Gardner Discusses the DE&I Takeover at UVa

Jefferson Council board member Joel Gardner participated yesterday in a panel discussion about the proliferation and growth of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) offices in universities across the country. The discussion, sponsored by the National Association of Scholars, also features John Sailer, a NAS research associate, and Scott Yenor, a Boise State University faculty member.

For those not familiar with what’s happening at UVa, Gardner provides a succinct overview. Even if you are, his remarks are well worth watching.

— JAB

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Dave Mitchell
Dave Mitchell
7 months ago

First I would like to thank Mr. Joel Gardner for his participation February 17 in a panel discussion about the proliferation and growth of DEI offices in universities across the country, sponsored by the National Association of Scholars. Of course his focus was on UVA.

Mr. Gardner’s perspectives on the state of identity politics in the early 2000s and the growth of DEI as a political movement and ideology were interesting. With UVA ranking second in the number of DEI employees (per the Heritage Foundation) at P5 schools, UVA is expending considerable resources on DEI.

It could be viewed that DEI has subsumed academia. I encourage others to listen to the webinar and comment on the article.

J Stoll
J Stoll
7 months ago

Although this discussion focuses on the academic arena, DEI has spread well beyond into professional organizations and corporations. We are all in a position within our sphere of influence to push back against this toxic ideology.
Promising in Virginia is the new administration in Richmond which espouses an end to critical race theory and empowers parents to have a say in the education of their children. Glenn Youngkin seems intent on addressing DEI issues at the leadership level. Needed also is individual effort. Encourage those without concern for professional/career liability and alumni without children attending the university to find their voices. If enough people begin to speak, perhaps faculty and students will overcome risk aversion to also push back. Victories can be had. My small victory occurred when I refused to participate in a survey put out by my professional surgical academy. As part or their DEI push, the survey asked for our preferred “pronouns” and sexual “identification.” An opt out option did not exist and one had to answer the question to continue in the survey. I wrote the academy expressing my concerns that by simply answering the question, I was validating the premise. They subsequently change to an “opt in” to the question. These small victories can add up. Yes, begin at the top in the leadership, but encourage the individual to find their voice rather than to play fealty to this dogma. And finally, my financial contributions to the university will be withheld as long as the free expression of all ideas is assured.
“Ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth will make you free,” Thomas Jefferson, quoting from John 8:32
J Stoll Coll ’79, Med ’83

walter birkel
walter birkel
7 months ago
Reply to  J Stoll

Small victory, indeed. LOL