Category Archives: Race, Equity and Diversity

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

UVa Law Rejects U.S. News Ranking Methodology

Lemming

by James A. Bacon

The University of Virginia School of Law has announced that it will no longer cooperate with U.S. News & World-Report in compiling its ranking of top law schools. The school currently ranks No. 8 in the country.

Here’s the reason given by Dean Risa Goluboff: “As they currently stand, the U.S. News rankings fail to capture much of what we value at UVA — facilitating access to legal education and the legal profession for students from every background; fostering the free exchange of ideas within a community of joy, humanity, and trust; providing top-notch teaching by accomplished faculty; supporting public service; and launching our graduates into the stellar career paths of their choosing.”

I’ll leave it to others to comment upon the law school’s commitment to “fostering the free exchange of ideas” and probe the meaning of the modifier that such an exchange should take place “within a community of joy, humanity, and trust.”

I’ll focus instead on Goluboff’s commitment to facilitating access to legal education for students “from every background.” Continue reading

The UVa Track Record on Graduation Rates

Click on graphic for more legible image. Source: State Council of Higher Education for Virginia’s University of Virginia profile.

by James A. Bacon

The University of Virginia has the highest graduation rate of any public university in the country, a record it can be proud of. Some analysts contend, however, that UVa’s exception performance can be attributed to the fact that it admits a lower percentage of students from low-income families, who are at higher risk of dropping out. Others counter that UVa’s emphasis on merit-based admissions is appropriate for Virginia’s flagship university. It is too early yet to tell if recent changes in UVa admissions policies, such as dropping the requirement to submit SAT scores, will impact graduation rates.

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) publishes a breakdown of six-year graduation rates by race/ethnicity for the 2015 entering class (seen above). Though small in number, students who identified as American Indian scored a stellar 100% graduation rate. Among major groups, Asians performed the best, with a 95% graduation rate. Whites followed with a 93% rate, and Hispanics close behind with a 92% rate. By contrast, only 84% of Blacks graduated.

The lower graduation for Blacks at UVa should be a source of concern. 

Continue reading

The Commissars of Charlottesville

Leon Trotsky, People’s Commissar for Military and Naval Affairs, 1918

by James C. Sherlock

Leon Trotsky, who headed the Red Army from 1917-22, did not trust it.

On 6 April 1918, he wrote in Isvestia:

The military commissar is the direct political agent of Soviet power within the army. His post is of the highest importance. Commissars are appointed from the ranks of exemplary revolutionaries, capable of remaining the embodiments of revolutionary duty at the most critical moments and under the most difficult circumstances…. The military commissar ensures that the army does not become isolated from the Soviet system as a whole and that individual military institutions do not become breeding grounds for conspiracy.

With commissars at every level of the army, they had their own reporting chain independent of the operational chain of command. And punishments both quick and much to be feared.

Progressives, themselves unwilling to entrust the revolution to those who may subvert it, are fond of similar structures.

Witness the broad and deep Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) system at the University of Virginia. Continue reading

In Higher-Ed, Diversity = Affirmative Action

More blue M&Ms, please

by Allan Stam

A couple of years ago, in a conversation with another dean at the University of Virginia, I was asked about my views on the ever-expanding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion enterprise. I explained that I was not a fan of the diversity movement and affirmative action. When asked why, I explained that my preference was for merit, and merit alone, to determine the allocation of scarce resources and in particular, admissions and employment spots. The conversation then turned to what the effects might be of basing admissions decisions solely on merit.

“Would you be OK with the student body being 40% Asian?” I was asked.

“Of course,” I responded. “But if you feel that UVA, as a public institution, should have a student body that represents Virginia’s population, then be explicit about that, and adopt quotas. I wouldn’t be happy with that, but at least we wouldn’t be hypocrites.”

My partner in the conversation, being of a legal mind, then observed, “You know we can’t do that, adopt quotas. Quotas are illegal.” And therein lies the rub.

Diversity, as practiced in American higher education, in general, and at the University of Virginia in particular, is a fraud. The word ‘diversity’ is a linguistic dodge to enable universities to sidestep what lawyers refer to as ‘strict scrutiny’ of the legality of affirmative action. Affirmative action, as a term, is a euphemism for race-based discrimination. So, Diversity is a double dodge. Continue reading

Three Strikes and You’re Out, Mr. Ryan

Jim Ryan

by James A. Bacon

If University of Virginia President Jim Ryan wants to recruit more African-American students, faculty and staff to the university, here’s some advice: Stop reinforcing racial paranoia. Stop lending legitimacy to the idea that Blacks at the University of Virginia are under threat.

So far this semester, there have been three racial scares at UVa. First someone threw a rock through the window of the Office of African-American Affairs. Then someone laid a flag bearing an owl symbol next to the Enslaved Laborers memorial and donated an anonymous check to an African-American student. Then someone hung a noose around the neck of a statue of the blind Greek poet Homer.

The three incidents generated alarm about a “larger pattern of racially motived crimes” before the full facts came in. Upon investigation, the first two were found to have no racial motivation and significant doubt has been cast on racial hate as a motive for the third.

UVa officials deserve some credit for quickly releasing exonerating information as it became available. But rather than dampen unfounded speculation in his early remarks, Ryan legitimized it. Continue reading

Is It Still a Hate Crime If the Perp Was Protesting Pedophilia?

An Albemarle County man, Shane Dennis, has been charged with intimidation for placing a noose on the statue of Homer at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville news media are reporting. Dennis, who appeared for a bond hearing Tuesday in Albemarle County District Court, also has been charged with contempt of court for misbehaving in the courtroom by refusing to communicate with court officials.

The discovery last month of the noose, which many associate with the lynching of African-Americans, reverberated through the university. The UVa Police Department and President James Ryan promptly declared the act a hate crime. In one of many denunciations emanating from the university community, the Young Democratic Socialists of America @ UVA described the episode as an “act of hate [and] part of a larger, highly coordinated effort by white supremacists to threaten and intimidate the multiracial working-class out of higher education.”

According to The Cavalier Daily, however, the motive was not motivated by race. Police believe Dennis, who is not affiliated with the university, also left a pile of items at the base of the statue over the weekend, including two masks, a “civil peace flag,” a Christian cross, and a sealed envelope. Inside the envelope, a letter contended that the statue, in which Homer is shown sitting by a nude boy, “glorifies pedophilia.”

“[We] are all so blinded by hatred and racial division [that we] refused to see the truth that is hidden in plain sight,” the letter said. ““If you live in reality you will see an old man with a nude adolescent boy in between his legs.”

The letter did not contain any racial or religious references. Continue reading

UVa Rules Out a “Pattern” of Hate Crimes

by James A. Bacon

University of Virginia executive leadership has issued a remarkable statement that lends insight into the fraught state of race relations at Virginia’s flagship university. Three recent incidents have taken place on the grounds since the new academic year began that have “caused some to speculate that they are linked or part of a larger pattern of racially motived crimes,” said J.J. Wagner Davis, chief operating officer, and Tim Longo, chief of university police.

One incident involved a White man hanging a noose around the neck of the Greek poet Homer, an act of ambiguous meaning that President Jim Ryan promptly branded as a hate crime. The Davis-Longo statement made it clear, however, that two other matters — a report of someone throwing rocks through the window of the Office of African-American Affairs, and the discovery of a flag bearing a strange symbol lying on the grass near the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers — have been determined not to be hate crimes.

“President Ryan has asked us to provide this community with an update and to make as clear as we can: These incidents are not linked, and two of the three were not racially motivated at all,” the statement read.

The series of incidents has roiled the UVa community. As the statement notes, Ryan and other senior University officials have “spoken with many students, faculty and alumni” about efforts to get to the bottom of the events. Continue reading