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.
Being familiar with it, Oregon in general, kind of like Minnesota, is suburban LaLa land. The geography is beautiful, the people courteous, but now the hard reality of work, production, and self honesty is beginning to set in; it has one of the most descending employment and economic spirals in the nation.
However the real political aspect is that very very few, maybe including the author of the article, simply have no fundamental concept of what conservatism is.
How we have totally lost that concept, over the last forty years, I'm not sure. It has to do with being spoiled, indolent (like university professors), and mass brainwashing by the Media. But it surely is not going to be reversed until clear articulation of the Left versus the Right surfaces. And the mass Media of today is the enemy.
That’s the standard stereotype - racist, fundamentalist, chauvinist, etc.
Bears repeating. This is especially poignant in the arena of "hyprocrisy," wherein it is insisted that the conservative be consistent not with his or her own actual ideas, but with the stereotypes the liberal has in his or her head, and those can be pretty wild.
That works both ways. I do know a handful of pro-life liberals who are routinely annoyed at the assumption that they support abortion clinics. The real difficulty - and on this I have to fault liberals more than conservatives - is that when you're screaming you can't do a very good job of listening.
The U of O is well-known as a liberal faculty, and it doesn't really surprise me a lot that 2 of 111 members are registered Republicans. This isn't at all accidental, it's a case of self-selection through hiring and tenure committees, and every honest observer on both sides of the political spectrum knows it. The question is, as it is with a similar political distribution in news rooms and editorial boards, does it affect the product? If the 111 say it doesn't and the 2 say that it does, that doesn't constitute a consensus against, and the pretense that it is because the minority side has nothing of value to say ought to give the majority pause if they really are as intelligent as they appear to think that they are.
One cannot really legislate a remedy if one does not want to risk the cure being worse than the disease. One can merely publish the figures and let them speak for themselves. It is ironic that this technique, elsewhere so fondly regarded by liberal social engineers, is dismissed so cavalierly in such a blatant case. And worse, that those who ask the questions, such as the author, are punished for doing so in an institution that piously invokes the principle of free inquiry and academic freedom.
In my undergrad I was actually impressed and happy that all of my journalism professors had spent time actually being journalists. It really helps to hammer concepts home when you read them in the book and then the professor explains how they work in the real world.
Maybe if they were rewarded like investment bankers the teaching profession would attract more republicans.
U of O is blatantly Liberal and has been for years. Back in 89 it was one reason I chose NOT to go there and went to OSU instead, which was a little bit better anyway.
There is a way to take this head on, but you have to change the equation.
The cost of going to University is going sky high and with credit drying up will soon be out of reach for middle class Americans. Why should taxpayers continue to foot the bill for bloated University campuses, when most classes could be done online?
You really only need buildings to teach the hard sciences. Journalism, law, political science, economics, and sociology could easily be taught online along with all the fluff classes currently offered at most colleges. Once online the taxpayers could monitor what was being taught and the great minds of the nation could weigh in and write counter arguments for the students to read.
The taxpayers save money and education is again balanced - win/win.
Whenever a city or area of the country turns “blue,” it is destined to fail and drive away all achievers.
The University of Oregon (UO), where I study journalism...
“Diversity” is a lie. It’s about swalling the bitter pill of Political Correctness (the Liberal positions on every subject, including history, no debate or dissent tolerated).
Political Correctness has NOTHING to do with which political party is in the White House (the Left tried to make that argument in the 1980s). The term goes back decades before Reagan’s presidency.
Their intolerance for “dead white males” shows that the agenda is subvert Western Civilization.
Throw out “the bad” and usher in “the new”.
Our Constitutional form of government has been resented by the baby boomer Leftist activists who protested on campuses in the 1960s (but didn’t actually ATTEND those schools). They now own the White House and the Media.
yep. Ironically, the only real racists that I know are all Democrats. Not a Republican among them.
That depends strongly on the professor. I have had liberal professors who would happily give an A to a well written conservative argument, but there are certainly others for whom this is not true.
Most people who watch TV, go to movies, read the newspapers and have been educated will see conservative in this light. They have been seeing conservatives this way since at least the 60s. So why would they vote for them? Because they will protect America. That's about it. When America is not threaten, which the Democrats sold to the people prior to the last election, they will vote Democrat.
Maybe not, but think about who wants to go study sociology? Gender studies? Even for other subjects, where the current academic debate is not 100% liberal, I think it's natural that liberals will be more attracted to the career. I suspect smart conservatives are more naturally inclined to use their talents in the private sector, which, after all, their ideology actually respects, while for smart liberals it seems there is no higher calling than academia.
But especially in the case of certain subjects, I just can't see most conservatives being too attracted to them.
You think Walter is cowardly? Did you not see how he handled those nihilists?
I think taxpayers should stay out of it altogether. Many top students would still choose to go to schools with physical campuses, if only because the prestige and connections would help them in ways that the education alone would not. But I agree, it does not make sense for many of the people currently in college to pay what they do for the almost worthless stuff they learn.
Walter falls under the redneck type I mentioned. The bitter with guns type (not sure he was religious).
I simply believe in the concept of diversity a primarily liberal idea and think that we suffer when we don't include ideas we find unappealing.The "primarily liberal" idea of diversity doesn't have anything to do with ideas at all -- it involves a group which consists of do-gooder guilty white liberals, black liberals, gay liberals, radical feminist liberals, and Hispanic liberals. No conservatives need apply.
“In some departments, I can at least understand the argument that most professors will be liberal because nearly everyone in the field is liberal.”
You hit the nail on the head here - look at the departments he was including, they were ones like journalism or sociology where liberalism is very prevalent. I’d bet this student would find a lot more Republicans if he included math or science departments (if said student can even find the math and science departments). Out of all the classes I’ve taken, which are largely math, science and engineering classes with an occasional humanities credit, I’ve only had one professor who was even mentioned their political beliefs, and that was in a philosophy class.
You fail to see that through no fault of your own. GIVEN how low university education has fallen -— especially in humanities and social “sciences” -— there appears to be not much difference between that and distance learning.
Proper teaching and learning requires, in part, a discussion and spontaneity that are facilitated only by physical proximity.
Many people get into economics, for instance, because they want to help society. Once they are in, however, what prohibits them from “falling in love” with free markets? It is these markets, after all, that ushered unprecedented prosperity in the Western World. One can come out from the study of economics being quite conservative.
This does not happen, of course, because the process of teaching has been hijacked and substituted with indoctrination. Nowadays even science professors feel free to express political views in the classroom.
About your second point. We witness an interesting (at least to me) phenomenon where MBAs elbow each other for top jobs on Wall Street, make a ton of money and then... send donations to the Democratic party and denounce capitalism.
I do not claim the ability to diagnose properly all of the problems, but our culture is sick, very sick.
The cool places are the seats of government. Too be a bit graphic, they constitute ‘the nipple of the teat’.
As such, its where the sows tend to snuggle.
Skin color, last names and what sex organs are rubbed against what... But you're right absolutely no diversity of thought.