November 18, 2004

Is Academia Liberal?

By Bryan

The final word: Here. Thanks to the VC for pointing out this research.

The most conservative academic department? Economics at only 3 Democrats to each Republican.

Was there ever any doubt?

Posted at November 18, 2004 01:44 PM


Not that I would disagree with the assertion that academia tends to be liberal, but to point to the fact that faculty at STANFORD and UC-BERKELEY are overwhelmingly Democrat seems a little silly.

(I didn't read the whole paper, maybe they tried to control for the fact that the surrounding areas are mostly Democrat? See this [] to get an idea of how liberal that area of California really is.)

Comment by Brian St. Pierre at November 19, 2004 11:30 AM | Permalink

At my orientation to Columbia in 1995, they assembled all the new students to listen to faulty. One prof gets up--it doesn't really matter who, does it?--and tells us with a slow articulation and emphasis--that Columbia "is a liberal institution," and, basically, that we'd better get used to it.

That was so pathetic, really.

Comment by Kevin Brancato at November 19, 2004 12:54 PM | Permalink

When I told my mother-in-law that I would be attending Cornell for my PhD in economics, she told me that it would be an interesting change to be at a 'conservative' Ivy League school...I just chuckled and told her the conservative reputation was a 'bit' of myth.

Comment by Chris Silvey at November 19, 2004 11:59 PM | Permalink

Is it just me,or shouldn't the contrast be conservative vs socialist??

Comment by e m butler at November 20, 2004 07:11 AM | Permalink

In response to the NY Times article VC references, there are several good letters to the editor today:

"Would it be surprising to find mostly Republicans among oil company executives? Simply ask what the population in question is trained and paid to do.

"Academics are trained to reason using logic, to question evidence and to consider and evaluate several possible interpretations of events. All these activities are discouraged and indeed ridiculed by the present Republican leadership.

"Academic Republicans must indeed suffer from this cognitive dissonance."


"The view that campus collegiality leads to tyranny of the majority has some plausibility in explaining the absence of Republicans from academia, but the main causes clearly lie elsewhere.

"A successful career in academia, after all, requires willingness to be critical of yourself and to learn from experience, along with a lack of interest in material incentives. All these are antithetical to Republicanism as it has recently come to be."


"Your article makes me wonder: Will conservatives now demand affirmative action in universities for themselves?"

Comment by JS at November 22, 2004 07:05 PM | Permalink

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