The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Commission for Blacks



The Commission for Black Faculty, Staff, and Students (CFB) is a body appointed by the Chancellor to advise on planning, implementation, and evaluation of University programs, policies, and services as they relate to students, faculty, and staff who identify in the Black racial/ethnic group of the Knoxville campus. The Commission reports administratively to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity.


The Commission:


The Commission shall consist of a proportionate number of faculty, staff (exempt and non-exempt), students (undergraduate and graduate), and external community members (ideally 2 of each) as voting members. Membership shall be distributed among the various colleges, schools and administrative units of the University. The Chair of the Commission, either as a single Chair or two Co-Chairs, hereafter referred to as Chair, will forward nomination to the Chancellor, who shall appoint the Commission annually.

Ex-officio membership also shall consist of the following administrators, chairs, representatives or respective designees:

*Designates Voting Members

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee shall be comprised of the CFB Chair (Co-Chair), Chair-elect, Immediate Past Chair, Chairpersons of standing committees, and the representative of the Black Alumni Council. As necessary, this committee shall schedule and conduct meetings prior to the regular Commission meetings. The Chair will decide the modality of the meetings (i.e., virtual room on the Blackboard site, face-to-face, conference call, email, etc.), and communicate such plan in advance of the meeting.


Two co-chairs, recommended to and approved by the Chancellor, shall lead the Commission. They shall be elected for a two-year term, with the co-chair being elected in alternating years. The co-chairs shall solicit nominations and prepare a slate of co-chair candidates to be brought forward to the Commission for a vote. The individual who is selected will be presented to the Vice Chancellor for Diversity for the final decision and appointment. Following the completion of the co-chair position, the exiting co-chair will serve as Immediate Past Chair for one year (unless they were re-elected and agreed to serve another two-year co-chair term).

Key duties/responsibilities shall include:

Chairperson of Standing Committee

The Chair will appoint a Chairperson for each Standing Committee, and ad hoc committees as needed. All committee members shall be Commissioners who volunteer to serve on an active basis. The Chairperson of a Standing Committee shall serve as appointed, which is generally on an annual basis.

Standing Committees

Commissioners are expected to serve on, and actively participate in, one to three of the following standing committees:

Faculty, Staff, and Students Interest Committee

Communications & Engagement Committee

Awards Committee

Bylaws Committee

All committees will meet at least one (1) time during the semester. Each Chairperson of a Standing Committee will provide a written summary of committee activities as directed by the Chair of the commission. Ad hoc committees shall be formed as needed and directed by the Chair of the commission.

Graduate Assistant

The Chair and Chair-elect in coordination with the Chair and Chair-elect of the Council for Diversity and Interculturalism shall select a graduate assistant to aid the commission by attending and taking notes at Commission meetings, disseminating information to the Commission, and performing other tasks assigned by the Chair and Chair-elect. This graduate assistant shall have a fifty percent appointment, including a fee waiver, and shall be supported by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity.



The Commission shall schedule regular monthly meetings at a time to be agreed upon at the beginning of each semester. Additional meetings shall be scheduled as needed. The agenda at these meetings shall be determined by the Commission and may include items requested by the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, a member of the faculty, staff, or student body with a concern or grievance, or of any member of the UT Knoxville community with an issue which might require attention. All meetings shall be open to any member of the UT Knoxville community. A quorum is constituted by the number of commissioners present.

Rules of Order

The meetings of the Commission shall be conducted in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order.


The Commission for Blacks, being an advisory body serving the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, shall be provided with an operating budget through that office to cover such expenses as telephone service, graduate assistant, web maintenance, the newsletter, and other miscellaneous operating expenses. Funds may also be used to support campus activities aimed at improving the presence of Blacks and African Americans and/or diversity and inclusion initiatives on campus.


These bylaws shall be approved by a two-thirds vote of the Commission, taken by a ballot or via email, and may be amended by a similar vote taken at a subsequent regularly scheduled meeting. Both bylaws and amendments shall become effective upon the approval of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity.


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Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System