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University of Tennessee Inclusive Leadership Academy (UTILA)

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What is the UTILA?

The Office of Human Resources, Learning and Organizational Development, in collaboration with the Office of Diversity and Engagement, offers the University of Tennessee Inclusive Leadership Academy (UTILA). This academy is designed to embody the mission, vision and values of the University of Tennessee while reinforcing the leadership behaviors that are essential for advancing diversity and inclusion.

The purpose of the UTILA is to provide a thoughtful and intentional learning experience that will equip leaders with the content knowledge, leadership behaviors, and support to effectively lead our diverse workforce and create a culture of inclusion.

Who is the target audience?
The University of Tennessee Inclusive Leadership Academy is designed for exempt staff and faculty.

What are the requirements?
The UTILA consists of 9 in-person sessions that are two hours each, and two additional cohort capstone work sessions. The UTILA utilizes the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) as an assessment of intercultural competence during the sessions.  Extended learning is also required with session readings, video reviews and reflection assignments. To uphold the integrity of the UTILA cohort structure, participants are expected to make a commitment and attend all sessions and complete all work by assignment deadlines.

UTILA completion requirements also include a cohort capstone project that is presented by the cohort to their peers, leaders, and instrumental constituents.  Upon successful completion of the University of Tennessee Inclusive Leadership Academy, the participants will be awarded a UT Inclusive Leaders pin and a certificate acknowledging program completion as a representation of their commitment to creating an inclusive campus.

How can you be involved?
UTILA cohort– The University of Tennessee Inclusive Leadership Academy cohort is an open enrollment opportunity for leaders across campus to engage in the cohort structure through an application/selection process. Applications are required for the cohort. To apply, candidates include:

  • A completed application,
  • Their own letter of impact, and
  • A letter of support from their direct leader.

Cohort size is capped at 25 participants per cohort. Deadlines for the cohort will be announced during the preceding spring.  The Fall Cohort begins in early fall semester and ends in the following spring semester.

Contact information:
Jeannie Jones Tennant, Learning & Organizational Development Consultant        974-9652,

Will Ploskonka, Learning & Organizational Development Manger, 974-2889,

Apply for UTILA