UT gets new diversity leader

University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro announced Thursday that he’s created a new position to address diversity and inclusion across the system, reports the News Sentinel.

Noma Anderson will be special adviser to the president on diversity and inclusion starting July 1. DiPietro said Anderson’s role builds on a commitment to diversity and will address challenges related to inclusion.

Anderson is currently dean of the College of Health Professions at the UT Health Science Center in Memphis and chair of the Diversity Advisory Council for the system.

With her new position, Anderson will spend half of her time as an adviser to the president and chair of the diversity council. The other half will be as a faculty member working to streamline admissions, transfers and financial aid processes in the Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology. She will be based in Memphis.

Anderson’s salary will be $230,817.96 and dually funded by UTHSC and UT System, according to the university.

…The creation of the new role comes after state lawmakers defunded the Knoxville campus’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion for one year and after strong support for diversity from faculty and students… Both Cheek and DiPietro stressed during the meetings that UT has to follow the new law but is committed to diversity.