UVa and Tech Are Leaders in Building Massive Diversity Bureaucracies

Source: “Diversity University: DEI Bloat in the Academy”

by James A. Bacon

The University of Virginia and Virginia Tech have the second and fifth largest bureaucracies devoted to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion among 65 large public universities studied by the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Education Policy. UVa has 94 DEI personnel, while Tech has 83, according to Jay P. Greene and James D. Paul in their paper, “Diversity University: DEI Bloat in the Academy.

In another way of looking at the data, the authors found that UVa has 6.5 DEI staff for every 100 tenured and tenure-track professors. Tech has 5.6 DEI personnel per 100 faculty — compared to 3.4 per 1,000 for the average university. The figures for UVa, Tech and other universities surveyed are conservative in the sense that they do not include positions such as admissions and facilities managers that include DEI as part of their missions.

Based on climate surveys at several universities, the authors found no relationship between the size of the DEI bureaucracies and student satisfaction with their college experience.

The authors selected 65 universities that are members of five “power” athletic conferences, including the Atlantic Coast Conference, for examination. As opposed to private institutions that often adopt ideological missions, these public universities tend to be mainstream institutions that students select and state legislatures support without much thought to political and cultural aims.

DEI bureaucracies, Greene and Paul argue, institutionalize political activism on campus.

DEI bureaucracies appear to increase administrative bloat without contributing to the stated goals of diversity, equity and inclusion. Employing dozens of DEI professionals — in the form of chief diversity officers, assistant deans for diversity, and directors for inclusive excellence — may be better understood as jobs programs subsidizing political activism without improving campus climate.

The paper provides three broad recommendations:

  • State legislatures, higher-education boards and university trustees should investigate the resources devoted to DEI personnel at the universities they oversee and subsidize.
  • Stakeholders should demand evidence about whether DEI bureaucracies are effective at achieving their goals.
  • DEI programs and staff should include a diversity of perspectives and be designed to be inclusive of all students.

Hiring more people with “corporate-sounding titles,” the authors conclude, “seems unlikely to help students feel welcome and learn from each other.” Creating new units and adding more administrators advance political agendas “that may be at odds with the preferences of those who pay and subsidize tuition.”

Bacon’s bottom line: The Heritage Foundation authors are too timid in their conclusions. Based on my observation, DEI bureaucracies do actual harm (a) by seeking out and magnifying ever more subtle and nuanced signs of racism, (b) encouraging minority students, especially African-Americans, to feel hurt and outrage rather than inculcating strength and resilience, and (c) spear-heading the creation of “safe spaces” for minorities that leads to self-segregation. The end result is that minorities, especially Black students, feel increasingly victimized, increasingly resentful, and more likely to retreat from the mainstream life and culture.

I expect that a close examination of UVa and Tech would find that both institutions are spending millions of dollars to heighten Black fragility and alienation. DEI administrators are like bureaucrats everywhere: they work ceaselessly to justify their jobs and expand their domains. It is in their self interest to seek out racism that requires correction, in the process redefining words, practices and attitudes once deemed acceptable as racist. With large anti-racism bureaucracies in place, UVa and Tech will always be incubators of racial victimhood, resentment and contention.


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35 responses to “UVa and Tech Are Leaders in Building Massive Diversity Bureaucracies”

  1. Rob Austin Avatar
    Rob Austin

    From Day One of his “administration,” UVa’s progressive lapdog-in-chief Ryan has worked overtime to cram the Grounds with as many DEI types as he can. Give these people a fat salary, a nice office and then tell them to do something – anything to justify their hiring. So they forment problems where there were none, stir up disaffection, and otherwise poison the well. By the way, who pays for these clowns? The taxpayers, that’s who. And don’t look for the State government to ask for any sort of accountability or positive metrics from the DEI Army; that would be racist.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar
      LarrytheG

      Why… before you know it UVA and Tech are going to be positively overrun with minorities! Oh GAWD!

      1. Rob Austin Avatar
        Rob Austin

        Before you know it, positions of real need, like for honest-to-goodness high-level teaching professors will go unfilled because DEI bloat will soak up all the resources (i.e., salary money) that could and should be going to further the educational mission, not the woke/ progressive mission.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar
          LarrytheG

          Naw. Just add a few bucks to tuition to pay for it… And heckfire, it’s a market. If you don’t like it , don’t go there. Besides who wants to go to a place overrun with minorities anyhow? πŸ˜‰

  2. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
    Dick Hall-Sizemore

    I have the same question that I ask when confronted with higher ed bureaucracy: What do all these people do?

    1. They have meetings where profs talk about how they were treated differently compared to their peers because [fill in the blank].

      And they have teach-ins for students to learn just how bad they have it compared to [fill in the blank]……seen it with my own eyes!

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        Sounds like a Women in Business meeting.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar
          LarrytheG

          Yes.. hadn’t heard of anything like this… since… the thing about hiring women! πŸ˜‰

    2. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      A friend of mine asks that same question every time we exit an interstate highway someplace out in the country.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar
        LarrytheG

        THAT’s Funny as HELL! seriously! πŸ˜‰

  3. Baconator with extra cheese Avatar
    Baconator with extra cheese

    We are all being taught that Diversity makes everything better, stronger, and more creative. So UVA and VT are just in the process of joining the Ivy League.
    I wonder why some other countries like China, Korea, Nambia, Pakistan, India are not pushing hard on opening their borders up to increase their Diversity so they can become as dominating as we apparently are through our Diversity initiatives?
    One would think the UN would be discussing huge immigration efforts to increase everyone’s Diversity so the world could be better, stronger, and more creative.

    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ib-Qiyklq-Q which is why Google doesn’t sell COKE products on its campus……

  4. StarboardLift Avatar
    StarboardLift

    Seeing both UVA and VT, Michigan and Michigan State on this list makes me ask why each school needs it own DEI department. Couldn’t these needs be covered under a single state office? Janice Underwood could have an VP of Higher Ed.

    And which rightminded bureaucrat would possible announce that DEI is no longer necessary? These departments will exist into perpetuity. Good luck to GA when they try to trim these salaries.

  5. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    When coordinating people, a bureaucracy is a necessity.

    It’s as important as a tuna carcass when herding cats.

    1. This is my favorite bureaucracy song:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RI5okqUxi2k

    2. Stephen Haner Avatar
      Stephen Haner

      Great report you linked to! I love where they compare the DEI staff to the number of people tasked with helping students covered by ADA issues…and then the DEI per 100 faculty…

      Look, they think they get rewarded for this. Certainly Tech and UVA have reason to believe this helps them with the Governor’s budget writers and the GA money committees.

      Semi-snarky question: Are there large DEI staff at the HCBU’s?

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        FYI, HU has a college devoted to teaching diversity and inclusion… where do you think the other colleges get the DEI staff?

        1. Stephen Haner Avatar
          Stephen Haner

          πŸ™‚

        2. LarrytheG Avatar
          LarrytheG

          excellent point and I bet Haner thought so too! πŸ˜‰

      2. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        Hampton U, yes. Of course, HU got on top of diversification 30 years ago.

        BTW, if Dr. Harvey ever lowered himself to run for an office, I’d vote for him using both mail-in and in-person… just like I did for Biden.

  6. In my experience asking questions, not a single DEI person can explain their metrics for success/failure; nor can anyone site an empirical, data-based analysis proving diversity adds value to an entity.

    1. Now students can claim an accommodation which disavows having to make deadlines!

  7. DJRippert Avatar
    DJRippert

    I hate to say it but big DEI organizations give managers a place to hire minorities. A history professor has to have advanced degrees in history. A physics professor has to publish physics papers. What are the understood requirements for a DEI team member?

    If you look across your management team and conclude that you have too few minorities you can do the hard work of trying to hire specifically qualified minorities or you can set up a hundred person group of DEI managers who are disproportionately minorities.

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Aaagh, you don’t really hate to say it.

      1. DJRippert Avatar
        DJRippert

        I actually do hate to say it. I worked for my first post-college employer for 30 years. About half way through that tenure I decided to try to make a real difference with the hiring of Black professionals. I organized and led the annual recruiting effort at Howard University in DC. Like all recruiting it was hard work that wasn’t rewarded by “corporate”. But we found and hired 20 – 30 Black Howard graduates per year. Given the size of the company and the overall attrition rate it was going to take 10 years to make a noticeable difference. But we kept going and eventually had quite a few senior, front line minority employees. It frustrates me to see organizations stuff DEI, HR, Corporate sustainability, etc groups with minority employees instead of doing the hard work of achieving diversity in the cores of their businesses.

        1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
          Dick Hall-Sizemore

          Don, that is how to do it. Upper management tells its various departments to just do it and they go out and do what you did.

        2. LarrytheG Avatar
          LarrytheG

          I worked at a DOD lab for many years and when I first started, management had decided to hire women and blacks – hard science grads , degrees in math, science, etc. We had women and blacks in leadership positions in a few years. Some of my bosses were women and blacks.

          Now – back in those days, they did not call it DEI… but “Affirmative Action” and I have no doubts the folks objecting today were the same ones making a deal back then.

          .

  8. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Two words on diversity on DEI bureaucratic staffs — Andrew Cuomo

    1. DJRippert Avatar
      DJRippert

      Does the cancel culture apply to progressives?

      Northam
      Fairfax
      Herring
      Cuomo

      Terry McAuliffe initially called for Northam’s resignation when the yearbook scandal broke. Now he’s touting Northam’s endorsement. I guess those klan robes became more tolerable over time.

      We’ll see what happens in New York.

      1. John Harvie Avatar
        John Harvie

        nothing

  9. John Harvie Avatar
    John Harvie

    What’s even more revealing is comparing our two schools’ enrollment to that of OSU and Cal, between the two of ours. Even if these quick Internet student numbers are off it still shows we have waaaay too many folks involved relatively per student compared to these two much bigger schools in this nonsense:

    UVA – 22,361
    OSU – 61,170
    Cal – 251,700
    Tech – 32,304

    1. And VT’s diversity officer makes $315,000 — which is less than UVA’s….. that’s pretty good change to live in Blacksburg!!!!!! And people thought women’s/gender/race studies wouldn’t pay off

      1. John Harvie Avatar
        John Harvie

        Quite a different environment since my graduation 71 years ago.

  10. Bob X from Texas Avatar
    Bob X from Texas

    I’m disgusted by the non-diversity of Diversity Departments.

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