University’s $20 Million DEI Expenditure Revealed

( – The University of Virginia (UVA) faces criticism for its spending on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs. A report by Open the Books, a government spending watchdog group, alleges UVA spends a staggering $20 million annually on its 235-person DEI staff. This translates to roughly $15 million in salaries and an additional $5 million for benefits.

The report targets Rachel Spraker, an equity and inclusion officer, who has been criticized for linking the rise in premature deaths in Appalachia to “the toxicity of whiteness.” It also highlights Martin Davidson, UVA’s top earner in DEI, who receives a hefty salary and benefits package totaling nearly $600,000 a year – more than triple the salary of Virginia’s Governor.

UVA strongly disputes the report’s findings. University spokesman Brian Coy claims the study inflates the number of DEI personnel by including individuals with responsibilities that aren’t exclusively DEI-focused. Coy insists only 55 dedicated DEI positions cost $5.8 million – a fraction of the $20 million claimed by Open the Books.

This clash exemplifies the growing national debate surrounding DEI initiatives. Proponents argue these programs are essential to create a more inclusive environment and address historical inequalities in education and opportunity. Opponents, however, view them as a form of reverse discrimination that prioritizes identity politics over merit.

The University of Florida recently eliminated all DEI positions and programs within its public university system, reflecting a growing conservative opposition to such initiatives. Open the Books’ Adam Andrzejewski praises this move, calling UVA’s spending “bloated” and accusing the university of adopting “neo-Marxist DEI quotas.”

Andrzejewski further criticizes the high salaries of UVA’s DEI leadership, suggesting these funds could be better directed toward scholarships or core academic programs. Many social media users share this sentiment, questioning the value of such programs and suggesting the money could be better spent on direct student support.

UVA students themselves face a significant financial burden. In-state tuition costs $20,000 annually, while out-of-state students pay a staggering $56,000. With already high tuition costs, concerns arise that hefty DEI spending may further strain university resources.

Research by The Heritage Foundation has sparked concerns about the ballooning size of DEI departments nationwide. Their findings indicate that universities now have an average of over 3.4 DEI staffers for every 100 tenured professors.

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