Category Archives: Race, Equity and Diversity

Ryan: Supreme Court Ruling Will Not Diminish UVa Commitment to Diversity

by James A. Bacon

If the United States Supreme Court rules in June that colleges and universities may no longer use race as a factor in admissions, the University of Virginia will continue to “do everything with our legal authority to recruit a student body that is both extraordinarily talented and richly diverse across every imaginable dimension including race,” said President Jim Ryan and Provost Ian Baucom in a statement issued to the university community.

Arguments before the Supreme Court are now underway on legal challenges at Harvard and the University of North Carolina to block racial preferences in university admissions. Such policies, the plaintiffs argue, violate the Constitutional prohibition of discrimination on the basis of race.

Ryan and Baucom said they are committed to “serve the Commonwealth and beyond by making a UVA education as accessible as possible for all, including historically underrepresented students.”

While there is broad support across the political spectrum for recruiting Blacks, Hispanics and other racial minorities to UVa, there is considerable disquiet about setting numerical goals for minority representation, which, for all practical purposes represent targets to be achieved. UVa assiduously tracks the racial make-up of its student body, faculty, and staff. Continue reading

“DEI Is Dead” at VMI

Huge news from the Virginia Military Institute with implications for the University of Virginia….

by James A. Bacon

The Youngkin administration has just unloaded a HIMARS rocket attack on Virginia Military Institute’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion program.

Speaking Friday in a session of mandatory “inclusive excellence training,” Martin D. Brown, Youngkin’s chief of Diversity, Opportunity & Inclusion, left steaming rubble where VMI’s DEI program had been standing.

“Let’s take a moment right now to kill that cow. DEI is dead,” said Brown. “We’re not going to bring that cow up anymore. It’s dead. It was mandated by the General Assembly, but this governor has a different philosophy of civil discourse, civility, treating — living the golden rule, right?” Continue reading

UVa Is on a DEI Hiring Spree

The University of Virginia’s vice president for diversity, equity & inclusion told the New York Times that UVa has only 40 DEI employees — half the number counted by the Virginia Association of Scholars. We wonder if his count includes the positions cited in the article below, which is reposted with permission from the Do No Harm blog. –JAB

Forget teaching medicine. The University of Virginia’s medical education programs are too busy hiring woke ideologues. A source recently sent us the job posting for the UVA Comprehensive Cancer Center’s new DEI Program Coordinator, and the School of Medicine is hiring a Program Manager and Events Coordinator. These are the sorts of things the UVA Board should investigate, and better yet, stop.

The job descriptions are everything you’d expect from positions grounded in divisive and discriminatory concepts like DEI. The cancer center job, for instance, will develop “DEI related trainings, programs, seminars, and presentations,” ensuring faculty and students receive woke indoctrination. They will also help implement a “5-year strategic plan,” with the goal of making the Cancer Center more woke every year. Continue reading

New York Times “DEI” Article Prompts Questions About Ryan’s Views

Bert Ellis. Photo credit: New York Times

by James A. Bacon

Kudos to Stephanie Saul for her front-page article in The New York Times this morning. She quotes Bert Ellis and me accurately and in context in an impressively even-handed account of the brewing controversy over Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at the University of Virginia.

Followers of the Jefferson Council will find that the article, which explores DEI issues at UVa through the prism of Ellis’ appointment to the Board of Visitors, covers familiar ground. However, it does contain nuggets of news, mainly by putting UVa President Jim Ryan and other university officials on the record on issues about which they have been largely silent so far.

Most astonishing are the quotes from Ryan, who comes across as totally clueless about the aims of his critics.

James E. Ryan, the university’s president, said he believes the majority of alumni feel the way he does — that diversity is desirable and needed.

“I haven’t heard anyone say we should have a community that is monolithic, unfair and unwelcoming,” he said in an interview.

Mr. Ryan said he wonders about the motives of the critics.

“Whether this is an effort to focus on the aspects of D.E.I. that seem to threaten academic freedom and push toward ideological conformity, or whether it’s an effort to turn back the clock to 1965 — it’s hard to know,” he said in an interview.

Continue reading

What Do DEI Bureaucracies Do All Day?

Dean Stephanie Rowley, UVa School of Education and Human Development

by James C. Sherlock

We are left to imagine what Dean of the University of Virginia School of Education and Human Development Stephanie Rowley would possibly do without the assistance of LaRon Scott, her Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI).

How in heaven’s name without Mr. Scott could she keep reactionaries like Catherine Bradshaw, Nancy Deutsch, Scott Gest and Stephanie van Hover and the Center on Race, Public Education, and the South and Youth-Nex Center to Promote Youth Development from preaching white supremacist doctrine and organizing torchlit marches on NAACP offices?

I am not singling out UVa for special criticism. I just know a lot more of the details about my alma mater than other schools. Virginia Tech reportedly has a very aggressive program.

The point is that we have to try to figure out why modern American universities in 2021 suddenly needed large and growing DEI bureaucracies. And what they do all day.

The left had won the war in academia before DEI. It would be unkind to think the DEI apparatchiks are formed as a paramilitary wing to execute enemy survivors.

So, if not that, what do they do? Continue reading

Ceaser Crosses the Rubicon, Refuses to Give DEI Loyalty Oath

Jim Ceaser

by James A. Bacon

Jim Ceaser runs the Program for Constitutionalism and Democracy at the University of Virginia, which provides civic education on American ideas in politics and political economy. The courses are unusual these days in surveying the thought of mostly dead white men: from Aristotle and Montesquieu to Edmund Burke and Alexis de Tocqueville. The courses are remarkable also in giving equal time – in many instances even more than equal time — to thinkers whom most today consider conservative and whom, he believes, receive less attention than they merit.

Ceaser is a fully tenured professor, which provides significant protections against being fired. As for the program he directs, which reaches a large number of students, all of the funding comes from private donors and foundations from outside the university. Having started teaching in 1975, he’s reached retirement age.

If not cancel proof, he is cancel-resistant. That makes it easier for him to refuse to fill out questions in a “peer review evaluation form” that probe his thinking about Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. Continue reading

Lawn Applications Down… Again. Why?

Photo credit: The University of Virginia

by James A. Bacon

Forty-seven University of Virginia students have been offered a room on the Lawn for the 2023-24 academic year. They were selected from a pool of 152 applicants, reports The Cavalier Daily. The number of applications was down from 189 last year and 221 two years ago.

Why the decline?

There was a time when residence on the Lawn was a coveted honor. Does the fall-off in applications reflect a sentiment among UVa students that life on the Lawn is less of a privilege than it once was? Are students today more likely to find the living conditions — such as the necessity to walk outside to reach a bathroom — too primitive for comfort? Alternatively, do some students believe the Lawn selection is stacked and see no point in applying?

The Cavalier Daily does not ask the question. Those of us who are not part of the selection process are left to speculate.

Here’s a clue: The newspaper article reports the demographic make-up of the Lawn residents. The collection and dissemination of such data reflects upon the priorities of those involved in the selection process. As the old saying goes, you manage what you measure. Continue reading

The Hidden Costs of DEI

by James A. Bacon

According to a new report by the Virginia Association of Scholars, the University of Virginia in 2021 employed 77 people as part of the a vast and growing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) bureaucracy at a cost of nearly $7 million a year. Many questions arise from this revelation. What do all these people do? What are their goals? Are they improving the university climate? What is the effect of DEI on freedom of speech, inquiry and expression?

We will address these question in future posts. For now, we want to make it clear that the $7 million cost is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

The authors of the VAS study make it clear that they are counting only positions that are explicitly tied to DEI-related programs, and it counts only salaries. Not benefits. Not office overhead. Not outside consultants, speakers, or events. And perhaps most importantly, not the impact on faculty productivity.

The fixation on DEI suffuses every aspect of University life. Not only does the university administration have a DEI staff, not only do each of its 13 schools and colleges have DEI staffs, but the DEI ethic permeates down to the departmental level as reflected in planning sessions, training programs, departmental-level reading groups, the hiring of new employees, and the granting of pay raises, promotions, and tenure decision-making.

An extraordinary amount of activity at UVa is devoted to DEI, and that activity sucks faculty, students, and non-DEI staff into the vortex. Continue reading

UVA’S DEI Bureaucracy: the Details

Here is the breakdown of DEI positions and salaries at the University of Virginia identified in the Virginia Association of Scholars report, “Should Virginians Pay for University ‘Diversity’ Leftism?”

In 2020, UVa spent more money than any other public Virginia university on DEI staff and salaries. In 2021, UVa doubled the number of administrators and increased spending on salaries by 66%.

These numbers reflect only a fraction of the total administrative costs imposed by the DEI bureaucracy. They do not include employee benefits, office space, travel & entertainment, engagement of outside consultants and speakers, or DEI-related tasks performed by staff and faculty with other job responsibilities.

UVa DEI Positions in 2020

Continue reading

$15 Million+ and Growing Fast

The Jefferson Council released the following press release at 1:00 p.m. today.

The cost of Virginia’s higher-ed DEI bureaucracy is spinning out of control.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., January 6, 2023 Virginia’s 15 public four-year universities paid its Diversity, Equity & Inclusion administrators more than $15 million in salaries in 2020, according to a new report,” Should Virginians Pay for University “Diversity” Leftism?

And DEI spending exploded the following year, 2021, at the two universities for which data is available: 119% at James Madison University and 66% at the University of Virginia. So found the report, which was published by the Virginia Association of Scholars and funded by The Jefferson Council and The Spirit of VMI alumni organizations.

UVa was the biggest spender. In 2021 its DEI bureaucracy numbered 77 employees and cost $6.9 million in salaries. JMU had 65 DEI employees whose salaries totaled $5.3 million. In 2020 Virginia Tech ranked No.2 statewide in DEI spending, with 47 staff costing $4 million in salaries.

In 2020 Virginia State University, a historically Black university, and the Virginia Military Institute, a senior military college, were the only two institutions without a DEI staffer. VMI hired a DEI director in 2021. Continue reading