Virginia governor urges hiring faculty with ‘diverse’ views

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, told college presidents last week that he expects them to promote free speech on campus and hire faculty and other members of the staff “with diverse political perspectives”. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

Youngkin sent the five-page letter to the Council of Presidents, setting out his expectations on a range of cultural issues important to his conservative political base — from in-person instruction during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to establishing schools of lab as a kind of charter school outside of traditional K-12 public education. He also doesn’t want a tuition hike, which some Virginia colleges have proposed for next year.

He said free speech on campus was “an issue and a priority.” Many conservatives have talked about a speech by former Vice President Mike Pence at the University of Virginia. While some students said he shouldn’t appear on campus, he spoke, with support from the administration.

Youngkin said hiring professors with diverse opinions would “nurture a culture that prioritizes civil discourse and debate, both inside and outside the classroom.”

“This framework…policies and protocols should address annual faculty, staff, and student training, approaches to prioritizing the hiring of staff and faculty with diverse political perspectives, support for events and forums to model the exchange of ideas from different perspectives in a civil and productive manner, the set of non-negotiables that will not be tolerated on our campuses, and other measures to advance these fundamental freedoms on our campuses” , he wrote.

Larry Sabato, president of the UVA’s Center for Politics, said, “It’s become dogma on the right, and that’s what Youngkin feeds on.”

Sabato said he doesn’t oppose most of the governor’s stated goals, but he questioned the need to impose a framework on colleges and universities that are already tackling the issue. “I can only speak for one place, but where is the problem? ” He asked. “What is the problem we are trying to solve? »

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