This falls into the category of “Things that make you go 'Hmm'." A March 2005 article by Washington Post staff writer, Paul Kurtz, entitled “College Faculties A Most Liberal Lot, Study Finds" poses one primary question in my mind: Why?
Here's the key text:
By their own description, 72 percent of those teaching at American universities and colleges are liberal and 15 percent are conservative, says the study being published this week. The imbalance is almost as striking in partisan terms, with 50 percent of the faculty members surveyed identifying themselves as Democrats and 11 percent as Republicans.
The disparity is even more pronounced at the most elite schools, where, according to the study, 87 percent of faculty are liberal and 13 percent are conservative.
While there are some stellar examples of conservatives in academia. Most notable for me is Mike Adams of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. I've always been curious about what elements have contributed to this tremendously self-selecting pool of liberal academics—9 to 1 liberal to conservative in the halls of Ivy/elite schools.
If one tries to make a case for a positive correlation between intelligence and education and liberal orientation, then what does that say for bright conservative faculty members such as James Miller who contend that they have been persecuted for their political standing? I thought liberalism espoused open mindedness and tolerance (not that there's anything wrong with that).
A good counterpoint or, perhaps, justification (rationalization, maybe?) for liberalized college faculties comes from Joseph N. Abraham, M.D., who contends, “And so, to be effective, our universities must be liberal . . . With deference to George F. Will, we should not be asking our universities to be anything other than liberal. That standpoint is critical to progress, and to our way of life."
So there you have it: the liberalism of our higher education institutions is “critical to progress, and to our way of life." My question, then, is: “What's a conservative college applicant to do?"
I'm still asking “Why?" What do you think?
Be sure to check out all my admissions-related articles and book reviews at College Confidential.