This handbook contains material that applies to all faculty in The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, faculty in the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, and faculty at the University of Tennessee Space Institute.
As the state’s leading comprehensive research and land-grant institution, UT’s primary purpose is to move forward the frontiers of human knowledge and enrich and elevate society, as further elaborated in its Mission Statement. The University is committed to the principle that decisions concerning employment, admission, and performance should be based on an individual’s qualifications and performance and not on characteristics unrelated to job or academic requirements. The University does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status in provision of educational opportunities or employment opportunities or benefits. The University and its employees shall not discriminate against or harass any employee or student on the basis of sexual orientation; gender identity; marital status; parental status; or similar characteristics, regardless of whether those characteristics enjoy a protected status under state or federal law.
The institution welcomes and honors people of all races, creeds, cultures, and sexual orientations, and values intellectual curiosity, pursuit of knowledge, and academic freedom and integrity. Faculty prepare students to lead lives of personal integrity and civic responsibility.
 This paragraph is consistent with University policy HR0220, which further states that the language of the paragraph above shall not be construed to: (1) confer eligibility for employment benefits for which an employee is not otherwise eligible under state law, policy, or practice; (2) infringe upon the free exchange of ideas essential to the academic environment; (3) limit the freedom of religious association; (4) establish a duty to engage in affirmative action measures for characteristics not subject to affirmative action under state or federal law; (5) require the compliance of external entities or individuals or compliance of university programs governed by external government agencies in which non-discrimination does not include certain personal characteristics (e.g., ROTC); or (6) create any cause of action not currently provided by state or federal law.