In New England, liberal professors outnumber conservative professors 28 to 1

Cheryle Abatte, Marquette University
Cheryle Abatte, Marquette University

I don’t think that colleges are as interested in “diversity and inclusion” as they claim to be.

This story is from Boston Magazine.

Excerpt:

Last spring, Samuel Abrams, a professor of politics at Sarah Lawrence College, in New York, decided to run the numbers. From the start, he certainly expected liberal professors to outnumber conservatives, but his data—25 years’ worth of statistics from the Higher Education Research Institute—told a far more startling tale: In the South and throughout the Great Plains, the ratio of liberal to conservative professors hovered around 3 to 1. On the liberal left coast, the ratio was 6 to 1. And then there was New England—which looked like William F. Buckley’s worst nightmare—standing at 28 to 1. “It astonished me,” says Abrams, whose research revealed that conservative professors weren’t just rare; they were being pushed to the edge of extinction.

[…] In 1989, according to Abrams’s data, the ratio of liberal to conservative professors in New England was 5 to 1. The divide widened slowly through the 1990s and then tore open shortly after the turn of the century. Then, between 2004 and 2014, conservative professors essentially fell off the face of the Northeast.

Is this happening because conservative professors are not qualified? The article has an example:

Consider the case of James Miller, an economist at Smith College who arrived on campus in 1996. In hopes of attaining tenure, he taught several classes each semester, cranked out academic articles in reputable journals, and authored a book on game theory. Along the way, he also wrote a few op-eds, including one for National Review in which he asserted that the dominance of liberals in academia skews scholarship to the point that aspiring professors are forced to pursue research pleasing to the liberal gatekeepers, who grant or deny tenure with the ruthlessness of Caesar at the Roman Forum. “Practically the only way for a women’s-studies professor to get a lifetime college appointment,” he wrote, “is for her to contribute to the literature on why America is racist, sexist, and homophobic.”

When Miller came up for tenure the following year, he was denied by two votes. In letters explaining why board members voted for or against Miller, one of the professors wrote that she voted against him because Miller had publicly criticized the economics of tenure policies in his book. Another professor wrote that she found the views expressed in Miller’s National Review op-ed to be disturbing. “They didn’t say I was wrong,” Miller says, still sounding defensive more than a decade later. “They said I shouldn’t have said that.”

There was another recent study on this problem of progressives discriminating against conservatives in academia.

The Washington Examiner reports:

Registered Democratic professors outnumber Republican ones nearly 12 to 1 in economics, journalism, psychology and law programs at leading U.S. universities, according to new research.

Many departments at top schools have no registered Republicans, and in many cases, Republicans are outnumbered by registered members of third parties.

The analysis, published in the online journal Econ Journal Watch, presents new evidence that elite universities lean to the Left. It also suggests that Democratic partisanship may be increasing at those schools, as the Democrat-to-Republican ratio appears to have risen significantly in recent years and younger faculty are even more Democratic than their older peers.

Authors Mitchell Langbert, Anthony Quain and Daniel Klein compared departmental faculty lists with voter registration rolls to conclude that there are 11.5 registered Democrats for every one Republican among faculty at the top 40 highest-ranked schools they studied.

Of the five departments they analyzed, history was by far the most Democratic. There are more than 33 Democratic professors for every Republican at the top 40 schools. Economics was the least Democratic, with a 4.5 to 1 ratio.

Previously, I blogged about a study of donations by California faculty that showed that faculty donate overwhelmingly to Democrat politicians. Another study found that those liberal professors would discriminate against conservatives, if given the opportunity.

What explains all of this?

Consider this essay by secular libertarian professor Robert Nozick who explains why university professors are liberal.

Excerpt:

What factor produced feelings of superior value on the part of intellectuals? I want to focus on one institution in particular: schools. As book knowledge became increasingly important, schooling–the education together in classes of young people in reading and book knowledge–spread. Schools became the major institution outside of the family to shape the attitudes of young people, and almost all those who later became intellectuals went through schools. There they were successful. They were judged against others and deemed superior. They were praised and rewarded, the teacher’s favorites. How could they fail to see themselves as superior? Daily, they experienced differences in facility with ideas, in quick-wittedness. The schools told them, and showed them, they were better.

The schools, too, exhibited and thereby taught the principle of reward in accordance with (intellectual) merit. To the intellectually meritorious went the praise, the teacher’s smiles, and the highest grades. In the currency the schools had to offer, the smartest constituted the upper class. Though not part of the official curricula, in the schools the intellectuals learned the lessons of their own greater value in comparison with the others, and of how this greater value entitled them to greater rewards.

The wider market society, however, taught a different lesson. There the greatest rewards did not go to the verbally brightest. There the intellectual skills were not most highly valued. Schooled in the lesson that they were most valuable, the most deserving of reward, the most entitled to reward, how could the intellectuals, by and large, fail to resent the capitalist society which deprived them of the just deserts to which their superiority “entitled” them? Is it surprising that what the schooled intellectuals felt for capitalist society was a deep and sullen animus that, although clothed with various publicly appropriate reasons, continued even when those particular reasons were shown to be inadequate?

It’s very important to understand what is motivating university professors, especially ones who are in departments divorced from reality, like English and victim studies of various sorts. They are literally teaching classes in topic that have no accountability to reality. It’s just indoctrination in what the professor believes. These professors think they are smart, but they don’t earn anything like productive people in the private sector, e.g. – software engineers. It creates a deep sense of inferiority that makes them hostile to the capitalist system. Their only hope is a powerful government that redirects money from those who serve customers (private sector companies) to “wordsmiths” like themselves.

2 thoughts on “In New England, liberal professors outnumber conservative professors 28 to 1”

  1. This is disturbing, although I already suspected this. Rising up in academia is virtually impossible as a conservative. You have to keep such a low profile that you can’t even be a conservative.

  2. The snowball effect of this process can not be understated.

    Moreover consider that several of these professors have a direct economic benefit from electing liberals. Liberals often support larger government (and many professors work for public schools) and funding for academic projects.

    When a Governors race comes down to whether a pension will be continued or raises will be paid, this can have a real effect on the vote from those who would receive that pension or raise.

    As the government gets larger and larger we can expect to see more and more people voting in a socialist direction. I think this ratcheting toward the left can be seen in many places. Marx was wrong on allot of things but I think he was right that over time capitalism will give way to socialism.

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