Mark M. Luellen
VP for Advancement
University of Virginia
Office of Advancement
Dear Mr. Luellen,
Years ago, we formalized an estate plan which included UVA as the recipient of a significant portion of our assets, held in a revocable family trust. I was proud of my degree from UVA and loved the atmosphere where honor, true history, scholarship, world class research and excellent teaching were the priorities.
In recent months I have been concerned that these priorities were overtaken by an extreme emphasis on diversity and equity and a lesser regard for traditional values. Lately UVA’s abundant support for the murderous and uncivilized Hamas organization and the timid recognition of the slaughter of innocent Israelis has deeply saddened me. Continue reading
Kimberly J. Robinson, UVa Professor of Law. Official Photo
by James C. Sherlock
Fund it and they will come.
The Daily Progress reports that thanks to a $4.9 million gift from an anonymous philanthropist, a new “Institute” has been launched at UVa’s School of Law.
The new organization, the Education Rights Institute, plans to
“find ways to improve K-12 education and help educators address the obstacles that face disadvantaged students.”
Staff have been hired and the institute’s first projects are already in development. There will be a star-studded roll out on October 16th.
Hold that thought while you read about the Institute’s leadership, goals and intentions. Continue reading
by James C. Sherlock
As an alumnus of the University of Virginia, I like to check in occasionally to see how my alma mater is doing financially.
Not the actual University, but the wealthy and proliferating nonprofits set up for its off-the-books support. When I say wealthy, I mean $13,568,527,649 wealthy.
All of them tax exempt. Continue reading
This graph shows how UVIMCO divvies up its $14.5 billion endowment from an investment perspective.
by James A. Bacon
The University of Virginia endowment racked up a breathtaking 49% investment return in the year ending June 30, 2021, bringing the total value of the university’s investments to $14.5 billion, reports the University of Virginia Investment Management Company (UVIMCO) in its 2020-21 annual report.
I’m not sure that’s a good thing.
On the one hand, powerful investment returns supports initiatives such as the recently announced allocation of $50 million dollars for merit-based scholarships and aid to needy undergraduate students. On the other hand, such spectacular financial performance — almost $5 billion in a single year — makes the university leadership less accountable to tuition-paying students and parents, to the Commonwealth of Virginia which funds millions in state support, and to alumni whose individual donations are paltry by comparison.
Come to think of it, I’m even agnostic on whether the $50 million in new scholarship money is a good thing or not. Continue reading
Bright shiny object: the proposed $48 million Data Science building.
by James A. Bacon
Alumni unhappy about recent developments at the niversity of Virginia claim to have withdrawn $150 million or more in pledged financial support for the institution. Money talks in academia as elsewhere. President Jim Ryan and Rector James Murray have engaged disgruntled grads in spoken and written communications and have given them the courtesy of thoughtful (albeit inadequate) responses.
But there is little indication that anything will change. In last week’s Board of Visitors meeting, not one of the issues raised by the insurgent alumni was discussed — not the “F— UVA” sign on the Lawn, not the purging of names from buildings and grounds of once-prominent figures now deemed racist, not the increasing intolerance of non-leftist viewpoints that is strangling intellectual diversity and leaving a majority of students reluctant to speak their opinions openly.