Virginia Gov. Glenn Yankin, a Republican, told college presidents last week that he hopes they will promote freedom of speech on campus and hire teachers and other staff “with different political perspectives.” Richmond Times-Dispatch Report
Yankin sent the five-page letter to the Council of Presidency, setting out his expectations on a range of cultural issues important to its conservative political base – from personal guidance during the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic to the creation of lab schools. Charter schools outside of traditional K-12 public education. He doesn’t want any tuition increases, which some Virginia colleges have proposed for next year.
He said free speech on campus was “a problem and a priority.” Many conservatives are talking about a speech by Mike Pence, former vice president of the University of Virginia. Although some students said he should not be present on campus, he spoke in support of the administration.
Yankin said hiring teachers with different views would “nurture a culture that prioritizes civic discourse and debate, both inside and outside the classroom.”
“These frameworks should address the support of events and forums to model the policy and protocols of the annual faculty, staff and student training, staffing and faculty recruitment with different political perspectives, modeling a civic and conceptual exchange from different perspectives. Productive approach, a non-negotiable set on our campus that will not be tolerated on our campus and other steps to further these fundamental freedoms on our campus, ”he wrote.
Larry Sabato, president of the Center for Politics at UVA, said, “This has become a right-wing ideology, and this is what Yankin is feeding.”
Sabato said he did not object to most of the goals stated by the governor, but he questioned the need to impose a framework on colleges and universities that are already resolving the issue. “I can only talk for one place, but where’s the problem?” He asked. “Are we trying to solve that problem?”