Sunday, April 08, 2007

Bias on Campus

The Weekly Standard has an interesting piece by Mary Eberstadt on the leftward tilt of most American university campuses. Eberstadt's article is not a statistical survey, but rather based on the personal experiences of current or former conservative academics. Let's just say that, based on my own experiences in both academia and librarianship, I could relate as I read:

In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that bias on campus not only influenced this generation of conservative journalists, authors, and think-tankers; it is actually part of what catapulted many out of the university and into the ranks of the right. Those who would prefer not to acknowledge the problem, such as the author and consumers of the AFT report, do themselves no favor by pretending it does not exist. Ironically, by encouraging ideological blowback, they may actually be creating another generation of academic refugees.

To give just a few examples from what could be a longer list: "I watched with horror as the multicultural yahoos took over the humanities" (the Manhattan Institute's Heather Mac Donald). "I'd been preaching freedom of speech, but I had to leave the academy for the world of policy think tanks before I'd ever get a chance to practice it" (Ethics and Public Policy Center senior fellow Stanley Kurtz, formerly of Berkeley, Chicago, and Harvard). "Of course the vast majority of the faculty [at Harvard] were on the left" (Hoover Institution senior fellow and former Harvard professor Peter Berkowitz). And perhaps most tellingly: "Because I studied neither economics nor Straussian philosophy [at the University of Chicago], I never met a conservative professor, and I knew only one conservative student" (David Brooks)--this, about the one and only top-twenty campus in America that is supposed to be at all friendly to conservative ideas.

Do Campuses Tilt Left?


Blogger Norma said...

Even with what we see and hear about academe, the faculties do not appear to be as left leaning as librarians.

5:51 AM  

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