Our Purpose

The Tennessee Association of Colleges and Employers is an association of Tennessee colleges and universities, state and technical institutes, and employers of students and graduates of these institutions who have joined together to accomplish the following:

  • To enhance understanding and cooperation among institutions of higher education and their employers.
  • To promote high standards of education, work, and ethical practices, and the general professional development of individuals within the profession.
  • To plan and implement programs addressing pertinent issues at the state and local level.
  • To strengthen and maintain the triangular relationship among students, employers and the post secondary educational institutions.

Condemning Racial Discrimination

TACE condemns racial discrimination, disparate treatment, and systemic oppression of any people groups, specifically black and brown groups. The aforementioned activities, practices, and mindsets include the marginalization and de-humanizing of others and have manifested into violent acts that will not be tolerated.

TACE’s work depends on, and is advanced by, meaningful and reciprocal relationships between community partners including members from business, civic, education, and government sectors. Navigating college student career pathways as they intersect with workplace environments occur within local, state, regional, national, and international contexts and is deeply impacted by societal and racial inequities in education, economics, healthcare, and public safety.

The TACE membership will continue to pursue greater literacy around racial inequities by identifying and addressing our own biases and positionalities. TACE is committed to examining our own work and actions. In doing so, this examination will enable us to reflect on, identify and improve systems, structures, cultures, policies, and processes that disproportionately hurt racially minoritized community members.

Contributing Authors:
Dr. Jeffrey Alston, East Tennessee State University
Simone Stewart, University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Mary Claire Dismukes, Belmont University
Marc Holcomb, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Dr. Rob Liddell, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Proposed: June 10, 2020
Adopted: June 12, 2020
Promulgated: June 12, 2020

In order to operationalize this statement, the TACE Board commits to the following action steps:

  • Additional and ongoing efforts to identify, support, and invite candidates from historically underrepresented groups for Board service, committee leadership, and visible engagement roles across the Association
  • Intentional programming to increase the pursuit of greater literacy around racial inequities by identifying and addressing our own biases and positionalities through keynote presentations, moderated dialogues, and to maintain this pursuit as a factor in selecting programming for our Membership
  • Establish and resource a mentoring program through which ongoing development and networking with the intent for career progression and advocacy is a central aim
  • Establish and resource a mechanism through which honest dialogue can occur around lived experiences—examples of this sort of dialogue might include virtual or on-campus/on-site tours of historically minority serving institutions, panels celebrating black culture, and development of professional resources to guide TACE members through their individual journeys

While these steps serve to provide an accountable record of actions the TACE Board commits to take in the near term (days and weeks, not months and years), further deliberation and discussion will be held at our Summer Board meeting with specific attention given to implementation and Membership engagement.

We cannot become the Association we aspire to be when our members do not feel safe, do not feel seen or heard, and do not consider their input, challenge, and support valued.

Rob Liddell, Ph.D.
President, Tennessee Association of Colleges and Employers