Saturday, November 27, 2004

Ideological Orthodoxy in Academia

Further evidence of the left's dominance of academia is provided by this recent survey by Daniel Klein, an Economics professor at Santa Clara University. A November 18 article from the New York Times summarizes Klein's findings:

One of the studies, a national survey of more than 1,000 academics, shows that Democratic professors outnumber Republicans by at least seven to one in the humanities and social sciences. That ratio is more than twice as lopsided as it was three decades ago, and it seems quite likely to keep increasing, because the younger faculty members are more consistently Democratic than the ones nearing retirement, said Daniel Klein, an associate professor of economics at Santa Clara University and a co-author of the study.

In a separate study of voter registration records, Professor Klein found a nine-to-one ratio of Democrats to Republicans on the faculties of Berkeley and Stanford. That study, which included professors from the hard sciences, engineering and professional schools as well as the humanities and social sciences, also found the ratio especially lopsided among the younger professors of assistant or associate rank: 183 Democrats versus 6 Republicans.

While I don't have any numbers, my own experiences and other anecdotal evidence confirm that this imbalance also applies to the library profession, hence my blog title. As Klein's data shows, the left's dominance of academia has become so entrenched that it is now self-sustaining and reinforcing. The problem is that this kind of one-sided political dominance inevitably leads to an environment of intellectual conformity. How can universities fulfill their mission of cultivating free thought when they are increasingly becoming fortresses of left-wing orthodoxy, permeated with contempt for the benighted Red State masses and anyone holding conservative beliefs? The ideological segregation of academia, and librarianship, hurts both colleges and universities and the nation at large.


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