Proposed Topics for President Ryan’s Podcast

University of Virginia President Jim Ryan hosts “Inside UVA,” a podcast designed to highlight the “inner workings” of the University of Virginia. Over the past two seasons, he has chatted with figures ranging from Rector Whitt Clement to alumni such as Katie Couric, administrators such as Provost Ian Baucom, and students such as Lauren Kim, chair of the University Judiciary Committee — 22 in all, so far. You can see the list here.

The “Inside UVA” promo bills the podcast as featuring “candid, open conversations.”

No one from The Jefferson Council has been invited to appear… yet. But if President Ryan is interested in having a candid, open, civil conversation with someone who wishes UVa well but questions current policies and priorities, we’d be happy to volunteer. We’d even be willing to suggest some topics.

What does he mean when he says that UVa can be both “great and good”? Does being “good” encompass anything beyond “social justice” and “sustainability”?

What are his thoughts on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion? Does he believe America is systemically racist? Is UVa systemically racist? Does he share Ibram Kendi’s definition of “anti-racism”? Does he share Robin DiAngelo’s definition of “white privilege”? How does it improve students’ sense of “belonging” when DEI policy places a premium on racial, sexual and gender differences?

Can he explain why UVa made the submission of SATs voluntary in the admissions process, and can he illuminate what criteria the admissions department uses in its place? To what degree are those criteria selected to engineer a particular demographic profile?

Does he value intellectual diversity? Is he concerned about UVa’s drift toward an intellectual monoculture? How does he respond to concerns that mandatory submission of “diversity statements” weeds out anyone with conservative, libertarian or even middle-of-the-road political views?

Alumni, parents, students and faculty members might have other questions for President Ryan. If you have other questions, please submit them in the comments section. Perhaps the Jefferson Council will have the opportunity to raise them one day.

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James B Newman
James B Newman
2 months ago

I believe that President Ryan has engaged in a “1st start” by inviting opposing groups of students to meet and discuss their differences in a neutral setting. I however believe that it is important that he publicly discuss his position and that of the University on issues such as diversity and systemic racism. I would also like to hear his position on the many important changes our esteemed Governor is attempting to make in Virginia’s educational framework. Especially as it applies to the University System and Free Speech.

I would urge him to invite a representative from the Jefferson Council to appear.

Jen Hans
Jen Hans
2 months ago
Reply to  James B Newman

I wouldn’t put too much faith in it. He gives lip service to this group only so that the $ keeps rolling in.

Wahoo74
Wahoo74
2 months ago

I would like to know who within the Administration knew of the shooter Christopher Darnell Jones prior September 2021 weapons possession misdemeanor conviction and the student accusation from September 2022 of his current weapons possession. This was a huge red flag that mandated immediate action. It is inexcusable that the Administration had this warning 2 months prior to the mass murder, but no one took action.

In the private sector, heads would roll. Corporate boards would fire the company leaders responsible. Why should UVA leaders be different? Are academic leaders somehow exempt from direct, personal accountability?

Three outstanding young men died due to gross malfeasance on the part of President Ryan’s “great and good” Administration’s failure to act. We need answers. Now.

Last edited 2 months ago by jimbacon1953
Jen Hans
Jen Hans
2 months ago
Reply to  Wahoo74

100%. I appreciate your line of thinking. Accountability!

Wahoo76
Wahoo76
2 months ago

It would be great if a Jefferson Council rep could be invited to one of these podcasts, but I fear it will never happen. Even if it were to materialize, remember that Ryan asks the questions and leaves little room for the respondent to veer from the answer. It’s a very good idea, though.

Practicing Lawyer
Practicing Lawyer
2 months ago

Good idea, Jim. Every department at UVA is reconfiguring its curriculum to advance principles of DEI. Here is a statement from the physics department: “We seek to integrate DEI values into our core missions of Physics research and education.” https://www.phys.virginia.edu/DEI/

Across the country, elite universities are uniformly requiring their departments to integrate social justice concepts into research and teaching. This includes Math and Science departments, which highlights how this is about indoctrination and humiliation. Our greatest minds are forced to bend to political orthodoxy in deciding what to research, how to conduct research, what conclusions to reach, how to report their research, and what to teach.

This is the same as Trofim Lysenko – Stalin’s agronomist. It’s amusing that a scientist would use theories of human political class struggle to dictate how to plant seed crops, until you realize it killed tens of millions of people. This is the approach used now for DEI. We are to sow seeds, research Physics, and perform Math in an anti-racist way.

I would ask President Ryan what changes have been made in the Math and Science Departments to advance principles of DEI, why those changes were made, what objective basis warranted it, what they will cost, what benefits have been achieved or are expected, and how success will be measured. There are no good answers to any of this.

Jen Hans
Jen Hans
2 months ago

The answer is Ryan is advancing Marxism which is his mission. Wake up people. It’s about totalitarianism and control. Good means be a good student and comply with whatever the elites like him wish of our children. It all makes sense what he’s doing when you piece it together. There’s a reason for all of it. And it isn’t good (no pun intended).

Wahoo76
Wahoo76
2 months ago

Perhaps in July 2023, when Gov. Youngkin’s BOV appointees approach a majority, these questions can be asked of Ryan. He will only respond when required by his bosses.

Jen Hans
Jen Hans
2 months ago

Ryan told a parent graduation weekend 2022 that students who not want the vaccine “do not need to go to Uva”. Where does he get the idea he can make medical decisions to take an experimental shot, that did not go through the double blind testing protocols, for Uva students? Where does he get off being the only school in Virginia that accelerated the booster date requirement, knowing the new State leadership was banning the mandatory shots?

Wahoo'74
Wahoo'74
2 months ago
Reply to  Jen Hans

The most polite term that comes to mind is “benign autocrat.” Except President Ryan is not as much benign as disarmingly smooth. His ostensibly charming exterior disguises his true intentions.

walter smith
walter smith
2 months ago

I think we need to go back to the BOV that selected Teresa Sullivan. Dragas may have been onto something, and wasn’t she a Dem Gov appointee?
Anyway, the BOV thought that it was selecting moderation when it replaced Teresa (at least I think so) and boy were they wrong! JR is every bit the zealot Teresa is, but far better at implementing it AND seeming milquetoast at the same time to keep the alumni $$$ flowing in.
Jim’s question about “great and good” is THE point. I take it that JR means UVA may have been “great,” but it was not “good.” Until JR arrived and transformed UVA into a reverse racist virtue signal political indoctrination institution. They are not pursuing truth. The kids’ mental health is abysmal. They are afraid to speak. They fear their grades could be lowered for not toeing the line. Believe it or not, in 1980, there were ZERO political contributions reported to the FEC from UVA employees. It started to trickle up in 2000 and is now CRAZY. Over 90% to Dem causes. And now with mandatory DEI statements required for “peer review,” do you not think those will be used to eliminate the few non-woke professors? Why were loyalty oaths evil, and mandated DEI statements not?
UVA building its own hotel has what to do with educational mission? UVA’s investment management company, UVIMCO, going all in on “woke” investing (ESG and sustainability) – is that proper in a fiduciary sense? Aren’t fiduciaries charged with looking out for the best interests of the people for whom they are charged to act? Should UVIMCO maximize returns for the citizens, or virtue-signal for its fellow elitists?
UVA needs to get out of social engineering and back into an educational one, consistent with Jeffersonian ‘follow the truth” guidance.
Oh, and I forgot the horrendous UVA Guides who tell lies about Jefferson and JR does nothing to stop it – he is all for the student run excuse when it does what he wants, but let a fraternity do something he disapproves of, and all Hell breaks loose. Seriously, calling a “goat” “Goat” is normal for pledges. Renting tables for a dirty rush function 2 days early and you get social suspension for 6 months. I think all of the fraternities should opt out of UVA being in charge… I could be convinced otherwise, but I don’t understand why you would give authority over your organization to people who hate you. Read footnote 74 of the Racial Equity Task Force – don’t kid yourself, they want to abolish the Greek system, mainly the guys…

Wahoo'74
Wahoo'74
2 months ago
Reply to  walter smith

As usual, Walter, spot on with all your viewpoints.

Baylor Trapnell, Arch 69'
Baylor Trapnell, Arch 69'
2 months ago

Why are the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. NEVER mentioned now? He’s been thrown under the bus Rosa Parks refused to give up here seat on.

walter smith
walter smith
2 months ago

Why judge someone by the content of character when it is much easier to make a snap judgment based on the color of skin?
Racist and divisive, all at once! And UVA is “all in” on the MLK betrayal.