What does it mean to be the University of the South?
The answer to that question changes from one generation to the next and from one individual to the next. Being “of the South” means that we are both the beneficiaries and the critics of a rich tradition. While we are deeply invested in this region, we also engage with other communities, locally and globally. Diversity and variety—of the South and of the world—inform and underpin our institution, and all our community’s citizens must confront this question on some level.
In its educational programs and activities and with regard to employment, the University of the South stands firmly for the principle that its students and employees (faculty and staff) have a right to be free from discrimination and harassment based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status, and genetic information and free from sexual misconduct. Moreover, we promote the flourishing of a diverse and inclusive campus community.
As our statement of purpose indicates, Sewanee is “dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom in close community and in full freedom of inquiry, and enlightened by Christian faith in the Anglican tradition, welcoming individuals from all backgrounds, to the end that students be prepared to search for truth, seek justice, preserve liberty under law, and serve God and humanity.” To embody the principles articulated in our statement of purpose, we strive for diversity in ideas and in our community, working to maintain and expand the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion in hiring, programming, and our curriculum. It is our ethical imperative to pursue difficult conversations that are civil, campus-wide, and involve a variety of perspectives. Such conversations characterize our community, a group of people engaged in honest self-criticism and in a process of growth and change. Ultimately, we seek to create and sustain an intercultural community that includes and empowers all our members.