Category Archives: Religion

Religion and “Belonging” at UVA

This graph shows the percentage of students identifying by various religions as responding that they Somewhat Agree, Agree, or Strongly agree with the statement, “I feel that I belong at the University of Virginia.”

by James A. Bacon

Hindus and Buddhists were the most likely of any major religious classification to say in 2022 that they feel like they “belong” at the University of Virginia, with Christians not far behind. Muslims and Jews were the least likely to say that they belong.

The graph was included with instructions issued by Provost Ian Baucom to members of the religious diversity task force formed in response to the Hamas-Israel conflict that began in October. The Jefferson Council requested the full instructions as well as agenda or minutes of any meetings held by the task force. As is their practice, UVA attorneys withheld almost everything as presidential working papers. However, they did release one of six pages in Baucom’s instructions — the one that contained the graph displayed above.

The underlying data comes from biennial surveys conducted by SERU (Student Experience in Research University) consortium. Continue reading

Covid vs. Religious Freedom at UVA

by James A. Bacon

The University of Virginia has paid more than $1.8 million in legal fees fighting a lawsuit filed by UVA Health employees who were fired, despite religious objections, for refusing to take the Covid vaccine. And that’s just through November. Given the continuing litigation, billing has likely passed the $2 million mark.

Eleven former employees filed a lawsuit a year ago, claiming that the $3 billion-a-year-in-revenues health system arbitrarily declined to grant them religious exemptions from the vaccine mandate.

Hunton Andrews Kurth is the lead law firm for UVA, charging between $600 and $900 per hour for legal services and racking up $1.52 million in charges through November, according to documents the Jefferson Council has acquired through the Freedom of Information Act. Eckert Seamons has charged $240,000, and IslerDare $70,000. Continue reading