Top Republicans in Virginia’s Assembly have called for a watchdog group to investigate the cost of public universities, specifically the increasingly high costs of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) departments on college campuses.
Speaker of the House Del. Todd Gilbert and House Majority Del. Terry Kilgore, sent a letter to the executive director of the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC), Hal E. Greer, requesting an investigation into why tuitions are so high.
The letter follows criticism by Virginia Democrats of Martin Brown, director of the Office of Diversity, Opportunity, and Inclusion under Gov. Glenn Youngkin, for his April comments at the Virginia Military Institute, where he said DEI is dead.
Democrats have also criticized Gov. Youngkin for not following state laws requiring the creation of the diversity, equity, and inclusion office.
Here is the letter that @DonScott757 and I sent to @JasonMiyaresVA seeking an opinion regarding the Governor DEI actions – our first question is whether the Governor is bound by Virginia Law because apparently he doesn’t think he is@FairfaxNAACP @charlottewords @LVozzella pic.twitter.com/E2PzbTvGL6
— Senator Scott Surovell (@ssurovell) May 2, 2023
Republicans introduced a bill which would have funded a JLARC study of the rising cost of public higher education, including the “number of individuals employed by each public institution of higher education to promote or advance diversity, equity, and inclusion,” but it failed to pass.
According to a Heritage Foundation report, the University of Virginia had 6.5 DEI staff for every 100 professors, with top DEI staff earning salaries ranging from $325,000 to $430,000. The Republicans have requested the JLARC to update its report on the rising cost of higher education in the state, as they aim to make informed policy and budgetary decisions for the future.