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University of Tennessee Inclusive Leadership Academy (UTILA)

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 UTILA is designed for exempt staff and faculty who wish to participate in a cohort learning experience. UTILA is an open opportunity for leaders across campus to engage in the cohort structure through their /selection process. Cohort size is capped at 25 participants per cohort.

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 through the use of between session reflection assignments. To uphold the integrity of the UTILA cohort structure, participants are expected to attend all sessions and complete all extended work by assignment deadlines.

UTILA also requires a cohort capstone project that is presented by the cohort to their peers, leaders, and instrumental constituents during our closing session. Once UTILA begins, more information about the capstone will be shared.

We require a commitment to attend all sessions, complete all extended learning by the published deadlines, active engagement and completion of the cohort capstone, and active engagement during the live sessions.

What is extended learning?

There will be between session reading and reflection assignments designed to continue examination of content beyond in-person sessions.

How can you be involved?
Complete the UTILA application, provide a letter of impact from you, and a letter of support from your direct leader. UTLIA cohort application will be open for submissions on March 6, 2023. The application deadline is May 1, 2023 and will be closed at that time.

Can I nominate someone I know?

Yes, you may nominate another individual by completing the nomination form on this page.  LOD will contact that individual and inform them of the nomination. The nominee will then evaluate their availably and interest, and need to complete the application requirements by the deadline.

What happens after an application is submitted?

The 2023-2024 cohort application materials will be reviewed in May 2023 and notification of the cohort will be made in June 2023.

What is the UTILA projected schedule?

UTILA will be facilitated between September and May, over the entire academic year of 2023-2024. We will alternate monthly between in-person and virtual. We will also be cognizant of any public health concerns and make adjustments if needed.

UTILA Dates for the 2023-2024 year:

2023 2024
September 12 – Session 1 January 9 – Session 5
October 3 – Session 2 January 23 – Capstone Work Session (1h)
October 24 – Capstone Work Session (1h) February 6 – Session 6
November 7 – Session 3 March 5 – Session 7
December 5 – Session 4 April 2 – Session 8
May 7 – Session 9

What happens upon completion?

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.

Contact information:

If you have any additional questions about UTILA, please contact Learning and Organizational Development via email:

Click here to apply