William & Mary Faculty Response to Virginia’s AG

A quick follow up on my post last week on the Virginia Attorney General’s claim that all anti-discrimination policies adopted by state schools that included sexual orientation were void (and the Governor’s repudiation of that position).   The William & Mary Faculty Assembly adopted the following statement in response to events:

To the William and Mary Community:

The Faculty Assembly of the College of William and Mary strongly endorses the March 9 statement by President Taylor Reveley concerning the College’s nondiscrimination policies. We are deeply troubled by the Attorney General’s recent attempt to change these policies, particularly those banning discrimination based on sexual orientation. Non-discrimination policies flow from the fundamental principle of merit-based judgment that informs every aspect of the work of the Faculty.  This principle governs how we teach, how we appoint and promote, how we conduct our research and scholarship, and how we evaluate each other’s contributions to the College and the wider community.  We are irrevocably committed to the ideal that these judgments must always be based upon the merits of the case, and that
they must reflect our integrity as a community of teachers and scholars.  We applaud Governor McDonnell’s recent Executive Directive which we understand as committing his administration to safeguarding similar merit-based principles in the Commonwealth.

The lack of a clear — and fully articulated — commitment to non-discrimination would erode our ability to attract the very best faculty, staff and students. Without such a commitment to a merit-based ethos, where individuals are evaluated on their work and accomplishments but no other personal characteristics, the College has no plausible claim to being a leader among American institutions of higher education.

The Faculty Assembly

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