Professoriate Tacks Left

Glenn Ricketts

Or at least farther to the political left according to this piece in today’s IHE.  The survey of college faculty members, conducted by UCLA’s  Higher Education Research Institute, reports that 62.7 percent of respondents indicated that their political leanings were “liberal” or “far left,” up from 55.8 percent four years ago.  Those identifying as moderate or conservative had declined from 43.6 percent to 36.9 percent.  There’s an interesting breakdown of the data with respect to faculty rank, but not – at least in the IHE story – according to disciplinary categories.  Typically, the trend leftward has been especially pronounced within the humanities and social sciences. 

This surprises me not at all, although I wonder if anyone will attempt to circle the wagons as happens from time to time and deny the presence of the elephant in the drawing room.  See some of our previous discussion of this issue here, here and here

What do these data suggest?  Within the article, there’s some discussion and analysis offered, especially by those concerned that “conservative critics” will really run with the results.  At the very least, it indicates to me that the American academy, already lopsided ideologically, is now weighted even more heavily in the same direction. 

Somehow, I don’t think this will interest the folks so ubiquitously hard at work and highly paid to promote academic “diversity.” 

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