New research confirms leftward domination in academia


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The blacklist lives! New research has confirmed that the bulk of American universities are dominated by liberal and Democratic professors, with many having zero conservatives or Republicans in their facility.

The political registration of full-time, Ph.D.-holding professors in top-tier liberal arts colleges is overwhelmingly Democratic. Indeed, faculty political affiliations at 39 percent of the colleges in my sample are Republican free—having zero Republicans. The political registration in most of the remaining 61 percent, with a few important exceptions, is slightly more than zero percent but nevertheless absurdly skewed against Republican affiliation and in favor of Democratic affiliation. Thus, 78.2 percent of the academic departments in my sample have either zero Republicans, or so few as to make no difference.

My sample of 8,688 tenure track, Ph.D.–holding professors from fifty-one of the sixty-six top ranked liberal arts colleges in the U.S. News 2017 report consists of 5,197, or 59.8 percent, who are registered either Republican or Democrat. The mean Democratic-to-Republican ratio (D:R) across the sample is 10.4:1, but because of an anomaly in the definition of what constitutes a liberal arts college in the U.S. News survey, I include two military colleges, West Point and Annapolis.1 If these are excluded, the D:R ratio is a whopping 12.7:1.

Political homogeneity is problematic because it biases research and teaching and reduces academic credibility.

Just to make it clear, the ratio of Democrat to Republican averages 13 to 1, if you exclude the two military colleges. This can only be occurring if the facility at American colleges is making a conscious effort to exclude conservatives or Republicans. Or to put it more bluntly, to blacklist anyone who dares express a dissenting view.

The article has some good information however about the handful of universities that do have diversity of thought in the facility.

The two military colleges in my sample, West Point and Annapolis, have D:R ratios of 1.3:1 and 2.3:1. Although it is debatable whether military colleges are liberal arts colleges, U.S. News’s inclusion of them in the liberal arts category is fortuitous because they offer evidence that when colleges provide supportive environments, intellectual diversity is achievable. There are other exceptions, such as Claremont McKenna, which adopted a viewpoint diversity strategy early in its history, and Kenyon, which is one of a few of the top-ranked liberal arts colleges located in a predominantly Republican state and which did not become coed until 1969.

Thomas Aquinas and St. John’s, another college with above average Republican representation, have emphasized interdisciplinary teaching and downplayed the publish or perish imperative, which [other researchers] have argued contributes to left-oriented groupthink.

These are the colleges every parent and teenager should consider as the place to go. Everywhere else is crap, and should be avoided like the plague.

It is definitely worth reading the entire article, which also includes breakdowns by disciplines, and finds the blacklisting to be especially egregious in the humanities.

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16 comments

  • Cotour

    One of the Lefts main although actually insignificant spokes persons, Robert Reich. Lets dissect his proposals and understand what he is saying:

    https://youtu.be/lSdWd9ciKIM 2:44

    1. Reich proposes that these are the “darkest times” in America (Where has he been?). In his world he can only see the extreme right “White Lives Matter”, a roster of about 200 people (?) and does not even mention the extreme Left. Black Lives Matter? ANTIFA? Fascist run universities? Can not detect them or their very specifically stated violent activities.

    2. He proposes that we “rebuild our Democracy” where the rich “pay their fair share”. That really is getting old IMO, especially as the U.S. economy numbers continue to roll out and increase and Obama and his managed decline goes away: “Your going to have to get used to it” (The Obama dead economy) proves to be just a function of incompetence and lack of understanding and vision of the Capitalist way of the world.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2018/09/12/middle-class-income-hit-an-all-time-high-last-year-us-census-says/?utm_term=.ddc2eb03ced1

    3. How will he accomplish his “Progressive” Democrat plan? Promote political equality, equal opportunity and justice for all (Except for Hillary and all of her cohorts of course). We will all be equal when Hillary is required to report to the DOJ and is read her rights as she and the many others who have conspired with her and for her are indicted, tried and punished. When that occurs THEN we will all be equal.

    4. And “Big money out of politics”, except for Hillary and Bill, and Tom Steyer, and George Soros, and Jeff Bezos, and Zuckerberg and Apple and Facebook and Twitter and Google, its a long list of approved “Progressive” “big money” players. Just don’t be a Conservative or self made billionaire, thats threat to the entire planet.

    5. “The wealthy have flooded our systems for decades with their money” (DUH), that is true but your point is lost, because Hillary spent $1.2 billion dollars and Trump spent about half of that in the 2016 presidential race. What does president Hillary Clinton have to say about that?

    6. “Ensure that the economy works for all Americans”. My customers pull up to my business come in and do their business, the other day a black and very successful “oppressed” American came in and I commented “Is that your car? Very nice” He said “Yes, I love it, its great on the highway”. He was driving a gold / brown Mercedes-Maybach, they go for about $190K per copy. This is not an unusual occurrence in my experience. If you want it its out there and has been out there for the taking, even more so under Trump.

    https://www.mbusa.com/mercedes/vehicles/class/class-S/bodystyle-MAY

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-poverty/u-s-incomes-rise-as-poverty-rate-declines-in-2017-idUSKCN1LS2HX

    7. And Reich now proposes (Read: Panders to the Liberal masses) that there now needs to be guaranteed jobs, guaranteed income and of course the now famous $32 Trillion dollars over ten years “FREE HEALTHCARE” because healthcare is now a human right and no longer a service that one person delivers to another person and is compensated for it. Q: How does the government protect and ensure this new “right”. And of course the obligatory “College for all”, free of course. With all of this “Free” stuff who pays for it all? Oh, someone will be paying for it alright.

    8. “Put aside our differences” so we can not be divided. Was Mr. Reich at all paying attention when Obama was the divider in chief? Obama, a “progressive” Democrat was thee most divisive president of our time, maybe in American history.

    Robert Reich, a spokes person for the Democrats and the “Resistance”, irrelevant then and irrelevant now, spouts the same old hollow Leftist / Socialist crap that he and the Clintons have spouted their entire careers. Nothing new here. Why? Because if a Liberal Democrat were to be honest with those that they were preaching and pandering to they would find themselves with no audience at all so they must offer other peoples wealth in trade for the empowering votes that they must have. And without those votes they are essentially going away.

    Like Nancy Reagan said, Just say no. Enough is enough, 10 years in the political waste land for the Democrats will be the cost for this eternal foolishness.

  • Col Beausabre

    “The two military colleges in my sample, West Point and Annapolis, have D:R ratios of 1.3:1 and 2.3:1. Although it is debatable whether military colleges are liberal arts colleges,”

    Although the areas of study have opened up in the past generation to include the ability to concentrate in some liberal arts, both academies have historically been engineering schools. Indeed the USMA was explicitly founded to provide engineers to the army and for a generation was the only engineering school on the continent (which is why so many ex-army officers built so many civil works in the Nineteenth Century). To this day the top graduates of the Academy almost invariably choose the Corps of Engineers as their branch of service.

    Bottom line, the service academies (including the USAFA and USCGA) are better compared to MIT or Cal Tech than
    to Amherst or Oberlin

  • Andrew_W

    “Or to put it more bluntly, to blacklist anyone who dares express a dissenting view.”

    I know, how about we skip out all the possible reasons for self selection causing the disparity and just jump to BLACKLIST!!

    The author says “I could not find a single Republican with an exclusive appointment to fields like gender studies, Africana studies, and peace studies.”

    Few Republicans would be caught dead teaching gender studies, Africana studies, or peace studies.

    The disparity is a problem, largely the cause isn’t blacklisting, but rather that the humanities have always been dominated by leftists and that the increasingly fractured nature of American politics is also affecting political relations within academia. So primarily the reason for the increasing disparity is that Republicans are now choosing not to study the humanities in the first place or apply for positions within those areas of study. It’s certain that there is hostility towards right leaning academics in many institutions from other academic staff that contributes towards Republicans making such choices, but this hostility across the political divide does not, to my mind, constitute a “blacklist”, any more than hostility by commenters towards leftists at BtB constitutes a blacklist. If Mr. Zimmerman were to ban leftists from commenting at BtB that I think would qualify as blacklisting them, I don’t think hostile right/Republican commenters does.

    Anyone reading this who is eligible to join the Heterodox Academy I hope will seriously consider doing so.
    https://heterodoxacademy.org

  • Andrew_W: You likely have had zero contact with the American academic community. I have, however. I can tell you (as a conservative specializing in the humanities) from personal experience at two different colleges and three different college departments that blacklisting is pervasive. If you are revealed to be conservative or Republican in thought or deed, you will be cut off and ostracized. It isn’t simply that people disagree with you, they work aggressively to make sure you don’t get the job, or if you have it, to get you dismissed. This is blacklisting, not mere disagreement, and it has happened to me.

    Moreover, I have documented here at BtB of numerous examples of blacklisting, going on now at many other American campuses against conservatives. While I agree that a lot of this is self selection, to make believe blacklisting is not happening is to avoid reality.

  • Andrew_W

    Mr. Zimmerman, our main disagreement is probably in the definition of “blacklisting” to me the word means something closer to a policy by those in authority. Which there may well be at several – but I’m not convinced most, institutions.

  • Edward

    Andrew_W,
    Being cut off and ostracized by all the leftist faculty is not the same as being blacklisted? Once again, your definition does not match the dictionary definition, making discussions with you to be difficult. Even if the list is a mental list, kept by those doing the censure, it is still a list.
    https://www.dictionary.com/browse/blacklist

    1. a list of persons under suspicion, disfavor, censure, etc.

  • Rich Cregar

    Please do not forget Hillsdale College. From everything I’ve seen it looks like a good place, good faculty, great curriculum!

  • Andrew_W

    2. a list privately exchanged among employers, containing the names of persons to be barred from employment because of untrustworthiness or for holding opinions considered undesirable.

    3. a list drawn up by a labor union, containing the names of employers to be boycotted for unfair labor practices.

    Definitions 2 & 3 give examples of blacklisting as actions undertaken by those in authority, rather than the rank and file on their own initiative.

    “Being cut off and ostracized by all the leftist faculty is not the same as being blacklisted?”

    As I read Mr. Zimmerman’s post he is claiming the blacklisting is across the bulk of American universities in the liberal arts faculties. Are you now claiming that Republicans are ostracized by all the leftist faculty across the bulk of American universities?

    If so you’re setting yourself a high bar, so lets see your proof.

  • Chris

    Andrew –
    The 1 in the definition listing is the first and primary use of the word indicating the broadest and most recognized meaning. 2 and 3 are secondary and tertiary. These have weight, but not as much as the first – in the view of the dictionary writer.
    the interesting thing is they are included – not suppressed.

    The proof you ask for is the study referred to on the article; at least in this scope. Mr Z’s statement is an anecdotal account(s) of his experience within the liberal arts academic community.
    If you want details of these incidents you’ll need to talk to Mr Z.

    Open rigorous debate is not blacklisting. However, not voting for tenure or otherwise blocking tenure or research funding or faculty ranking based merely on ones political viewpoint and NOT on ones qualifications, prior academic production and record IS blacklisting.
    My experience, especially with younger left leaning folks, is they no longer want to debate. They will not discuss. They think of future ways to enforce and say they are just right, they see their opinions as fact and immutable.

    The act of open, honest debate of facts and evidence first and the associated opinions in the “Arena of Ideas” without actions against the debater is the core of the academic world. My understanding is this is why tenure exists. To not have this we loose so much.

    As an example of even a non-politically linked area: look at the treatment of paleontologists who question the theory on dinosaur extinction due to meteorite impact. They are ostracized. Their work. Is suppressed. The community loses so much. Their work is suppressed.

    That’s an example on a technical disagreement. Now take that to the blacklisting or even simple prejudice of a liberal arts academic on an orthogonal area such as their political views. The field looses this very capable and valuable input based on nothing related to the field of interest.

    Finally, I am a retired engineering manager. At one time I did a bit of work on control systems. One of the key features of control systems is feedback. Without feedback the output of the system wanders. Another (and this was key in rocketry as I understand) is observably – the ability to observe a variable. Stifling the input of others simply because of their political opinions is removing the feedback and the observably of the output. Without these, the great American Experience will not continue upward but crash and burn on the ground.

  • Andrew_W

    Chris,
    list
    1.
    a number of connected items or names written or printed consecutively, typically one below the other.

    Show me one of the lists.

    However, not voting for tenure or otherwise blocking tenure or research funding or faculty ranking based merely on ones political viewpoint and NOT on ones qualifications, prior academic production and record IS blacklisting.

    With all respect to Mr. Zimmerman, if I were to do my own list, a list of people whom I think would go out of their way to so antagonize their leftist peers in academia to the degree that those peers would seek that persons job termination, Mr. Zimmerman would be at the top of the list, in such a situation it would be personalities rather than politics that were the determining factor (obviously I wasn’t there, so my suspicions on Mr. Zimmerman’s situation are only suspicions, on the other hand people in a conflict situation often fail as objective observers).

    My experience, especially with younger left leaning folks, is they no longer want to debate. They will not discuss. They think of future ways to enforce and say they are just right, they see their opinions as fact and immutable.

    You’ve just described human nature, confirmation bias is a natural human trait, you, I and Mr. Zimmerman also suffer from it (or should I say “make others suffer from our cases of it”)?

    As an example of even a non-politically linked area: look at the treatment of paleontologists who question the theory on dinosaur extinction due to meteorite impact. They are ostracized. Their work. Is suppressed. The community loses so much. Their work is suppressed.

    I read that article, what came through to me was that the author credited Gerta Keller for giving as much as she got, if not more, and that it was her that was foremost in turning the discussion into personal attacks.

    Stifling the input of others simply because of their political opinions is removing the feedback and the observably of the output.

    Obviously true, elements on both the right and left that shut down honest debate by misrepresenting their opponents have become far more prevalent in the US recently. I see the use of “black list” as Mr. Zimmerman as an example, it implies (to my mind) deliberate and coordinated efforts across US universities by those in authority to get those on the right onto a blacklist and out of teaching at universities, it demonizes those in authority at universities and widens the gap creating greater animosity. I want that gap to close.

    The Heterodox Academy wants less political strife and more political balance amongst those teaching at higher institutions, they don’t try to get there using Mr. Zimmerman’s antagonistic techniques.

    Abraham Lincoln — ‘Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?

  • Chris

    Hi Andrew,

    I look for a list also. But those affected feel the results as if there was a list.
    I wonder. How many actually “blacklisted” in any venue or circumstance were really ever on a physical list.

    My point on ostracizing “not voting for tenure”…etc a person or group of persons based not on their qualifications but on their political views still stands. Doing so in my mind is blacklisting. Nothing within the realm of their professional activities nor their record can save them. They are disqualified due to an orthogonal issue.
    I am not sure where Mr Z’s location on a list ties into that.

    On younger folks (and us as well) having confirmation bias, they may well have such confirmation bias. (As do we). My point is they will not even argue their point. No debate. They simply state their conclusions and opinions are correct. This is beyond confirmation bias where data is selected and opinions formed based on ones beliefs…. With them this step is skipped and their conclusion is set – all other opposing views cannot even argue. No debate.

    On paleontologists being dismissed based on their views of dinosaur extinction due to Yucatán or other meteorite strike, the issue is that scientists either use the stated questioning of others in this hypothesis as a total disqualification – regardless of data. This is not science. Science requires real data and unbiased investigators who put away their bias.

    To Mr Z’s defense:
    He has stated personal anecdotal experience. This is what he knows personally- first hand.
    He posts just sets and sets of links to stories of campus denial,unrest and violence toward conservative persons or speakers because there are too many stories to post and comment on individually. (Their may be bias here but I don’t hear of college buildings being burned by conservative students in response the speakers on campus)
    He and many of us see all of this data from our campi and think of the correlation with the political findings in the article that started this discussion. Correlation is not causality. But correlation should make you look to see if there is causality.

    Finally,
    Please, let us close the gap.
    Let us introduce patience to especially our most radical voices.
    Let us recognize that debate will almost always produce differing opinions and conclusions. But let us continue to debate!
    However, reacting with violence to other conclusions, or to even the desire to debate cannot be tolerated by either side.

    CMcL

  • As usual Andrew_W is trying to distract from the main point of my post. He is trying to create a moral equivalency between the strong opinions and disagreements the right expresses about leftist policy and actions and the violence and career-destroying blacklisting practiced by leftist bullies in academia (and elsewhere).

    There is no moral equivalency here. One side is generally practicing open debate, the other is trying to shut it down.

    Moreover, Andrew_W is trying to imply that the bullying is about the same on both sides. This also is not true. If it was, wouldn’t we see about the same number of colleges ostracizing both leftists and rightists? We don’t.

    The point of my post was to note how this study documents the cultural effort of the left to block opposing points of view, which I have been myself documenting by citing the numerous never-ending individual stories of this close-minded leftist McCarthyism. The paper shows that my evidence is not merely anecdotal, it illustrates a wide-spread phenomenon.

    That Andrew_W wishes to make believe this isn’t so is his problem. I only hope my readers see through this.

  • Andrew_W

    No Mr. Zimmerman, I am not saying that the bullying is about the same on both sides, and I am not trying to create a moral equivalence, I am saying that neither side wins by adopting the position that the other side is the greater evil and therefore ratcheting up the hate mongering is justified.

    I quoted Lincoln above, here’s a similar quote from one of Bob Heinlein’s characters: “There are two things you can do with an enemy, you can kill him or you can make him your friend” Eliminating leftists from academia isn’t an option, so you probably should just try to build some bridges, unless your goal is even more division and strife in US universities

  • Andrew_W: Bah. I have spent my entire life trying to build bridges with the close-minded academic left, all to no avail.

    If we cannot recognize bad things in the world, we can do nothing to fix them. You remind me of the many personal stories I have heard in my life from Jews in Germany in the 1930s. The thing that horrified many of them the most was how their concerns were so often nonchalantly dismissed by ordinary good people.

    As you, and so many others, do now.

  • Cotour

    The only solution in most things in life is to win or prevail. After you win or prevail you can have the option of being benevolent, if however you do not win or prevail then it is up to “others” as to whether they will choose to be benevolent to you.

    You never want to live under someone else’s benevolence model, its a main rule of S.O.M..

    The true blue and full blood true believer Liberals, Leftists, socialists, radicals, university “Intellectuals”, how ever you would like to characterize them are fully committed to your destruction if you are not on their side. That is just how things are, their is no befriending them, they hate you and everything that you stand for if you are not of their kind.

    Thankfully most of the population in America are not of this tribe and can be reasoned with to a certain degree, these university parasites however are not among them. They see themselves as much superior to you, me and everyone else, it is learned in their academic culture. It makes them feel good about themselves and they are constantly reassuring themselves as to their superiority. (I have met few, no, make that none, who I would consider superior in any way, shape or form, they are delusional and a danger to everyone if they are allowed to run rough shod over everything.)

    So their will be no friends made, the one must somehow dominate the other, there is not other way. And our system of governance tends to naturally favor these parasites until there is a great rearrangement of some kind. This has been going on for many years and is at this moment a chronic situation that is in need of some medicinal treatment, and winning or prevailing is that medicine.

    I suppose that if you are not an American that you may not be able to see things in this clear of a manner, but thankfully Americans, many Americans anyway, do see this clearly. Call it tribal, call it what you will, it is what it is and so we deal with it as need be, we take care of business.

  • Edward

    Andrew_W,
    Once again, you find yourself on the losing side of the argument, so you cherry pick your definition to mean something that you didn’t mean the first time, then you make ludicrous arguments based upon nonsense.

    Sometimes you only pretend to want to discuss issues but then distract from the issue, making it difficult to have discussions with you.

    We recently had a very nice discussion about space elevators, making me very happy to read what you have to say and glad to have a discussion with you. Then you disappointingly do something like this, making me quit reading your comments on this thread as my time is better spent gazing at my navel than reading such malarkey.

    *Sigh*

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