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There is one administrator for every three undergrads at UVA: analysis

DEI staffers, tuition also increased in recent years

The University of Virginia employs one full-time administrator for every three undergraduates at the school, according to an analysis conducted by The College Fix.

This is roughly a 9.3 percent increase from the 2013-14 school year, according to the analysis, which used data provided by UVA to the federal Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.

During the 2013-14 school year, there were 291 full-time administrators and support staff employees per 1,000 undergrads, and in 2021-22, the most recent year for which data are available, there were 318 full-time administrators and support staff employees per 1,000 undergrads.

Meanwhile, the number of full-time educators per 1,000 undergraduates has stayed roughly the same over the last 10 years, hovering at an average of 103 instructors per 1,000 students, according to the data. The university also continues to raise its tuition, most recently by 3 percent for the 2024-25 school year.

Under the College Fix analysis, administrators and support staff include management, student and academic affairs divisions, IT, public relations, administrative support, maintenance, and legal and other non-academic departments.

Kevin McDonald, UVA’s vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion, earned $374,850 in 2022, according to public records. In contrast, the average full professor salary in Virginia is $111,190, according to Salary.com.

The data show growth in personnel at UVA is almost entirely for non-teaching positions, including many jobs focused on advancing diversity, equity and inclusion at the public ivy, according to the analysis.

Considered Virginia’s flagship university, UVA conducted a hiring spree to bolster its diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in recent years, according to public reports and reports from watchdog groups.

Today, the University of Virginia employs at least 55 positions dedicated to advancing DEI at an annual cost of $5.8 million, according to data given by campus leaders during a June 2023 Board of Visitors meeting, as reported by the Cavalier Daily student newspaper.

But in 2020, the number of DEI staff came in at 38 positions at a cost of $4.14 million, according to a report by the center-right Virginia Association of Scholars. That shows the university hired an additional 17 employees to advance DEI over the last three years.

The report also states UVA employed 77 DEI administrators at a cost of $6.9 million in 2021, which would be much higher than what campus officials reported in June 2023, but the university disputes those findings, the New York Times reported in April.

However the association’s report, published in January 2023, itemizes each of the 77 employees it links to DEI and their salaries. The association is critical of DEI spending, arguing it’s a burden on taxpayers, it hurts institutional neutrality, and it pits students against each other in terms of race and ideology.

UVA’s DEI initiatives have sparked attention and concern from alumni and even Virginia’s Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who appointed a prominent anti-DEI advocate to the university’s Board of Visitors, Bert Ellis, in February 2023.

But a “Higher Education Summit on Free Speech and Intellectual Diversity” the governor held at the university in late November was panned in news reports as being essentially held in secret — the university did not publicize it at all — and effectively window dressing rather than major surgery.

The Jefferson Council, an alumni group dedicated to preserving Thomas Jefferson’s legacy at UVA, has also expressed disapproval of UVA’s DEI growth. During a speaker event hosted in November by the council, scholar Heather Mac Donald blasted the school for its DEI spending.

“The DEI bureaucracy was premised on the idea that black students were so under assault from racist faculty, administrators and students that they needed official allies to protect them,” she said. “President [James] Ryan has declared that the ‘task of becoming a more equitable campus requires continued effort.’”

Mac Donald flatly disagrees with Ryan.

“No adult at UVA is disrespecting minority students,” she said. “To the contrary, UVA faculty and staff want minority students above all others to succeed. The same is true on every other American campus. College presidents, however, prefer to announce that they preside over a racist institution then to proclaim the truth of equal opportunity.”

She also said UVA’s DEI spending is outrageous.

“Becoming equitable and tolerant apparently requires a massive and costly and bureaucratic infrastructure,” she said. “As far back as 2007, UVA’s chief officer for diversity and equity pulled in a salary of $315,000, according to the Cavalier.”

“…Today UVA’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Community Partnerships alone has 14 staff members on top of the 17 staffers working in UVA’s Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights. That doesn’t even include the various diversity functionaries lodged in 14 academic units, such as the schools of arts and sciences, the medical school, and the engineering school.”

“Still,” Mac Donald continued, “the bureaucratic bloat expands. In August 2023, UVA hired an associate vice president for diversity in community engagement … to head UVA’s Office of African-American Affairs.”

UVA’s media relations division and the Jefferson Council did not respond to The College Fix’s request for comment.

The University of Virginia has worked to create a more diverse campus environment in earnest since the formation of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee in 2018. In 2021, the university’s DEI working group created the University Advancement 2021 Inclusive Excellence Plan, which outlined future expansion plans for UVA’s DEI department.

Goals listed in the 11-page report include hiring more people of color and requiring all hiring managers to complete equity training.

In April 2021, the public university also paid prominent antiracism theorist Ibram X. Kendi $32,500, or approximately $541.67 per minute, for a one-hour virtual interview.

Over the last several years, the University of Virginia has also made headlines for the repeated attacks on campus against President Thomas Jefferson, who founded the institution in 1819.

The College Fix’s Campus Cancel Culture Database has also tracked 18 incidents at the university since 2016, including in 2021 its decision to remove a Revolutionary War statue and inscription.

MORE: UMich now has more than 500 jobs dedicated to DEI, payroll costs exceed $30 million

IMAGE: Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock

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About the Author
College Fix Contributor Emily Fowler is a student at The Master's University, where she studies music. She previously received an associate's degree in arts and sciences at Wabash Valley College. She also writes for Campus Reform, where she is a senior correspondent.