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.

While Bacon’s Rebellion has focused mainly on UVa in our reporting, we have seen extensive anecdotal evidence that similar requirements are found at other public and private universities. The College of William & Mary school of business, for instance, also requires DEI statements in faculty reviews.

It must be said: using DEI as an employment filter, a criterion for granting raises and promotions, and the basis for indoctrinating employees with hotly-contested political theories represents a frontal assault on American liberties.

The most direct problem is the undermining of freedom of speech, expression and inquiry. Ironically, the new DEI criteria for faculty evaluations is being implemented the same year that a UVa committee appointed by President Jim Ryan voiced its “unequivocal” commitment to free speech. The DEI requirements make a mockery of that promise.

DEI criteria create an ideological litmus test for prospective and existing employees. Either submit to the Critical Race Theory-informed DEI ideology regarding systemic racism, White privilege, and “anti-racism” or you will not be hired or promoted. DEI statements effectively preclude anyone with conservative or centrist political views, and even many with old-school liberal views. As older tenured faculty with diverse philosophies retire, they are being replaced with faculty who  think alike on social-justice issues. UVa is transmogrifying into an intellectual monoculture that is not only at odds with the society it serves but destroys the very concept of a “liberal education.”

UVa’s administrative leadership is destroying Virginia’s flagship public university — the university that Thomas Jefferson built. Not only that, but in line with Ryan’s slogan of making UVa “Great and Good,” the university — not just individual students and professors, who are free to do what they wish, but the university as an institution — is actively exporting its Woke ideology and activism into the community through such mechanisms as the Memory Project and the Equity Cohort. 

To the degree that Virginia’s other higher-ed institutions are adopting comparable DEI policies, they are destroying what once was one of the finest public university systems in the United States.

The Commonwealth needs to conduct a comprehensive audit of compulsory DEI statements and training in Virginia’s higher-education system to see how pervasive these practices are. Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin needs to appoint board members willing to fight for free speech and intellectual diversity. Boards of Visitors need to assert control over the institutions they govern — if that means a wholesale firing of presidents, provosts and deans, then so be it. The General Assembly needs to withhold public funding from institutions that persist in their assault on individual liberties, and alumni need to withhold private donations until these travesties are rectified.

Ignoring the DEI dictators is not a viable alternative.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that DEI was given a 20% weight in employee evaluations. The 20% weight was assigned to the “service” component of the evaluations. DEI is a factor to be considered in the service component.

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55 responses to “UVa’s Thought Police Have Taken Control”

  1. Although in fairness, it must be said that UVa does not administer beatings.



    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Spare the rod, spoil the conservative? Oh wait… I think I understand.

  2. LarrytheG Avatar

    Maybe useful reading:

    “History of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion”


    1. Stephen Haner Avatar
      Stephen Haner

      Three posts, same topic, one day. Bacon must feel strongly about this….

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        ” To the degree that Virginia’s other higher-ed institutions are adopting comparable DEI policies, they are destroying what once was one of the finest public university systems in the United States.”

        Is this the way most Conservatives think these days?

        1. John Harvie Avatar
          John Harvie

          I do, and I fear it’s happening in Blacksburg and Williamsburg also. VCU seems the latest to have been infected.

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            John – do you think you understand WHY they are doing this?

          2. DJRippert Avatar

            They are doing this because the “New Left” believes that schools (K-12 and higher ed) should be places of indoctrination rather than education. As totalitarian regimes all over the world have demonstrated through history – the first step in indoctrination is to eliminate free speech and build a monoculture of accepted thought.

          3. LarrytheG Avatar

            And corporations and other? also?
            Does anyone think Carnegie Mellon is “woke”?

            Is this an “infection” of most all Higher Ed in the country?

            Here’s one of your favorites – Purdue –

            and their DEI:



          4. John Harvie Avatar
            John Harvie

            See the title of Jim’s article.

          5. LarrytheG Avatar

            yep, saw that, but Jim’s rhetoric these days is so over the top using bomb-throwing phrases like “thought police” that I consider him a hard-right culture warrior but I do wonder if most of the Conservatives have gone the same way sometimes.

            Many corporations, even ones owned and operated by Conservatives, have DEI initiatives these days so my question stands – Why do Corporations have DEI programs these days, in addition to higher ed and other NOGO institutions?

            what is behind the support for DEI?

            Just slinging “thought police” pejoratives doesn’t explain the WHY these organizations and institutions are implementing these policies.

            So, regardless of one’s opinion about the merits of DEI , what is the rationale behind them? Can Conservatives admit and articulate the reasons behind them even if they strenuously disagree?

            In other words, can you and I agree on the rationale behind them even if we disagree of the policy itself?

            is DEI a follow-on to earlier efforts to address sexual-harrassment in the workplace and other institutions like higher ed?

            Is it an attempt to discourage bullying or rude behavior against some classes of people of different skin colors and ethnicities, etc?

            Would you agree with that or have a different view?

          6. John Harvie Avatar
            John Harvie

            Good old CRT thinking. The rationale is its the “cool thing” read meme of the day now fed by the fear of repercussions (loss of job, etc.) of not being a true believer.

          7. LarrytheG Avatar

            Dunno about ‘true believer’ but I remember back in the day when employer implemented sexual harassment and nondiscrimination rules and some claimed it was an infringement on their “rights”. DEI is not just some Higher Ed thing. It’s happening in corporations, NOGOs and govt agencies and it’s based on concerns that good talent won’t come if they don’t think the organization treats and protects all employees the same regardless of color or ethnicity. That’s why DEI literally means, and opposition to it sometimes seems to smack of the Unite-the-right/kkk mantra of “We will not be replaced’.

          8. Merchantseamen Avatar

            They are communists at heart and they can’t help themselves. The Chinese have not got around to sending in the little Red Book yet. Follow the money.

          9. Merchantseamen Avatar

            Asian has nothing to do with it. My wife is Asian. It is anti-communist. Oh I forget you are the “expert” of all things.

          10. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
            James Wyatt Whitehead

            Indeed it has Mr. Harvie. I don’t really know VPI anymore. The roots are deep and they have been there a good while now. It will be a difficult journey to bring things back to the middle.

        2. tmtfairfax Avatar

          Did you ever hear of the 1st Amendment? It not only protects freedom of speech but also the freedom not to speak. And as a public institution (i.e., a government agency), UVA is subject to the 1st Amendment.

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            I don’t understand TMT…I know Haner has called me “slow” so maybe you need to explain…

          2. tmtfairfax Avatar

            The Supreme Court has held in a number of cases that the 1st Amendment gives a person a right not to be compelled to speak. For example, in West Virginia State
            Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943), which invalidated a state law requiring elementary school students to salute the American Flag. In Wooley v. Maynard, 430 U.S. 705 (1977), SCOTUS found that New Hampshire could not compel private individuals to carry its Motto, “Live Free or Die,” on their family automobile’s license plates. The Court stated “The First Amendment protects the right of individuals to hold a point of view different from the majority and to refuse to foster … an idea they find morally objectionable.”

            In Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, 431 U.S. 209 (1977) the Court struck a Michigan law that permitting unions to exact dues from members that were used in part to fund a number of social and political activities that the plaintiff union members did not support. The opinion stated that “at the heart of the First Amendment is the notion that an individual should be free to believe as he will, and that in a free society one’s beliefs should be shaped by his mind and his conscience rather than coerced by the state.” The Court accepted the “negative association” argument advanced by the union members protesting the dues on the grounds that they had been prohibited, “not from actively associating, but rather from refusing to associate” with the speech the union supported.

            I hope this helps.

          3. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            It doesn’t. Those are actions.

          4. tmtfairfax Avatar

            Huh? I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

            I submit that is speech, and the Supreme Court held that students could not be compelled to say those words.

          5. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            You said not doing it is speech. Silenece is not speech, and you actually cannot “remain silent” because the wingnuts on SCOTUS say to remain silent you literally have to say that you are remaining silent.

          6. tmtfairfax Avatar

            Duh! The kids in the WV case simply wanted to sit quietly in their desks while the rest of the class stood and recited the Pledge.

          7. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Yes, but if precedent means ANYTHING to the SCOTUS, to sit and be quiet they must first stand and announce that they are going to sit and be quiet. Sauce for the 5th is sauce for the 1st.

            If you are free, then pledging allegiance makes you less free. The Pledge, like prayer in schools, should be rolled into the proverbial “moment of silence” to reflect on the existence, or nonexistence, of freedom or god.

          8. Merchantseamen Avatar

            Don’t forget that Nancy also known as Karen and Larry are the “experts” on this site. Just ask them they will tell you. If the sky is blue they will say no. They will argue with a stop sign.

          9. LarrytheG Avatar

            no… still not “getting it’. An employer can set the standards for employment, which includes performance of stated duties. Many Universities, for instance, allow students to “rate’ their professors and that reflects on performance.

            I think you’re confusing the 1st Amendment speech which guarantees all of us the right to speak out on government with the “right” to speak out as an employee. Clearly, employers have a right to specify what you can say or not, while performing their specified duties, for instance, they can define their own standards for employee behaviors and speech and even require non-disclosure agreements.

            Speaking out about your employer is not the same as speaking out against government.

            you may remember this scene from Fast times at Ridgemont High where the adage ‘the customer is always right” is demontrated:


          10. tmtfairfax Avatar

            Once hired, faculty members are subjected to “peer reviews,” in which 20% of their evaluation scores are based on their “contribution” to DEI. Faculty members must demonstrate their commitment to DEI not just by saying the right things but by actively participating in DEI activities.

            This is unconstitutional. The University is bound by the 1st Amendment. It can likely make employees listen to training materials, but it cannot compel, at the risk of compensation and employment, employees to engage in outside activities in which the employee does not wish to engage. This isn’t rocket science.

          11. LarrytheG Avatar

            Private employers can, even public employers can, TMT. They can forbid you for using certain language and they can require you to use certain language as part of your job.

            You’re getting tangled up with ‘free speech” on your own time and place.

            Even then, you are compelled to speak, like when you vote while at the same time you cannot decide to pledge allegiance to the flag while you are voting…

          12. tmtfairfax Avatar

            No, they cannot govern language in all circumstances. An employer can require its employees to use a standard greeting when answering customer calls.

            But an employer cannot prevent its employees from speaking to each other in Spanish, for example, when they are not dealing with customers. Courts have also held that a teacher cannot be compelled to use a student’s preferred pronouns.

            Moreover, the text that I quoted required employees to “actively participat[e] in DEI activities.” That’s compelled speech and unconstitutional. For a private employer, it likely violates all sorts of employment laws.

            This is very different from being required to take a training class. In a prior job, I was required to take such a class. I met some great people there.

          13. LarrytheG Avatar

            Employers can require behaviors and language that pertains to the job.

            Like NDAs or…. that you will address Colleagues by their roles and names.

            And you’re wrong – they CAN require that you communicate with certain languages especially when talking with others.

            You’ve got the DEI wrong.

            They are saying you will be evaluated by your behavior and performance with respect to DEI – not that different than if they set rules for conduct for sexual harassment – do’s and don’ts.

            You CAN BE rated and evaluated with respect to how you conduct yourself , including speech, with others in your work.

            You don’t have ‘free speech” rights per se in a job. The employer determines what you can say or not in your performance and conduct with others.

        3. Nancy Naive Avatar
          Nancy Naive

          Uh yep. And, it’s the way those playing victim sound.

      2. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        Particularly victimy… is victimy a word?

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          well a mindset for sure………

          1. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            It’s been said that “writing is like carrying a fetus,” in which case these UVa articles violate Texas law.

          2. LarrytheG Avatar


  3. disqus_VYLI8FviCA Avatar

    Imagine the caterwauling and cries of “racism” if these conformity litmus tests are removed! The hyperbole of returning to Jim Crow will be blinding.

    Higher Ed may be past the point of redemption. I’d have a hard time these days paying for my kids to learn leftist dogma with no value in the global economy. Thankfully they are done with college and when they came home from school several years ago, we always had a good belly laugh talking about their openly socialist professors and how ridiculous they were. Now silly professors are not only taken seriously, but are required to pledge allegiance and activate their marxist silliness.

    I am sure China is thrilled with this development.

  4. Donald Smith Avatar
    Donald Smith

    Obviously, Governor Youngkin will need a GOP Senate majority, and a larger GOP margin in the House of Delegates, in order to crush the wokerati. We should get started on that now.

    The GOP can go to Virginia parents and ask them if they want to see Virginia’s world-class state university system turned into a woke indoctrination system. Ask if they want to spend $100,000+ per kid for a woke diploma. I think that will resonate.

  5. Donald Smith Avatar
    Donald Smith

    At some point, Virginia voters might conclude that wokeness is so ingrained in Virginia state schools that it can’t be easily and painlessly removed. Drastic, sometimes wrenching measures might be needed.

    When Sheridan burned out the Shenandoah Valley and Sherman gutted central Georgia, the Civil War stopped. It might be time to go marching through some faculty departments, in the same spirit of Sherman Marching Through Georgia.

  6. Hal Juren Avatar

    Mr. Bacon, You are doing an invaluable service to UVA alumni and the public by exposing these activities. You’ve been on my daily reading list for months. Keep up the good work.

  7. Clarity77 Avatar

    It is important to understand the mindset that would produce DEI. Struggling under the weight of its self induced guilt. Guilt being allied with anger and fear which then preclude reasoned thought. Nancy Naive is an obvious example of this and there is no point in trying to reason with her. The only path forward is by way of the reason of the people, as demonstrated in the Youngkin victory. We must mobilize now and apply concerted action and apply every lever against this woke lunacy in our universities, as outlined in the last paragraph of this fine article.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      It’s no more about guilt than policies with regard to sexual harassment or discrimination against others like handicapped – work, school, and other environments that are less than welcoming for those that are different from us.

      If you were ONLY talking about higher ed or K-12 and not the corporate world or NOGO world, you might have some leg to stand on but the reality is that DEI is more than just education and Higher Ed has the same wants than Corporations and NOGOs want. They want talent that may well be of differing color and ethnicities or gender and they don’t want an environment that is hostile to diversity and not at all-inclusive.

      Most of us have our own inclinations towards behaviors that may not be as welcoming to others different from us, that we are not as comfortable with.

      It’s becoming more and more important and relevant as the US really continues it’s ‘melting pot’ evolution.

      It has zero to do with “guilt’ unless you are that kind of person who can’t see or understand the issues.

      1. Clarity77 Avatar

        Thank you Larry as when you make the statement, “It has zero to do with “guilt’ unless you are that kind of person who can’t see or understand the issues” you demonstrate beautifully in what you write as to saying more thereby about you than about me.
        Guilt, anger and fear not only preclude reason but also self awareness. As Aristotle long ago made clear the path to wisdom by way of reason begins with knowing oneself. Self awareness in league with identity, that being the most perplexing issue in psychoanalysis and the knowing of which is utterly absent in the left.
        And as a dramatic example I asked President Ryan at lunch recently how he would describe his identity. I was amazed as he looked at me with a totally blank stare. Utterly perplexed, and then proceeded to ask me as to how I would answer the question. Again, amazing for one in such a position and who prides himself on the Socratic method of posing questions. He was stumped on such a simple question. I do not believe Aristotle would have given him even a “gentleman’s C.”
        In contrast Jefferson and his fellow Founding Fathers were quite aware of their identity which thereby gave them the wisdom and awareness as to human nature. The knowing of which was the very key as to what they went on to create in a nation the likes of which has never before been witnessed. Perfection, of course not, as there was only One who walked the earth who in his last breath ultimately gained that very perfection.
        So back to you Larry, as I have encountered repeatedly on the left, when I hold up the mirror of truth and they feel the weight of their guilt they have no other response except to project in order to attempt to deflect the guilt.
        Very beautifully done Larry. I will have to add you to Nancy Naive on this website. Again, thank you.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          Like I said, DEI is ongoing in corporations, NOGOs and other businesses beyond just education.

          You guys seem bound and determined to deny the truth and promote lies on the issue.

          What I Will agree with is that some entities are doing it badly wrong but the thing overall is about whether it’s VMI or UVA or GM or the YMCA is to work to ensure that people who are part of those organizations are welcome and included no matter how diverse they are.

          You can choose to view it as guilt – like I said, if you want to think that – then you’re entitled – but you’re wrong IMHO.

          Bullying of individuals is more and more a problem these days and it’s often those who are ‘different’ and people are standing up and saying that’s wrong – whether it’s K-12 or social media.

          when you say “guilt’ it is YOU that is projecting… AND demonizing those who do want a diverse and inclusive society.

          1. Clarity77 Avatar

            Larry, your thought patterns are scattered and offer no logic or clarity as they are based purely in emotion. Very typical of the leftist mind attempting to come to terms with its guilt, but always coming up short as to being able to face and handle truth. Inevitably having to resort to projection and the use of smears based in its anger, fear, guilt and self loathing. I am truly grateful not to be in your shoes. You simply are lost and there is no point in further discussion as there is nothing to be learned of you. Thank you for providing the opportunity to look into your suffering mind. Perhaps someday you will learn to choose happiness rather than to suffer. Good luck in that.

          2. LarrytheG Avatar

            purely by reading and understanding what it is. no emotion at all.


            the ‘guilt’ is your own that you choose
            I have none at all… but I do recognize that some of us had benefits that others did not.

            where are you getting this: ” Inevitably having to resort to projection and the use of smears based in its anger, fear, guilt and self loathing”

            is this you and your own thinking?

            I don’t have to ‘choose’ happiness at all.. I AM happy AND I choose to deal with realities and facts and am comfortable with them.

            And i don’t have to resort to the tortured crap you are slinging …. either… i don’t know where you folks come from but it’s not a good place.

          3. Clarity77 Avatar

            Thank you Larry, You make this too easy. “Tortured crap” -can you access your inner eye to see the anger, the guilt, self-loathing and then sure enough there it is the predictable and clear projection?

          4. LarrytheG Avatar

            self-loathing? geeze guy… anger, inner-eye..?? do you practice this stuff?


          5. Clarity77 Avatar

            And now by your own admission it becomes more clear you are working with more limited tools than one would have hoped. Again, good luck.

          6. LarrytheG Avatar

            and to you pilgrim…. 😉 may want to tinker a bit with your shtick… it’s a loser.

          7. Clarity77 Avatar

            Au contraire, it worked quite easily in your case. As has been noted when a wise man debates with a fool the fool will either laugh or get angry. Look back at your posts for the evidence.
            Meanwhile, I would like to wish you happy holidays complete with your DEI lunacy in full obsession with your well deserved racist guilt. Boom!

          8. LarrytheG Avatar

            Yep and you do demonstrate how lame unhappy folks can be. I feel sorry for you and hope you do get better and that the folks around you understand and are sympathetic to your issues. I wish you well.

          9. Clarity77 Avatar

            Next time in front of the mirror spend more time. It might be of help. God bless.

          10. LarrytheG Avatar

            I think you’re done nimrod. Go sit down now.

          11. Clarity77 Avatar

            The anger of a self evident fool maybe?

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