Major issue with "UVA Parent Network" on FB- thoughts? advice? can any Hoo parents relate?

I know most are students here, and @Dean_J probably does not have time to involve herself in accepted/current student matters. There is a major issue with the UVA Parent Network on FB.

The moderator has not been a UVA parent for over a decade, and he sends inappropriate/offensive PMs to members, ranging from chastising parents for “violating” nonsensical/authoritarian page policies to muting people for “asking the wrong type of question.” Someone asked if their incoming first year needed a vacuum, and he muted her for two weeks “until she could explain what she did wrong.” He screens entrance to the site and has sent misogynistic messages to women regarding profile pictures (which “must remain full headshots”, despite special requests from domestic violence victims to allow alternate photos).

This is NOT a good look or feel for The University, and certainly is not a welcoming first impression. I don’t believe UVA is aware of what’s happening. Of course, a simple, personal solution is to not join the page. But it is touted as the Facebook site for new UVA parents and students who are desperate for info, and it’s a total turnoff. Such a contrast to the incredibly welcoming sites of comparable, national universities and others in the ACC and across VA.

Is it an official UVA Facebook page. If not, there really isn’t anything anyone can do. My daughter’s university has several parent Facebook pages but only one monitored by the university.


It is official in that UVA directs parents to it when students are accepted, yes. I believe UVA officials are also members of the page, and that’s why parents join. There’s also a wealth of info, but it’s sad members must endure censorship and abuse to benefit from it.

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I’d let the admissions department know of your concerns.


We stopped directing people to specific Facebook groups besides the “Class of” ones that are moderated by student ambassadors. There are several UVA parent and fan groups on Facebook. I suggest people check a few out and join the one that works for them.

Neither UVA nor the Office of Admission have jurisdiction with respect to Facebook groups.


Please let The University know about it. I recommend that you call and speak with a person. You are raising what seem to me to be legitimate concerns and I know that Admissions would want to hear them. (I’m an old but somewhat active alum, Class of '83)

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Thank you for your reply and clarification. I appreciate that UVA has no role in FB moderation. That page is an unfortunate landing spot for many new parents, since the aforementioned moderator of that page also becomes a member of all “Class of” pages, as well. It takes on the appearance of being official, and as we know… perception is often reality, especially online. You do a WONDERFUL job informing the new Hoos. Just wishing the experience of getting to know UVA between February and May were a bit less toxic.


There are other Facebook groups being run by UVA parents. The Network one used to be the only one, but it’s clear that a few parents decided to provide an alternative.

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Yep, I excitedly tried to join that group recently following my daughter’s acceptance to UVA and was curtly refused because my FB profile pic is not currently of myself. I have never run into such a requirement for any other FB group, and am certainly not about to let anyone dictate how I represent my own FB profile. Fortunately I did find some other wonderful and welcoming UVA groups, but I will admit it didn’t give me a very good first impression of UVA (even though I understand it’s not directly affiliated). They are not doing UVA any favors over there. I’m glad I’m not the only one who was turned off.

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I don’t have any UVA connections, but I understand your concern. I’m the admin of one of my college kids “Parents of x of Class of 2023” Facebook groups, and while we don’t have that particular problem, we are super concerned with the “fake” parent and class groups that are run by marketing entities with no college affiliation whatsoever, and have very scary privacy policies!

Anyway, I just emailed my son’s college about them and got a favorable response. I emailed the president, admissions, and office of parent engagement (medium sized college). While I completely understand colleges staying out of the fray of Facebook groups, I do think they might want to know about problematic ones (like the fake ones I’m referring to, and the badly-run one you are referring to), or at least, stop referring people to that particular group.

Now, when it comes to group rules, I’m ok with the admin enforcing the rules (such as what can be asked). After all, the admins are volunteers and if there is only one, well, that guy truly does run the group, unfortunately! Are there co-admins you could appeal to? But I’m NOT ok with rudeness, and that is a bad look for new parents coming in. I also don’t like that he is joining the class groups…aren’t they supposed to be for students only?

But back to the question of what you can do, I don’t know. Yes, create alternate groups and try to steer parents towards them is one. Yes, let UVA admin know and ask them to stop pointing parents to that group and maybe give a couple examples of the admin behavior. And I’ll throw out a sneaky idea, one we are thinking of…claim the “Class of” groups now, a couple years into the future. As in, start them up, and don’t let that mod in.

Thanks for your thoughtful reply and suggestions. I totally understand the role of volunteer moderators, and I’m a huge fan of online forum rules, and enforcing them. His rules include: profile picture must be full face (really? how does he know?); name of student/year/school required, and he threatens to email students to verify; he also insults women (anecdotal, but text evidence is plentiful) if they don’t appear to fit his profile of a UVA parent. I mean, what the heck? It’s 2021, and UVA is more diverse than ever (a good thing).

As I said, my main concern is the impression parents are getting (like the parent who posted)-- and how they’re being treated by the one enforcing the rules.

UVA does not engage in a lot of “we’re so excited you’re here…” ahead of having the class set in May. Likely because it’s superfluous, they’re busier than ever, and they have a predictable yield of high-achieving students, BUT that less-is-more approach coupled with this group/moderator’s terrible behavior is really unwelcoming, bordering on off-putting. I know Early Decision (binding) families who are questioning if it’s really the right community for their students. Too bad, so sad for them- they’re stuck, but most are not.

Uncertainty prevails for the Class of 2025- no chance to visit and tour, no chance to get a REAL FEEL for The University. This guy and his insults are more prevalent than ever. I will contact a few officials via email, but I’m guessing Dean J represents the official stance accurately.


There is another UVA Parent Group:

Search for UVA Parent Discussion Group on Facebook.


FWIW, the third parties making “Class of” groups has been going on for over a decade. Admission officers were the first ones to raise a warning flag about it in 2008. Unless the group uses our logos, we have no means of stopping the activity. I try to address this every year using my platform, but that will never stop the marketing groups from popping up.

That’s separate from a parent group, but wanted to address that comment.


Just googled that guy. Why is he still doing this 12 years later? I assume he had a child that went to UVA? He did not. Time to turn over the reins. I have found the parent group to be very helpful at my other children’s schools. That is a shame.

I believe he does have a child who is a grad. There is also at least one other administrator. Some people do seem active and engaged and feel supported in that group but it is clearly not meeting everyone’s needs. Perhaps look around at some of the other options .

It’s unfortunate that new parents have had a negative experience with the UVA Parent Network page. The man who runs the page is a real jerk. Several parents have had problems with him. He loves “muting” people, removing posts, stopping comments on posts, etc. A lot of parents have left that page (or were banned) and have joined the UVA Parent Discussion Group page. The UVA Parent Discussion Group page was started last year because of the problems with the UVA Parent Network page. And the UVA Parent Network moderator was removed from other parent pages because he was “muting” people on the UVA Parent Network page for comments parents made on other pages. Several parents have requested the moderator to step down, change the page name, etc. but he refuses. For a better experience join the UVA Parent Discussion Group page or University of Virginia - Class of ___ page.