Category Archives: Race, Equity and Diversity

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

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

UVA As a “Maze of Predatory Systems”

by James A. Bacon

If you visit the latest exhibit at the University of Virginia’s Ruffin Gallery, “EscapeRoom,” it takes no more than five or ten seconds for the artists’ message to sink in — the amount of time it takes to read the signage at the entrance:

The University of Virginia (UVA) is a site of reckoning. The legacies of slavery and white supremacy reverberate throughout its built environment. EscapeRoom confronts the frameworks of injustice that contemporary audiences inhabit and inherit in relation to this UNESCO World Heritage Site. … EscapeRoom charts critical routes through a maze of predatory systems.

Inside, the exhibits contributed by multiple artists elaborate upon the white-supremacy theme. Five 3D-printed pieces of porcelain, for instance, are described as giving “materiality, scale and dimension to the many ‘tools’ that mediate state violence visited upon Black victims: horses, batons, guns, tear gas, and more.”

A mobile made of steel sheet metal “examines violence visited upon Black people at the hands of the American state. It attends to the paradoxes of Black life and death in this anti-Black world.”

To set foot in the EscapeRoom is to enter a world of victimhood that would have been entirely justified a century or two ago but seems tragically out of date 60 years after the passage of Civil Rights legislation, the enactment of the Great Society’s war on poverty, and the dramatic transformation of attitudes toward race in America — not to mention the implementation of Racial Equity Task Force recommendations at UVA itself that made the exhibit possible in the first place. Continue reading

What Do All Those DEI Employees Do?

A reader wrote this letter in response to our article highlighting Open the Books’ finding of 235 employees and interns in UVA’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion bureaucracy. The author asked to remain anonymous. — JAB 

Thanks for sharing this article. I am not surprised at the number of DEI positions at UVA. We have long known that there are more and more people employed at UVA or any university who do not teach, conduct research, garden, cook food, or attend to maintenance. A good chunk of the rise in college costs goes to the increase in the position that are loosely administrative. When I got to UVA in 1995 we had a dean, three or four associate deans and a few counselors in the School of Education. Today we still have a dean, 5 associate deans and at least 15 directors, some of whom do not hold faculty positions. Some of these new positions are related to fund raising development, grant administration and other outreach functions. In 1995 we had 75 to 100 full-time faculty and about 2,000 students. We still have the same number of faculty and students, but we built a new building to hold the administrators.

As I was reading the article and clicking on the links I kept wondering just what do these people do. I suspect they attend a lot of meetings and write a lot of reports, but do any of the students benefit? I did a quick check in 2009 about 8% of the student body was African American, in 2021 about 6%. Clearly these folks are not succeeding at making the place more diverse. The percentage of Hispanic students has ticked up by 2% and Asians by 7%. Continue reading

Why Can’t The University of Virginia Tell The Truth About Its $1 Billion DEI Plan?

University spokesperson Brian Coy misled national media about how much DEI was costing students and taxpayers. Why won’t UVA own its $1 billion plan?

by Adam Andrzejewski

“…a call for us to be the very best version of ourselves and to live our stated commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion to become a better university.”
Dr. James Ryan, President, University of Virginia, September 11, 2020

Recently, our auditors at found that the University of Virginia (UVA) employed 235 people in roles related to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) costing taxpayers some $20 million for salaries and benefits last year.

Our report broke in the Washington Examiner and made national news. It hit multiple primetime shows on Fox News, the nightly news on the nearly 200 ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox affiliates of Sinclair Broadcast Group, a retweet by Elon Musk, and a hearing by the U.S. House subcommittee on Education and the Workforce. Continue reading

Who Counts As a DEI Employee?

by James A. Bacon

Earlier this month Open the Books, an organization dedicated to government spending transparency, released a study concluding that the University of Virginia employs 235 people, including interns, in roles relating to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at a payroll cost of roughly $20 million a year. Characterizing Open the Books’ numbers as “wildly inflated,” UVA officials disputed how the group counted someone as a DEI employee. Open the Books fired back yesterday with another broadside, defending its numbers and faulting UVA’s own claim that the University has only 55 DEI employees costing $5.8 million.

In June 2023, the Ryan administration presented numbers to the Board of Visitors that provided the following breakdown:

While Open the Books has been fully transparent, going so far as to publish a list of the employees, titles and salaries it is counting, UVA has not reciprocated with a list of its own. Continue reading

“Rest as Resistance,” the “Nap Ministry,” and Thanksgiving as White Supremacy

Editor’s Note: Today we profile Melody Pannell as an illustration of the intersectional-oppression ideology — colloquially referred to as wokeness — that permeates the University of Virginia. To avoid letting our biases creep into this and other profiles, we let the subjects express themselves in their own words. Sometimes the informally spoken word does not translate well into the written word as seen in a transcript, so we have done our best to render Pannell’s statements more intelligible by means of punctuation and excisions. Readers can judge from the video clips if we have done a fair job. — JAB. 

Meet Melody Pannell, UVA Health’s Director of Diversity & Community Engagement. Her job, says the UVA Health website, is to “cultivate an inclusive community, address social disparities and health inequities, and empower others. She also develops diversity, equity, and inclusion trainings.”

Pannell described herself and the struggles of her work in a video dialogue with Kimberly Barker, the Librarian for Belonging & Community Engagement at UVA’s Health Sciences Library.

Said Pannell: “As an activist, accomplice … DEI work, all kind of stuff like that, I’ve had my times where I lean in. … And sometimes I just have to retreat and say rest is resistance. Part of my work is actually making sure that I’m still here.” Continue reading

DEI Scrutiny Spreads

Open the Books’ expose on DEI costs at the University of Virginia is generating loads of attention.

The Daily Mail published a lengthy story here, adding some of its own reporting. The headline: “University of Virginia EXPOSED for $20M annual DEI spend on 235 staff, including $243,000-a-year equity tsar who calls OxyContin deaths payback for the ‘toxicity of whiteness,’ watchdog says.”

Virginia Congressman Bob Good, 5th district, also cited the Open the Books research during a hearing of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. See the clip here.


University of Virginia Spends $20 Million On 235 DEI Employees, With Some Making $587,340 Per Year

It takes tuition payments from nearly 1,000 undergraduates just to pay their base salaries!

The Jefferson Council is reposting this article published by Open the Books, a nonprofit group dedicated to transparency in government spending. We are pleased to say that we provided assistance in the research and fact-checking.  Open the Books CEO Adam Andrzejewski will speak at the Jefferson Council 3rd annual meeting April 9. Register now to attend. — JAB

The University of Virginia (UVA) has at least 235 employees under its “diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)” banner — including 82 students — whose total cost of employment is estimated at $20 million. That’s $15 million in cash compensation plus an additional 30 percent for the annual cost of their benefits.

In contrast, last Friday, the University of Florida dismissed its DEI bureaucracy, saving students and taxpayers $5 million per year. The university terminated 13 full-time DEI positions and 15 administrative faculty appointments. Those funds have been re-programmed into a “faculty recruitment fund” to attract better people who actually teach students.

No such luck for learning at Virginia’s flagship university – founded by Thomas Jefferson no less. UVA has a much deeper DEI infrastructure. Continue reading