Tag Archives: DE&I

Senate Subcommittee Nixes DEI Transparency

by James A. Bacon

A General Assembly senate subcommittee has voted down a bill that would require public Virginia colleges and universities to report the number and salaries of employees in the field of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. Sen. Bryce Reeves, R-Spotsylvania, had sponsored the bill, SB 1197, which also called for disclosure of sums spent on lobbying and for the recording and online posting of Board of Visitors board and committee meetings.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch coverage of the subcommittee meeting reported little discussion. The closest thing to an explanation for defeating the transparency measure came from Sen. Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax City. According to reporter Eric Kolenich:

Petersen questioned why colleges should be required to publish this information, which is already publicly available. Petersen called the bill “overly confrontational.”

That’s about as lame as it gets.

First point: no, actually, the information is not already publicly available — not readily. Continue reading

The Hidden Costs of DEI

by James A. Bacon

According to a new report by the Virginia Association of Scholars, the University of Virginia in 2021 employed 77 people as part of the a vast and growing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) bureaucracy at a cost of nearly $7 million a year. Many questions arise from this revelation. What do all these people do? What are their goals? Are they improving the university climate? What is the effect of DEI on freedom of speech, inquiry and expression?

We will address these questions in future posts. For now, we want to make it clear that the $7 million cost is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

The authors of the VAS study make it clear that they are counting only positions that are explicitly tied to DEI-related programs, and it counts only salaries. Not benefits. Not office overhead. Not outside consultants, speakers, or events. And perhaps most importantly, not the impact on faculty productivity.

The fixation on DEI suffuses every aspect of university life. Not only does the university administration have a DEI staff, not only do each of its 13 schools and colleges have DEI staffs, but the DEI ethic permeates down to the departmental level as reflected in planning sessions, training programs, departmental-level reading groups, the hiring of new employees, and the granting of pay raises, promotions, and tenure decision-making.

An extraordinary amount of activity at UVa is devoted to DEI, and that activity sucks faculty, students, and non-DEI staff into the vortex. Continue reading

$15 Million+ and Growing Fast

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. Continue reading

UVa’s Thought Police Have Taken Control

by James A. Bacon

The University of Virginia is becoming a modern-day reeducation camp where the views of faculty and staff must conform to the dictates of Leftist ideology regarding social justice issues. Not only must employees adopt the Woke rhetoric of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI), they must engage in activist behavior. Between the indoctrination and compulsory participation, UVa’s requirements are reminiscent of a 60s-era Maoist-style reeducation camp. Although in fairness, it must be said that UVa does not administer beatings.

In recent months, Bacon’s Rebellion has documented the use of the following at the University of Virginia:

  • Diversity statements. Job applicants must fill out “diversity statements” detailing how their academic research, committee assignments and/or community service have contributed to DEI. Their responses are evaluated by those who hire them.
  • Employee evaluations. Once hired, faculty members are subjected to “peer reviews,” in which their “contribution” to DEI is an integral part of the evaluation. Faculty members must demonstrate their commitment to DEI not just by saying the right things but by actively participating in DEI activities.
  • Employee training. Under the “Inclusive Excellence” framework, faculty and staff are required to undergo “training” sessions that can include Maoist-style indoctrination of DEI dogma and (for Whites) acknowledgement of their racism.

Continue reading

Diversity Statements Snuff Out Academic Freedom

by Allan Stam

Why should you care about faculty review policies at the University of Virginia and other public Virginia universities? You should care because they affect which faculty are likely to stay at a university and which faculty are likely to move on. In other words, they affect who will teach your children and grandchildren. 

You should want universities to keep professors who conduct state-of-the-art research and excel at teaching their scholarly discipline. But that’s not what you’re going to get with the new guidelines issued by the UVa College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. (See the previous post.)

Pay raises and the annual reviews that affect them are powerful administrative tools that universities use to incentivize faculty efforts. Given that there are only so many hours in a day, faculty allocate their time towards areas that their employers reward and away from those that they do not. Continue reading

Enforcing the New Diversity Dogma

by James A. Bacon

This month University of Virginia departments embark upon a four- to five-month “peer review” of faculty members. The stakes are high. Scores from the review will affect merit raises and prospects for promotion.

New this year: twenty percent of the scores will be awarded on the basis of the faculty member’s contributions to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI).

In theory, the “guidance” issued by the dean’s office of the College of Arts & Sciences allows individual departments some latitude in how they conduct their peer reviews. But the language, though bland and formulaic, is clear: professors who fail to enlist in social-justice activism will have a less-than-promising future at UVa.

Evaluations of each faculty member’s “performance” will be shared with other faculty members. There is no uniform standard for weighting the scores, but if departmental reports don’t specify otherwise, the “default” mode is 40% teaching, 40% research, and 20% service. Continue reading

Diversity “Training” Coming to VMI

by James A. Bacon

In the waning days of the Northam administration, the Virginia Military Institute has issued a Request for Proposal for “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Consultation and Training.” The due date for submitting proposals is December 14. The period of the contract will extend from the date of the award through June 30, 2023.

The services solicited in the RFP include:

  • DEI training that includes “guidelines, cultural sharing, … bias intervention programs, and DEI language that best fits the VMI community.”
  • Opportunities for individuals to “embrace DEI concepts, explore allyship, and a framework for lifelong learning.”
  • Discussions of cultural and identity oppression in the context of current culture as it relates to VMI.
  • Design and execution of an “organizational DEI cultural assessment” while “understanding the VMI philosophy.”
  • Ongoing DEI support within the ranks of Institute executives.

Continue reading