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 are 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.

Those numbers represent only the most visible of the costs associated with DEI, states the study. “The method used to produce these estimates was conservative: It considered only salaries of public university administrators whose positions are explicitly devoted to some component of DEI – that is, to ‘diversity’ and/or ‘equity’ and/or ‘inclusion.’” The estimates do not incorporate the cost of employee benefits, DEI training, campus events, or departmental-level DEI activities borne by faculty members, and they omit the numbers for Virginia Commonwealth University, the figures for which were not available.

Money devoted to DEI salaries alone in 2021 could have funded more than 1,100 full-tuition scholarships for Virginia students in financial need, the study said.

The ideology behind DEI views the world through the lens of race, sex, gender, and sexual identity, dividing society into oppressors and oppressed, between the privileged and the marginalized.

Some costs of DEI are impossible to quantify in dollar terms, the study said. “The real cost of DEI in higher education is its attack on critical thinking and its subversion of the university itself…. DEI represents the ideological capture of the university by the progressive left.”

“Every lawmaker needs to pay attention to this study,” said James A. Bacon, executive director of The Jefferson Council. “The DEI bureaucracy is growing out of control, and its influence is pernicious. Mandatory DEI statements — ideological loyalty statements — are antithetical to free speech. And the enforcement of DEI ideology through administrative sanctions and social pressure threatens to turn our universities into intellectual monocultures.”

To mitigate harm the study recommends:

  1. Defunding ideological centers and programs;
  2. Prohibiting mandatory training in political ideology;
  3. Prohibiting “diversity statements” in hiring and promotion;
  4. Imposing budgetary constraints;
  5. Prohibiting DEI general education requirements;
  6. Providing full transparency for DEI spending;
  7. Delivering biannual updates to the legislature on the progress of reform efforts.

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17 responses to “$15 Million+ and Growing Fast”

  1. Donald Smith Avatar
    Donald Smith

    I’ll bet that underpaid adjunct faculty would love to have some of that $15 million. And, if they don’t want it, I’m pretty sure that $15 million would pay for lots of policemen, firemen, teachers, social workers, etc…

  2. M. Purdy Avatar

    “The ideology behind DEI views the world through the lens of race, sex, gender, and sexual identity, dividing society into oppressors and oppressed, between the privileged and the marginalized.” Right, of course! If we only adopted the conservative ideology that DOESN’T identify people by race, sexual preference, gender, rich and poor…you know, that conservative ideology…

  3. f/k/a_tmtfairfax Avatar

    Suppose UVA had taken the money and spent it on scholarships and grants for low-income students. Add in some money for room and board. Let’s say $75 K per student. 200 students. This puts things into perspective.

    1. M. Purdy Avatar

      You could use this logic for pretty much anything not directly subsidizing students? I mean, why does any school need a football program, or a arts program, or have nice buildings, or capital improvements?

      1. f/k/a_tmtfairfax Avatar

        None of those involve suspect classifications under constitutional law. Public colleges and universities are free to give additional assistance to qualified low-income students. Isn’t that the supposed target group?

        1. M. Purdy Avatar

          DEI is not unconstitutional. And it won’t be, even when the SCOTUS strikes down use of race is admissions this summer.

          1. f/k/a_tmtfairfax Avatar

            That makes no sense whatsoever unless you share Donald Trump’s view that individuals can say what the Constitution means. If you can do it, so can everyone else.

          2. M. Purdy Avatar

            What? I’m not sure what you mean. The use of race in admissions is a separate issue than wanting to increase the diversity of a student body. The latter is constitutional and an ends. The former (a method) will likely not be by August.

  4. James McCarthy Avatar
    James McCarthy

    The General Assembly includes a redundant upper chamber costing millions while contributing to legislative gridlock, the death of vital legislation. Compared to the DEI “problem” at UVA, the state Senate is far more wasteful and ineffective. Start at the top of useless government spending.

    1. f/k/a_tmtfairfax Avatar

      Have at it, Jim.

      Senator George Norris pulled it off in Nebraska. He did state that he wore out two sets of tires driving around Nebraska pushing for the constitutional amendment.

  5. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
    Dick Hall-Sizemore

    It is obvious that the purpose of this study was wider that just looking at the cost of the DEI bureaucracy. It was a continuation of the attack on DEI being waged by the Jefferson Council and others.

    That being said, I am appalled at the size of these DEI bureaucracies. I may be naive, but it seems to me that, if a college president or Board of Visitors wanted to make DEI a part of its overall philosophy ( and who can argue against diversity, equity, and inclusivity?), it need only instruct the school’s deans and department heads that such an approach should be followed. A good college president should be able to tell whether those directives were being implemented and replace those deans or department heads who were not being aggressive enough. The president of a college or university should set the tone and others follow. No massive bureaucracy should be needed.

    As for those bureaucracies, someone (Jefferson Council?) should ask the administration what exactly does each one of those DEI staffers actually do?

    1. As for those bureaucracies, someone (Jefferson Council?) should ask the administration what exactly does each one of those DEI staffers actually do?

      You anticipated my thoughts exactly!

    2. Turbocohen Avatar

      I wonder what the ratio of racial, religious, ethnic, etc. diversity of the DEI staff is?

    3. Cathis398 Avatar

      among the very concerning parts of this is that it is a well-known truth of university administrations that the first job of administrators is to ensure their own continued employment.

      unlike most other administrative positions, though, DEI positions appear to have a singular problem to solve: making the campus more diverse (and equitable and inclusive).

      successfully doing that would contradict the first job of administrators.

      the second job of administrators is to show that more administrators are needed. again, successfully reaching DEI goals is at odds with that.

      given what universities including UVa do not spend a great deal of money on (basic educational expenditures, although obviously UVa does more of this than other VA schools), this amount of money on DEI is really hard to believe. let alone that it is predicated on the idea that universities are institutionally incapable of/unwilling to do anything about racism. the very fact that they can so quickly spend so much money on it, especially given what they won’t spend money on, makes for very strange optics as it would seem to contradict the reason it is said that they need so many resources to begin with.

  6. Charles D'Aulnais Avatar
    Charles D’Aulnais

    Defund the Police? Crime comes free of charge, and so does bigotry. You have to pay to keep them at bay.

  7. Charles D'Aulnais Avatar
    Charles D’Aulnais

    What does an compliance officer do?

    Compliance officers make sure companies and organizations operate in full compliance with legal regulations and industry-specific guidelines. They also monitor internal policies and bylaws. In the event of regulatory risks or misconduct, compliance officers address concerns and find solutions to these challenges.

    Can you make a lot of money in compliance?
    Yes, compliance officers make good money.

    However, salaries can range from about $52,000 a year to about $95,000 a year. As always, salaries can vary greatly depending on location, prior experience, and other factors.Feb 9, 2022

    There may be a problem here.

    Are any of these positions required for the receipt of Federal funding and grants? You may have discovered a problem, but not the true source.

  8. Taking some of that money and paying their students to tutor reading and math in low income schools would lead to a lot more equity in the long run.

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