University of Tennessee at Martin officials, including Chancellor Keith Carver and interim Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Mark McCloud, signed the “Skyhawk Creed” into effect Friday, Aug. 21, at the Boling University Center.
The creed, based on “respect,” “responsibility” and “right choices,” symbolizes the values and mission of UT Martin in its effort to promote a welcoming and diverse university. The document was created in response to students’ concerns of social injustices on campus.
The Skyhawk Creed states, “The University of Tennessee at Martin is an educational community committed to excellence in personal integrity and intellectual growth in a diverse and inclusive environment. As a voluntary member of this community: I will respect the rights and property of all persons and treat them with dignity and civility. I will take responsibility for my actions and hold others accountable for theirs, while demonstrating a concern for others, their feelings, and their sense of belonging. I will make right choices that will demonstrate academic integrity, discourage bigotry and hate, and strive to learn from the unique differences of people and opinions. I pledge to model these principles and values and encourage others to follow my example.”
Carver, McCloud and Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Philip Acree Cavalier discussed the importance of each principle of the creed during the signing. Each encouraged students, faculty and staff to be civil when discussing difficult conversations, to hold themselves and others accountable for what they say and do, as well as to have integrity and an open mind.
“While we can’t always control what other people say, we can control who we are, and we want the world to know who we are as an institution and individuals,” said McCloud.
Dr. Sean Walker, Faculty Senate president, Dr. Andy Lewter, vice chancellor for Student Affairs, and Kaylin Bailey, president of the Black Student Association, also signed the “Skyhawk Creed.”
For more information about the “Skyhawk Creed,” contact McCloud at firstname.lastname@example.org.