September 24, 2020
We have been discussing the rising intolerance for conservative, libertarian, and Republican students and faculty on campuses across the country. Faculties rarely hire conservative or libertarian professors; journals rarely publish studies from conservative authors. As the number of conservative faculty members diminish or disappear on faculties, schools appear to be carrying out the same bias in student admissions. The Harvard Crimson has finished its annual survey of the incoming class of students and found that the already small population of conservative and Republican students has been cut by roughly half.
The Crimson survey covered over 76 percent of the Harvard College Class of 2024 and found that the class contained 72.4 percent who self-identify as either “very liberal” or “somewhat liberal.” Only 7.4 percent self-identify as “very conservative” or “somewhat conservative.” Likewise, 88.9 percent view President Donald Trump as strongly or somewhat unfavorable with 80.7 percent falling in the “strongly unfavorable” category. Only 4.7 percent view Trump “somewhat” or “strongly” favorably.
Note that over 40 percent of this country view Trump favorably and the vast majority view themselves as holding either conservative or moderate views. Gallup polling shows 37% of Americans identify as conservative, 35% as moderate and 24% as liberal. That is 72% conservative or moderate. Harvard admitted 7%. It is demonstrably absurd to argue that this virtual absence of conservative students is somehow the result of accident and not design.
For years, faculty members pretended that there was not an ideological bias in faculty selection as the number of conservative and libertarian faculty members dropped to near zero on many faculties. Less than ten percent of faculty in all schools identify as conservative and Democrats outnumber Republicans by over ten times on faculties. In some schools this ratio approaches 30 to 1.
Liberal faculties routinely dismiss candidates who advance opposing views as intellectually unsound or simply not as intellectually “promising” as more liberal candidates. The bias is evident on every level. Faculty members tend to exclude conservatives from presentations, publications, and citations. The result is an echo chamber in academia that feeds upon itself.
Now we are seeing the same downward trend in admissions where conservative or libertarian students are being relegated to lower-ranked schools. This bias has also become evident, not surprisingly, in classrooms. A Yale poll found that 70% percent of students said that they experienced political bias and the same poll said that the students believe only one percent of their faculty were conservative. A poll at Pomona found nine out of ten students said that “the campus climate prevents them from saying something others might find offensive.” Nearly two-thirds of faculty members felt the same. Seventy-five percent of conservative and moderate students strongly agree that the school climate hinders their free expression.
The impact of this bias is devastating for higher education. Faculty members are using their majority on faculties to exclude potential colleagues with opposing views, the very type of bias once used against not just liberals but minorities seeking entry to faculties. The result is that we are creating a bifurcated educational system where conservatives can only gain entry to top schools by hiding their political views or espousing liberal positions. I was shocked when one of my kids (who is a moderate) was invited for an interview by one of the top colleges in the country. After sitting down, the interviewer proceeded immediately into a diatribe against Trump and to self-identify as a liberal advocate. He felt that the interviewer wanted him to echo those views.
As shown in the Harvard survey, “diversity” at many schools now runs along a spectrum from extreme to mainstream liberal views with a statistically inconsequential number of conservatives and libertarians. This has been a uniform trend for many years in both the selection of faculty and of students. It is a mockery to pretend that this is the result of anything other than systematic bias in academia.
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