The City Council on Tuesday approved a $19,800 social and equity study by UTC professor Dr. Marcus Mauldin.
Councilwoman Carol Berz said the approval was contingent upon the council being given a framework of what the study would entail.
She said it should not only deal with race, but issues like gender and age.
Dr. Mauldin earlier told council members that the study would result in policy recommendations that the council could use for future decisions.
Councilwoman Demetrus Coonrod initially asked for the study.
Dr. Mauldin said students would be involved heavily in gathering data and other aspects of the study. He said it might take 4-6 months.
The cost would come from the City Council budget.
Dr. Mauldin said the study was not designed "to fingerpoint" but analyze areas where "the benefits do not reach everyone in the same way." He added, "We will look at where these things exist" and "try to figure out adequate and sustainable solutions."
Councilwoman Berz earlier noted the council had already authorized a disparity study during the prior administration, and she said the Urban League issued "the State of Black Chattanooga" report.
It was noted that the city already has an equity department.
Chair Raquetta Dotley boosted the study, saying, "It would be great to have an equity framework for our decisions."