University of Virginia Spends $20 Million on 235 DEI Employees, with Some Making $587,340 Per Year – Adam Andrzejewski 3/5/24


The University of Virginia (UVA) has at least 235 employees under its “diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)” banner — including 82 students — whose total cost of employment is estimated at $20 million. That’s $15 million in cash compensation plus an additional 30-percent for the annual cost of their benefits.

In contrast, last Friday, the University of Florida dismissed its DEI bureaucracy, saving students and taxpayers $5 million per year. The university terminated 13 full-time DEI positions and 15 administrative faculty appointments. Those funds have been re-programmed into a “faculty recruitment fund” to attract better people who actually teach students.

No such luck for learning at Virginia’s flagship university – founded by Thomas Jefferson no less. UVA has a much deeper DEI infrastructure.

Reform or abolition must await this summer’s anticipated changes in the school’s Board of Visitors. At least until then, the very highly compensated, generally non-teaching, DEI staffers are safely embedded throughout the entire university – while costing students and taxpayers a fortune.

Our team of auditors at reviewed the university payroll file for 2023 to sort out the DEI position head counts, compensation, and then estimated the cost of benefits.

Meet The Top Paid DEI Executives

Martin N. Davidson, senior associate dean of the Darden School of Business & global chief diversity officer, earns the most in a DEI role, at $452,000, or $587,340 including benefits. For comparison, Glenn Youngkin, the governor of Virginia earned $175,000.

The second most highly compensated DEI executive is Kevin G. McDonald, the vice president for diversity, equity, inclusion and community partnerships, who takes home $401,465, or an estimated $520,000 with benefits.

Those in DEI leadership roles such as vice presidents, associate/assistant deans, directors, assistant directors and managers earned up to $312,000 last year, or $400,000 with benefits.

When McDonald began in his position in August 2019, he was making $340,000, eligible for a 10-percent bonus every year. His first year, he was given a $25,000 recruitment bonus and up to $30,000 for relocation costs, according to UVA records provided through the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.

Some of the DEI chiefs have been transparent about their philosophies during their public comments. For example, Rachel Spraker, an assistant vice president for equity & inclusive excellence – where she earned $186,800 last year or $242,840 with benefits – described the opioid epidemic in Appalachia as an example of “white toxicity.”

DEI staff aren’t the only well-paid employees in controversial roles at UVA.

Lanice Avery, an assistant professor of psychology in the departments of Psychology and Women, Gender and Sexuality, makes $102,200 ($132,860 with estimated benefits). She runs the Research on Intersectionality, Sexuality, and Empowerment (RISE) Lab at UVA and writes and speaks about black, female sexuality, and describes herself as a “board-certified sexologist” and speaks online about her orgasms.

UVA’s DEI Infrastructure

What does the DEI bureaucracy do?

There are 187 UVA employees and students dedicated to “assist and monitor all units of the University in their efforts to recruit and retain faculty, staff, and student from historically underrepresented groups and to provide affirmative and supportive environments for work and life…”

Here are some of the university agencies committed to the DEI mission. If you think you are seeing double in this list, you are right:

  • Equity Center (110 employees total: 37 employees +73 students),
  • Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (17 employees +1 student),
  • Multicultural Student Services (6 employees +10 students),
  • Office of Diversity & Engagement (3 employees + 4 students)
  • Center for Diversity (4 students)

Included in the DEI employment roster are another 31 people working in DEI roles sprinkled throughout other departments, including the Urology Department, in Occupational Programs, for the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and other areas.

Then, there are another 48 employees and students working in roles related to DEI and advancing equality for women, minorities, etc….

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