Author Archives: James Bacon

Extensive Plagiarism Alleged for Education School PhD Dissertation

by James A. Bacon

Natalie J. Perry, who now leads the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion program at UCLA, plagiarized long passages in her PhD dissertation at UVA, allege Luke Rosiak and Christopher F. Rufo in The Daily Wire.

In describing the plagiarism in Perry’s dissertation, “Faculty Perceptions of Diversity at a Highly Selective Research-Intensive University,” Rosiak and Rufo write:

An analysis of the paper found it ridden with the worst sort of plagiarism, reproducing large swaths of text directly from several other authors, without citations. The scale of the plagiarism suggests that Perry lacks both ethics and competence and raises questions about academic programs that push DEI.

Perry’s dissertation lifted passages from ten other papers. In key portions of her text, she copied almost every paragraph from other sources without attribution. She fails even to mention at least four of the ten plagiarized papers anywhere in her dissertation.

The article says Perry earned her PhD in 2014. Her official biography states that she holds a degree in “higher education” from UVA. The School of Education and Human Development website indicates that the school offers a PhD in Higher Education.

“A legitimate academic field never would have found this dissertation plausible,” Rosiak and Rufo write. Speaking of UVA, Harvard, and UCLA Medical School, they add, “These institutions have dramatically lowered expectations for favored groups and pushed a cohort of ‘scholars’ through the system without enforcing basic standards of academic integrity.” Continue reading

“Crash the U.S. Settler State”

Dr. Tiffany King, a tenured professor in the University of Virginia’s Department of Women, Sexuality and Gender, spoke last week in a virtual symposium hosted by Hunter College’s Center for Puerto Rican Studies.

The symposium, “At the Edge of Each Other’s Battles: Puerto Rican, Palestinian, Black & Indigenous Futures,” explored the “mutual solidarity” that is believed to exist between these communities. King and a Hunter College professor closed out the symposium with their panel, “Letters for Palestine: Storytelling as Praxis.” We have excerpted clips from that even for this blog post, but we have made the entire discussion available for viewing should anyone wonder if we are taking comments out of context.

King believes that the Palestinian Resistance inspires Black and Indigenous feminists to “crash the U.S. settler state.” Continue reading

Keffiyehs, Yarmulkes and “Belonging” at UVA

by James A. Bacon

It’s “Palestinian Liberation Week” at the University of Virginia this week, and the Students for Justice in Palestine have organized loads of activities for antizionists, culminating with a “Die-In for Gaza” Friday.

“Wear your keffiyeh,” urges UVA’s Students for Justice in Palestine on its Instagram page. Keffiyehs are traditional Arab scarfs, which students wear to signal their solidarity with Palestinians seeking to combat “settler colonialism” in Israel.

Meanwhile, Jewish students have stopped wearing yarmulkes, Stars of David or other ornamentation that would identify them as Jews.

What does that dichotomy say about the sense of “belonging” — the holy grail of the Ryan administration — experienced by Arabs and Jews respectively at UVA? Continue reading

Correction

On April 4, the Jefferson Council published a blog post detailing concerns by parents of Jewish students about the hostile environment their children face at the University of Virginia. That article linked to a list of 37 incidents involving faculty and students compiled by the parents and attached to a letter to Rector Robert Hardie. One incident mentioned professor Ian Mullins by name as supporting a terrorist attack on an Israeli town. The lead compiler of the list mis-identified Mullins as the professor in question and has written a letter of apology to him. The Jefferson Council disclaims any responsibility for the error but wanted to alert blog readers who might have viewed the document on our website to know of the correction.

Blockbuster: Ryan Solicited Urgent Meeting with Jones Prosecutor

by James A. Bacon

Three days before withholding a state-ordered report looking into a 2022 mass shooting at the University of Virginia that killed three students and wounded two, UVA officials set up a meeting with the prosecutor of the alleged killer, The Daily Progress reports.

In a statement issued November 17, 2023, President Jim Ryan and Rector Robert Hardie justified keeping the report’s findings secret by quoting the prosecutor, Albemarle County Commonwealth Attorney Jim Hingeley, as thanking the University for not complicating the prosecution of the accused.

“After conferring with counselors and Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Hingeley, we have decided that we need to wait until after the criminal proceedings to release further information,” said Ryan and Hardie.

Left unsaid in the statement is the fact that Ryan initiated the meeting with Hingeley, using University Police Chief Tim Longo as an intermediary. Longo, who worked closely with Charlottesville and Albemarle County law enforcement authorities on safety issues affecting the university, made a logical go-between. Continue reading

A Tale of Two Protests: UVA vs. Berkeley

by James A. Bacon

The Jefferson Council is often critical of the free-speech environment at the University of Virginia, but we’re also cognizant that things could be a lot worse. UVA could be Harvard, which has the worst possible free-speech rating from the Foundation for Individual Rights & Expression… or Berkeley, which is almost as bad.

In his Substack publication Original Jurisdiction, legal analyst David Lat contrasts the behavior of law students at UVA and Berkeley. Describing a speech at UVA by Justice Jay Mitchell of the Alabama Supreme Court, who wrote the controversial opinion in Alabama’s invitro fertilization case, Lat writes:

Some UVA students decided to protest him. As I approached the room where he would be speaking, I saw several protesters standing outside and holding signs. I wondered if they would yell at me or other people going into the talk, à la the Stanford law students who shouted “shame, shame” at attendees of Judge Kyle Duncan’s March 2023 talk—and who screamed at Judge Duncan things like, “We hope your daughters get raped!”

Continue reading

Miyares, Manchin to Speak at UVA

The Jefferson Council is pleased to partner with the Center for Politics to bring these two prominent politicians to the University of Virginia.

Team Ryan Defends Closed Board Session

by James A. Bacon

University of Virginia officials have responded, albeit obliquely, to questions raised by the Jefferson Council about the legality of a closed session called during a Board of Visitors meeting March 1.

In a column posted in the “So Hoos Asking” feature of UVA Today, University spokesman Brian Coy walked readers through the basics of closed sessions under Virginia state law. In that piece, he cited the real-world example of the Board’s vote last month to go into closed session to discuss the safety of Jewish students on Grounds in the wake of allegations of antisemitism.

Coy’s description of the session reveals details not previously available to the public. I’m not entirely satisfied with his explanation, as I shall explain in due course, but even if I were, another issue arises: If the topic of the closed-session discussion was as narrowly focused as Coy says it was, it drives home the fact that Rector Robert Hardie and President Jim Ryan have shut down any discussion in open session of the larger questions of UVA’s hostile climate to Jews.

In the cause of promoting open and reasoned dialogue, we are duty-bound to inform our readers fully and fairly of the views of the Ryan administration. Here follows the full passage from Coy’s column. Continue reading

UVA Report Finds No Pay Inequity for Black, Hispanic Profs

Adjusted salary differentials for tenure/tenure track faculty.

by James A. Bacon

The Racial Equity Task Force, a 2020 document that transformed governance at the University of Virginia, listed 12 top priorities for addressing the legacy of historical racism. One was to address “serious challenges to racial equity in staff hiring, wages, retention, promotion, and procurement” by auditing where policies and procedures might be “reinforcing entrenched inequities.”

The report cited no actual evidence of disparities in pay, and the authors did not assert that they existed. In a report that lambasted UVA as “an inaccessible, rich, ‘white’ institution,” pay inequities were just assumed to occur and needed to be documented.

Well, last year the Ryan administration hired the DCI Consulting Group to evaluate “pay equity” for UVA faculty based on gender and race. The results, based on 2022 compensation, were made available to UVA January 5 and, sure enough, pay inequities were found…. for non-tenured Asian-American faculty.

Remarkably, adjusted for their level in the academic hierarchy, seniority and other variables affecting compensation, Black professors who are tenured or on the tenure track were f0und to earn 3% more than their peers, Hispanic professors 3.4% more, and Whites 1.6% less — although DCI did not deem the differences to be “statistically significant.” Continue reading

The Daily Progress Recaps UVA Antisemitism Controversy

by James A. Bacon

The Daily Progress, Charlottesville’s daily newspaper, has published a balanced report about the controversy swirling around antisemitism at the University of Virginia. Followers of this blog will find most of the narrative familiar. What we find refreshing is reporter Emily Hemphill’s willingness to explore all sides of the issue without slanting the story — a throwback to the journalism of yore.

There are a couple of points worth noting. First, to reconstruct events, Hemphill made ample use of the video footage of the February-March Board of Visitors meeting archived by the Jefferson Council. State law requires UVA to livestream the meeting, but not to archive it. UVA has declined to provide that basic element of transparency and accountability. The Jefferson Council recently begun archiving that footage as a public service, and it is gratifying to see the media using it already.

Further, the Daily Progress pursues an angle to the ongoing antisemitism story that we have not fully reported: UVA officialdom’s thin-skinned response to a truck with LED billboards that displayed messages that Rector Robert Hardie was “unfit to lead UVa” and should “resign now.” Continue reading