College faculties, long assumed to be a liberal bastion, lean further to the left than even the most conspiratorial conservatives might have imagined, a new study says.
By their own description, 72 percent of those teaching at American universities and colleges are liberal and 15 percent are conservative, says the study being published this week. The imbalance is almost as striking in partisan terms, with 50 percent of the faculty members surveyed identifying themselves as Democrats and 11 percent as Republicans.
Harvard's faculty of arts and sciences hit President Lawrence Summers with a vote of no confidence after he privately wondered about the abilities of women in science and math.
The disparity is even more pronounced at the most elite schools, where, according to the study, 87 percent of faculty are liberal and 13 percent are conservative.
"What's most striking is how few conservatives there are in any field," said Robert Lichter, a professor at George Mason University and a co-author of the study. "There was no field we studied in which there were more conservatives than liberals or more Republicans than Democrats. It's a very homogenous environment, not just in the places you'd expect to be dominated by liberals."
Studies need to try harder to amaze me.
(And, yes, I know, everyone has already linked to this. But I've been trying to put up this post since this morning, and Blogger's been down -- they really were fixing something today -- so I'm going to put this up at long last.)