UT’s Haslam College of Business Hosts National DEI Conference

March 3, 2023

The inaugural conference of the Business School Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Collaborative (BUSDEIC) runs from March 8-10 at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s campus and in downtown Knoxville. Hosted in its first year by the Haslam College of Business, the conference is expected to draw roughly 125 attendees from academia and industry, representing almost 120 schools and six businesses.

With 27 academic, business and nonprofit leaders conducting educational sessions, the conference will explore several topics related to its theme, “The Value Proposition of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.” These include implementing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) action plans and measuring their success, defining the impact of DEI initiatives in higher education and using such practices to strengthen internal and external relationships. According to Clarence Vaughn, director of Haslam’s Office of Access and Community Connections and treasurer of BUSDEIC, conference attendees will learn relevant data and concepts benefiting their organizations.

“Participants will develop a deeper understanding of the value proposition of diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as expand their means of promoting DEI initiatives in their organizations,” Vaughn said. “They also will become more proficient in making the business case that DEI practices increase their organizations’ value.”

Originally formed in June 2022 by 14 Southeastern Conference (SEC) business schools, BUSDEIC now represents a national network of diversity-focused people and resources in the business education community. Its goal is to advance DEI and belonging in higher education by hosting conferences to discuss best practices and programs, granting awards and serving as a resource for educators and industry people interested in increasing opportunities for historically underrepresented groups.

Stephen L. Mangum, dean and Stokely Foundation Leadership Chair at Haslam, expressed the college’s support for the BUSDEIC’s mission.

“We, as a college, are committed to opening paths for students from diverse backgrounds and broadening the demographic diversity of our faculty and staff, for we believe that such diversity enriches the educational experience of all and makes us better as an organization,” Mangum said. “We are excited and proud to serve as host for the Business Schools DEI Collaborative’s inaugural conference, which will further our commitment to this goal.”

Complete details on the conference, including the full agenda and speaker biographies, can be found on the conference website. For more information, contact Clarence Vaughn.

About the Haslam College of Business

The Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, founded in 1914, consists of more than 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Its eight 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. Its nationally ranked supply chain management, business analytics, marketing, and accounting and information management programs are well known for their innovative curricula and experiential learning. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, was founded in 1794 and was designated Tennessee’s land-grant institution in 1879.


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