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In 2021, Glenn Youngkin Said Ron DeSantis Was His Role-Model Governor; Now, Youngkin’s Emulating DeSantis, Including by Trashing UVA

Youngkin appointees (including the horrendous Bert Ellis) on the UVa Board of Visitors "[float] tracking student, faculty political ideology"


Back in 2021, Glenn Youngkin gushed about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, gushing that “Governor DeSantis has done a lot of really impressive things to lead and this is where I look to lead as governor.” Two years later, Youngkin hasn’t changed his opinion of DeSantis (“If you look at Florida, he’s done a great job”), even as Florida under that guy’s leadership has lurched in a dangerously authoritarian, anti-LGBTQ, anti-free-speech, and virulently anti-public-education direction. On those latter two points, check this out:

Gov. Ron DeSantis proposed a slate of changes to Florida’s university system on Tuesday that could shake up diversity, equity and inclusion programs as well as faculty tenure at campuses across the state.

The Republican governor is asking the Legislature in the upcoming session to eliminate all state funding toward those programs, which he deems “ideological,” and pass a measure that would give university officials the power to launch a tenure review at any time. These proposals could prove to be banner higher education legislation in 2023 as Florida Republicans seize on colleges in their push to eliminate “woke” lessons in schools.

And this:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says he wants to rein in “trendy ideologies” at state universities. His recent appointment of conservative educational activists to a university board has sparked outrage.

And last but not least:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation Tuesday that will require the Sunshine State’s public universities and colleges to survey students, faculty and staff about their beliefs to protect “intellectual diversity,” according to reports.

The education bill — which seeks to assess “viewpoint diversity” on college campuses — was one of three DeSantis signed that direct how civics is taught in Florida public schools and universities.

Can you just imagine how Virginia Republicans would react if a Democratic governor, like Terry McAuliffe or Ralph Northam, had done this here? Let’s just say, they wouldn’t be have been pleased, and they definitely would have let everyone know about that. So now, are they going to express any outrage about this Daily Progress story, about the latest by Youngkin’s appointees to the UVA Board of Visitors?

At a Board of Visitors meeting on Friday, Douglas Wetmore, the Senior Vice President for Business Development at Centauri Health Solutions who was appointed to the board by Gov. Glenn Youngkin last year, questioned why the school’s Diversity Dashboard does not include an assessment of student or faculty ideologies.

“How come we don’t have dashboards that track, for example, the political ideology of the faculty?” asked Wetmore. “Why wouldn’t we do that to try to convince ourselves that we have balance and that we’re serving the full range of needs from our constituents as a leading public university?”

Bert Ellis, whose own nomination to the board last year sparked a campaign to block his appointment, said he agrees with Wetmore’s suggestion and wants to see more “robust debates” at UVa that can only happen with a diversity of viewpoints and beliefs.

That last paragraph, about Bert Ellis thinking this is a great idea, is the dead giveaway about how *horrible* an idea this actually is. For a quick reminder about who Bert Ellis is and anything he thinks is a great idea is almost certainly the polar opposite, see:

Utterly horrible. Oh, and don’t forget that Ellis is on the UVA Board of Visitors at all thanks to: a) Glenn Youngkin appointing him; b) Republicans of course rubber stamping that appointment; c) two super-conservative Democrats (Lynwood Lewis and Chap Petersen) in the VA Senate who “broke rank and voted alongside Republicans to reject the amendment [to NOT approve Ellis’ nomination] in an otherwise party-line vote.” Which just shows you how much a governor can change Virginia for the better – or in this case much worse – in just a couple years, and how much it matters that Democrats control both the House of Delegates and State Senate, with *real* Democrats, not “Democrats” in air quotes who help Youngkin do terrible things, like trash one of the best public universities in America.


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