Virginia Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin may no longer be the focus of national headlines, but some of his moves are making waves in the commonwealth. His latest effort is to call for Virginia’s higher education institutions to hire faculty “with diverse political perspectives” going forward.
Local news outlet WMAL reported that the governor wrote a letter to the Council of Presidents, composed of university presidents, to push for more ideological diversity, more respect for freedom of speech, and to keep tuition costs low for all Virginians.
In his letter, Youngkin stated that universities should “prioritize the hiring of staff and faculty with diverse political perspectives” in addition to supporting “events and forums to model the exchange of ideas from different perspectives in a civil and productive manner.”
Youngkin’s emphasis on ideological diversity and freedom of speech may have come from a controversy at the University of Virginia, where an announced speech by former Vice President Mike Pence led to a back-and-forth rhetorical sparring match between the student newspaper, faculty members, and free speech advocates.
The governor also addressed the increasing cost of tuition as a problem, urging university presidents to “work to lower the net cost of higher education for Virginia’s students.” A major hurdle facing Youngkin on tuition is that the federal government, in effect, subsidizes tuition and these subsidies discourage keeping tuition costs low.
Youngkin’s letter also demonstrated his appeal to Virginia voters, with his emphasis on restoring parental rights in education, representing conservative voices tired of the Left’s infiltration and indoctrination in public education, and encouraging business and economic growth in the commonwealth.