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Civility and Community

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Civility and Community at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Principles of Civility and Community

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville affirms the value of each member of the university community and recommends that all UTK community members adhere to the following Principles of Civility and Community.

We are welcoming to all and hostile to none. We foster an open community in which educational goals may be pursued.


We respect the diverse backgrounds of all members of our community and welcome the opportunity for interpersonal and group interactions.


We value and encourage, and facilitate free exchange of diverse ideas and points-of-view along with free speech and expression. However, we discourage uncivil speech or expression that infringes upon the ability of others to express themselves.


We value an environment that facilitates collegial relationships, encourages mutual understanding among diverse individuals and leads to addressing issues and differences in an atmosphere of mutual respect and civility.


We believe that a person’s views, ideas, and behavior best reflect the goals of the academic community when the dignity of each individual is respected and when members of the community are considerate of the feelings, circumstances, and individuality of others.

We encourage development of a civil community that values critical inquiry, debate, discovery, and innovation to better the world through teaching, research and service.


We value academic honesty and integrity by all members of the academic community.


We believe that learning is an interpersonal growth experience that fosters appreciation for diversity.


We believe it is important to recognize how others view and relate to the community and recognize that we are part of a larger community.


We encourage all community members to speak out against incidents involving bigotry and other types of incivility so the university can fulfill its responsibility of responding in a fair, timely and consistent fashion.


Adopted Fall 2011

Designed to work in concert with existing University of Tennessee, Knoxville codes of conduct including: UTK Faculty Handbook (Chapter 1.1 Nature and Purpose and Chapter 2.25 Professional Conduct); UT Faculty and Staff Code of Conduct (HR Policy HR0508); and Hilltopics Student Handbook (General Standards of Conduct).