Year-End UVa Update from Bert Ellis

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of my fellow Wahoos:

I am extremely pleased with the results of the Virginia elections. Governor Youngkin and Lt. Governor Winsome Sears and Attorney Gen Jason Miyares are all very interested in re-focusing UVA and other colleges and K-12 schools in Virginia on educating students and not brainwashing them with the Woke/CRT/DEI mantras that have overtaken UVA and almost all other colleges and K-12 schools in Virginia and across our country.

The most immediate opportunities for the Governor are his selections for the Board of Visitors. Over the next four years, he can totally replace the Board with his nominees. There are 19 total members of the Board of Visitors, 17 of whom serve 2-year terms and one faculty rep and one student rep each serving 1-year terms.

The Board of Visitors hires/fires the President and manages the overall strategy of the University and the University Health System. This current Board are all appointees of either former Governor McAuliffe or outgoing (thank heaven) Governor Northam and are responsible for letting the University make the outrageous changes that have been made over the tenures of Presidents Sullivan and Ryan.

Governor Youngkin can and will appoint new Board members that reverse this and make the University a place permitting open dialogue on all matters and where education and merit are the managing principles of the University. This is our only opportunity to change/reverse the path to Wokeness that has overtaken our entire University.

Meanwhile, we still have a ton of work to fight the ongoing and continuing onslaught by the entrenched DEI bureaucracy at UVA.

I just found copies of the 2021-2022 Peer Evaluation Forms and Process for University of Virginia professors. I have attached copies here and here. Please note the prominence of DEI issues within the evaluations. There is even a special appendix on DEI examples to use in the evaluation. It is readily apparent that no professor can possibly get a good evaluation and obtain tenure or even a raise in salary if he/she does not pledge total allegiance to DEI and can itemize a large number of DEI initiatives on his/her part. This should not have anything to do with teaching math, science, business or other social science courses. Every Dean or Department Head now has a DEI officer who has co-oversight on the peer review process.

I also recommend that you read these two articles related to the above:

Jim Bacon’s summary of the new diversity-based evaluation highlights.

Professor Allan Stam’s assessment of what these diversity-based evaluations will do to UVA

The University is also overrun with courses that exist for no other purpose but to make a big deal about race and gender and other issues that can only create more oppressed parties trying to tear down anything and everything and everyone that helped create our University. Here is but one sampling of courses from the College.

I urge you to scroll down and read thru all the courses. I will admit there are some I would love to sign up and take right now, but there are so many that are purely indoctrination disguised as courses.

My colleagues and I at the Jefferson Council continue to monitor the status of the Honor System. We do not think the Honor Committee will propose a referendum to change the existing sanctions but we do think there are students who will try to get the necessary signatures (1500) to place a referendum on the Spring ballot to change the sanctions even without the support of the Honor Committee. We will do everything we can to try to convince the students that the Honor System is too important to be so eviscerated as to make it a concept only but not a real Honor System.

Bert Ellis
College 75, Darden 79
President, The Jefferson Council

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Thomas C. Hodgson, II
Thomas C. Hodgson, II
4 months ago

Dear Bert,

On my behalf and, I’m sure, all fellow TJC members, I thank you for both your efforts and direction in getting our University back on track as being known as an educational institution of the highest calibre… whilst, at the same time, promoting a lasting atmosphere of complete freedom of thought and speech.

If Thomas Jefferson were alive and intellectually up on the situations that confront the school he founded, I’ve no doubt his sentiments would both echo and substantiate those professed by you.

I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year… and many more to come….

Kind regards,

Tom

Thomas C. Hodgson, II
Raleigh, NC

Coll. ’61, Economics

Wahoo74
Wahoo74
4 months ago

Spot on, Tom. Great comment.

Clarity77
Clarity77
4 months ago
Reply to  Wahoo74

I would echo Tom’s thoughts and add further appreciation as to Bert’s work and also that of others on The Jefferson Council who are bringing to light very concerning issues at UVA under the current administration.

And speaking of concerns, the greatest as to Governor Youngkin, is that he not go “squishy” on his supporters as to following through to the letter what he promised in his campaign to do.

It would be helpful for the concerned readership, alumni and so many others, to have available at our fingertips a concise address listing of specific individuals and organizations through which we could continue to remind Governor Youngkin throughout his time in office to follow through with ridding our school systems at every level of this poisonous DEI/CRT/Implicit Bias Training woke lunacy.

If this listing has already been published here or elsewhere it would be greatly helpful to place it prominently so as to allow the readership easy access to make our voice heard. Thank you again to Bert and all others. Your efforts are recognized and appreciated more than you may realize.

Peter LeQuire, Col. 65
Peter LeQuire, Col. 65
3 months ago

It seems to me that the despised changes in the University’s environment are well entrenched and not likely to be reversed. As long as the reaction of those concerned with the legacy of the U as a place where a wide range of expressed thought and opinion is encouraged is no more than conversation and web postings, nothing will change. I don’t know, but I’d expect that the anti-intellectual, lock-step “wokeness” dynamic is in well established and any attempt to unwind limitations on speech, faculty recruitment, promotion and retention are not going to succeed. My guess is that only when the University begins to lose donations and contributions, and when it begins unwinding itself from foundation funding that requires compliance with some sort of DEI promotion or compliance as a precondition for funding or accreditation, this trend cannot be reversed.

Misha Kisluik
Misha Kisluik
1 month ago

I find your views appallingly repressive, borderline fascistic, and not at all in keeping with Jefferson’s highest open-minded democratic ideals (but perhaps in keeping with his lowest ones).

Wahoo74
Wahoo74
1 month ago
Reply to  Misha Kisluik

Misha,

I suggest you do the following:

  1. Read a history book written prior to 1980 when true history was still being taught.
  2. Study Jefferson. Bert espouses civility and open discourse, hallmarks of Mr. Jefferson’s core ethos.
  3. You have no idea what you’re talking about if you view Bert Ellis’s viewpoint as “fascistic.” Read some more about true fascism – Hitler, Mussolini, Tojo, our WWII fascist opponents. They were amoral murderers, xenophobic, and repressed intellectual diversity and civil discourse. Bert and The Jefferson Council stand for everything that they despise.

Ad hominem attacks about people you don’t know are offensive, particularly when espoused by someone who clearly has no grasp of true history and Jeffersonian ideals.

Ken Pennington
Ken Pennington
24 days ago

Bert Ellis, you are a trifecta: Ignorant, racist and stupid. Read about you in WaPo this morning. Next time you are on the UVA campus pick on a man Fat boy and not a girl. But doing that would probably soil your Depends.
Ken Pennington