UT’s Haslam Receives National Award for Accessibility, Connectivity, Inclusivity

Insight Into Diversity magazine honored the Haslam College of Business with its 2024 Inspiring Programs in Business Award.

February 29, 2024

Insight Into Diversity magazine announced the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Haslam College of Business as the recipient of its 2024 Insight Into Diversity Inspiring Programs in Business Award. The honor recognizes programs offered through Haslam’s Office of Accessibility and Community Connections (OACC) for demonstrating an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

The magazine assessed and selected award winners based on their efforts to inspire and encourage younger generations to consider careers in business through mentoring, teaching, research and successful programs and initiatives. Founded in 1974, Insight Into Diversity magazine is the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education. Haslam will be featured, along with 27 other recipients, in its April 2024 issue.

“We know that many business programs are not always recognized for their success, dedication and mentorship for underrepresented students,” Lenore Pearlstein, owner and publisher of the magazine, said. “We want to honor the schools and organizations that have created programs that inspire and encourage young people who may currently be in or are interested in a future career in business. We are proud to honor these programs as role models to other institutions of higher education and beyond.”

Dedicated OACC Staff Fulfills Mission

Stephen L. Mangum, dean of the college and Stokely Foundation Leadership Chair, says the award underscores Haslam’s continuing emphasis on offering students from underrepresented communities educational resources and opportunities both within the college and in its broader community.

“Clarence Vaughn, the director of our Office of Accessibility and Community Connections, and his staff, have created multiple touchpoints for current and prospective students to ensure the college is providing a welcoming and supportive environment,” Mangum said. “To be honored by Insight Into Diversity with this award means Clarence and his staff’s efforts are having a meaningful effect in Haslam and the community the college serves. On behalf of the college, I thank them for serving as excellent ambassadors for Haslam.”

Vaughn said the award validates his staff’s hard work and the positive impact it has on campus and beyond.

“Our many ongoing initiatives make a real difference in the lives of our current and prospective students,” Vaughn said. “The 2024 Insight Into Diversity Inspiring Programs in Business Award is recognition of the value of our office’s work, and I am so proud of my team for that. But receiving this award doesn’t mean our work is done; we will be expanding our current programs and rolling out new ones in the future, continuing to support and encourage accessibility, connectivity and inclusivity.”

About Haslam’s Office of Accessibility and Community Connections

Haslam’s OACC strives to build a welcoming and inclusive environment for faculty, staff, students and the community. It provides academic resources and mentoring programs for students and hones their leadership and interpersonal skills while advancing diversity and inclusion initiatives. The office also works with several corporate partners who support a diverse and inclusive business community at the collegiate level and beyond. By partnering with community organizations throughout the Knoxville community, OACC facilitates college attendance and retention.

The office’s summer business programs introduce high school students from different areas across Tennessee to college business majors and career possibilities. These programs include Business Education for Talented Students, the Accounting and Information Management Academy, the Supply Chain Management Summer Program, and the Women Empowered Through Business Institute.

Additional information on the office’s work with corporate partners, current students and career touchpoint is available on the OACC webpage.

About the Haslam College of Business

Founded in 1914, the UT Haslam College of Business consists of over 8,800 undergraduate and graduate students. Its seven departments, eight centers and institutes, four forums and graduate and executive education programs reach across the for profit, not-for-profit and governmental sectors of business, with a heavy emphasis on practical research. UT was founded in 1794 and was designated as Tennessee’s land-grant institution in 1879.


Scott McNutt, business writer/publicist, rmcnutt4@utk.edu