Skip to comments.Nearly all my professors are Democrats. Isn't that a problem?
Posted on 07/14/2009 7:55:58 AM PDT by Mr. Blonde
When I began examining the political affiliation of faculty at the University of Oregon, the lone conservative professor I spoke with cautioned that I would "make a lot of people unhappy."
Though I mostly brushed off his warning assuming that academia would be interested in such discourse I was careful to frame my research for a column for the school newspaper diplomatically.
The University of Oregon (UO), where I study journalism, invested millions annually in a diversity program that explicitly included "political affiliation" as a component. Yet, out of the 111 registered Oregon voters in the departments of journalism, law, political science, economics, and sociology, there were only two registered Republicans.
A number of conservative students told me they felt Republican ideas were frequently caricatured and rarely presented fairly. Did the dearth of conservative professors on campus and apparent marginalization of ideas on the right belie the university's commitment to providing a marketplace of ideas?
(Excerpt) Read more at csmonitor.com ...
My experience with school is much the same. Although I find that it is more conservative figureheads are more often attacked than the actual ideas. I had a professor send us out of the classroom after the final with a paper asking us to sign a petition to impeach President Bush.
"A number of conservative students told me they felt Republican ideas were frequently caricatured and rarely presented fairly. Did the dearth of conservative professors on campus and apparent marginalization of ideas on the right belie the university's commitment to providing a marketplace of ideas?"
Very common. They might not know what conservative ideas are at all. I was the only Catholic and conservative guy in a department at a supposedly Catholic university. Go figure. Liberals have weird ideas about conservatives. Some really don't have a clue. When they talk about "diversity" they don't mean ANY conservatives or Christians being included.
To them diversity only means skin color. Diversity of thought is dangerous don’t you know?
The numbers he finds are certainly not coincidence.
He seems concerned that hiring any conservatives to get their viewpoint would be discriminatory, but the numbers they have show that the discrimination has been the other way.
Then it carries through to grading of the students. In political classes if you want an A you need to take the professor's liberal position. Best you can get otherwise is maybe a B.
In some departments, I can at least understand the argument that most professors will be liberal because nearly everyone in the field is liberal. But this is not true of economics, and the disparity there is strong evidence of systemic hiring bias at the university.
Some of it could be limited by who applies as the private sector will pay better if you are actually good at the job.
My youngest daughter attends a university in Oklahoma. She is fairly conservative and also vocal on her beliefs. Her experience has been that with the exception of one professor, she has been treated fairly. Although the professors may lean left, conservative ideas and students are treated with respect. I personally don’t have a problem with an instructors political views, as long as dissent can be open and free. One of my richest learning experiences came from a professor who I loved and was further left than Karl Marx. He taught me to think - and that is a lesson I carry with me to this day.-—JM
There is a similar process at work in graduate schools and even at the undergraduate level for students. Conservative students are on the receiving end of hazing and discrimination. So there is a long period of being subjected to a hostile environment even before the conservative reaches the hiring process. For every conservative applicant there were MANY more who dropped out along the way.
I think most professors at schools in Oklahoma have come to terms with their students being majority conservative and keep it toned down. I would guess the situation is much different in areas such as Oregon where the split in the actual class trends towards liberal.
This is a big problem for me. The places I love in America have all gone blue. New England (now including New Hampshire), California, Colorado, Oregon, Hawaii, you name it. It's almost like they planned to take over these areas of the country. I hate it!
Ping that might interest you
Like thats going to happen.
Actually, these people have no idea what constitutes conservative thought, and couldn't explain it if they had to.
The best they could come up with would be caricatures about racist war-mongers. Essentially for them "conservative" is like "fascism". They don't know what it means, they just apply the word to whatever they don't like.
I don't actually care what a professor's views are if he doesn't impose them on his students, but its inevitable that they do. If I had a dollar for every Halliburton rant in an english lit classroom in America I could make my house payment.
I can't count the number of liberals that have expressed surprise that I'm a conservative "Because I'm not a Bigot".
You make a valid point. I do tend to believe there are real regional differences. My oldest daughter, who also lives in Oklahoma considers herself to be a “liberal Democrat”. But, in our discussions around the kitchen table, she was very quick to point out that a “liberal” from Oklahoma and a “liberal” from Massachusetts or San Francisco are 2 different animals. Her words, not mine.—JM
It doesn’t take much to be considered liberal in Oklahoma usually. Probably why the Democrats seeking office usually run on a pro-life/pro-gun platform. Jon Stewart has even pointed out how in Oklahoma there are basically conservatives and ultra-conservatives.
I agree. I had a lot of liberal professors and got along with all of them. I enjoyed the debates and discussions. One Poly Sci professor even recommended me for a study in Washington D.C. program. I was accepted and it was a great experience.
That’s because “educated” and “intellectuals” are Liberals, and Conservatives are just bible-thumping, un-educated, gun-toting hicks, don’t ya know?
If professors had to have experience in the private sector outside of academia as a requirement to be hired on as a professor, I doubt many liberals would make the cut.
There is absolutely no causality here. None. Ideology has nothing to do with the subject matter per se. There is nothing in journalism, economics, or sociology that implies liberal or conservative viewpoint. In fact, only unanswered questions leave any room for viewpoints. Consider Walter Kronkite, who finally conceded that (to wit) "of course we [journalists] are all liberals. What else are we supposed to feel when we are surrounded by hunger..." One could recited a long, long list of statistics --- starting with the doubling of the life span in the past century --- that demonstrate how good capitalism is for the poor. Even after the recent calamities, the value of America assets is twelve times greater than in 1982 -- a remarkable result. One has to be blind to these truths and selective to what he chooses to see to arrive at "hunger" etc.
More recently, our troops have opened scores of schools and hospitals in Iraq. One could not miss them upon arriving to Iraq. But have you EVER seen that reported? There is nothing in the doctrines of journalism that dictates one to close one's eyes. If a journalist does so it is purely his/her choice.
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