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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Thu. 11/18/04 05:57:01 PM
   
         
         
   

Liberal Bias in Academia

The New York Times reports on new studies today:

.... The ratio of Democratic to Republican professors ranged from 3 to 1 among economists to 30 to 1 among anthropologists. The researchers found a much higher share of Republicans among the nonacademic members of the scholars' associations, which Professor Klein said belied the notion that nonleftists were uninterested in scholarly careers.
"Screened out, expelled or self-sorted, they tend to land outside of academia because the crucial decisions — awarding tenure and promotions, choosing which papers get published — are made by colleagues hostile to their political views," said Professor Klein, who classifies himself as a libertarian.
Martin Trow, an emeritus professor of public policy at Berkeley who was chairman of the faculty senate and director of the Center for Studies in Higher Education, said that professors tried not to discriminate in hiring based on politics, but that their perspective could be warped because so many colleagues shared their ideology.
"Their view comes to be seen not as a political preference but what decent, intelligent human beings believe," said Dr. Trow, who calls himself a conservative. "Debate is stifled, and conservatives either go in the closet or get to be seen as slightly kooky. So if a committee is trying to decide between three well-qualified candidates, it may exclude the conservative because he seems like someone who has poor judgment." ....

Frankly, I'm rather surprised that NYT even admits there's some sort of dispute about the liberal bias in academia.

Here are abstracts:

.... In Spring 2003, a large-scale survey of American academics was conducted using academic association membership lists from six fields: Anthropology, Economics, History, Philosophy (political and legal), Political Science, and Sociology. This paper focuses on one question: To which political party have the candidates you've voted for in the past ten years mostly belonged? The question was answered by 96.4 percent of academic respondents. The results show that the faculty is heavily skewed towards voting Democratic. The most lopsided fields surveyed are Anthropology with a D to R ratio of 30.2 to 1, and Sociology with 28.0 to 1. The least lopsided is Economics with 3.0 to 1. After Economics, the least lopsided is Political Science with 6.7 to 1. The average of the six ratios by field is about 15 to 1. Our analysis and related research suggest that for the the social sciences and humanities overall, a "one-big-pool" ratio of 7 to 1 is a safe lower-bound estimate, and 8 to 1 or 9 to 1 are reasonable point estimate. Thus, the social sciences and humanities are dominated by Democrats. There is little ideological diversity. We discuss Stephen Balch's "property rights" proposal to help remedy the situation....
Using the records of the seven San Francisco Bay Area counties that surround University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University, we conducted a systematic and thorough study of the party registration of the Berkeley and Stanford faculty in 23 academic departments. The departments span the social sciences, humanities, hard sciences, math, law, journalism, engineering, medicine, and the business school. Of the total of 1497 individual names on the cumulative list, we obtained readings on 1005, or 67 percent. The findings support the "one-party campus" conjecture. For Stanford, we found an overall Democrat to Republican ratio of 7.6 to 1. For UC-Berkeley, we found an overall D to R ratio of 9.9 to 1. Moreover, the breakdown by faculty rank shows that Republicans are an "endangered species" on the two campuses. This article contains a link to the complete data (with individual identities redacted)....

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Thu. 11/18/04 05:57:01 PM
Categorized as Educational.

   
         
         

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