Incoming Co-chair
Chancellor’s Commission for Women

Current Priorities

Each fall, the Commission for Women selects several issues upon which to place particular focus during the coming academic year. For the academic year 2019-2020, the Commission will:

  • Promote women’s leadership by supporting and enhancing mentoring and professional development
  • Advocate for sexual assault awareness and prevention and bully-free workplaces and contribute to the evaluation of relevant policies/programs/implementations
  • Advocate for pay equity across genders
  • Women’s History Month
    • Highlight accomplishments of prominent alumni and promote/support
      scholarship/research on campus that is related to women.
  • Review parental leave policies for birth/adoption and related work-life issues
    •  Particular focus on staff and graduate students
  • Support the Women in STEM Committee of the Commission for Women
  • Promote and support efforts to increase campus diversity and inclusion


2020 Successes and Highlights!