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March 30, 2005

Nutty Professors

More evidence that Ward Churchill is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to moonbattery on college campuses has been acknowledged in the Washington Post, which reports on a study finding that academia may tilt even farther to the Left than we knew.

So much for the diversity educrats are so eager to impose: among teachers at American universities and colleges, self-identified liberals outnumber conservatives 72% to 15%. According to Robert Lichter, a George Mason University professor who co-authored 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.

No one should be surprised that humanities and social sciences faculties were found to be overwhelmingly liberal. But even in areas where the professors should be able to add two and two and get four, regardless of who feels oppressed by the outcome — such as engineering and business — the Libs have the upper hand.

In English literature, philosophy, political science, and religious studies, at least 80% of faculty identify themselves as liberal, and no more than 5% as conservative.

Another of the co-authors, Stanley Rothman of Smith College, alertly perceives discrimination against conservatives, whom the academic establishment avoids hiring or promoting. Rothman concludes that "being conservative counts against you," a finding that doesn't surprise him, because being part of academia, he has observed the discrimination first hand.

Movement over the last 20 years has been toward increasing conformity to the left-wing status quo. In a 1984 study, only 39% of college faculty identified themselves as liberal.

The present study found that most professors aren't just liberal, they are hard liberal: 88% want increased environmental protection even if it costs other people their jobs; ironically, 65% want the government to ensure full employment. So if you get laid off because bureaucrats have decided your job inconveniences sucker fish, the taxpayer will hire you to help two other guys watch a cow graze. Raising the objection that someone somewhere needs to actually produce wealth before the government can tax it is not going to help you get tenure.

Given this milieu, outrageous extremists like Ward Churchill and Noam Chomsky are inevitable, because there is no one to put the brakes on their fanaticism. Universities have become ideological echo chambers. The Churchills and Chomskys one-up each other by pushing the envelope ever further over the edge, while everyone else tries to keep pace so as not to get branded a witch.

There can be no question that this damages education. Any system that allows caricatures like Churchill to become department heads is obviously damaged. The only question is what we can do about it.

The idea that the government can step in and impose diversity is foolish and dangerous. We want less ideological regimentation, not more. The free market has come up with the best solution to most every problem the human race has faced. Given time, it could do the job here too.

College educations do not come cheap. What parents are going to want to spend tens of thousands of dollars to have certifiable lunatics brainwash their kids into hating their own country when a sane education could be acquired for the same money?

People need to know just how far the moonbattery has gone, and how pervasive it has become. Then they will seek out alternatives, and with more demand, the alternatives will grow. The cure for education is education.

Hat tip: The MaryHunter


Left-wing posturing not only helps professors get tenure, it makes them irresistible to coeds.

Posted by Van Helsing at March 30, 2005 7:11 AM


How do we fix this though? How will we know that our kids are getting a fair and balanced education while at college? This issue needs lots of attention.

Posted by: Raven at March 30, 2005 9:26 AM

Raven, I agree this issue needs a lot of attention, and giving it attention is the one thing we can do about it. The more people know about the outlandish nonsense that is being forced down the throats of college students, the more economically viable alternatives will be. Even now there have to be places where you can get an education without having to smile and nod while Ward Churchill yells in your face that you deserve to die for having pale skin. The Ivy League is wacko land, and to a slightly lesser extent, so are the major state universities. But there are smaller ones, where things might be different, and if people start seeking them out, they will grow. If I had it to do over again, I would go to a technical school.

Posted by: Van Helsing at March 30, 2005 12:21 PM

There's hope:

I don't agree with everything these guys stand for, but it's a start. As is not accepting *any* govt. funding ...

Great site Van. Keep it up!

Posted by: Valjean at March 30, 2005 12:59 PM

Things are somewhat different at a local small-but-pricey college at which the Significant OtherHunter teaches. I'd guess the conservative/libertarian proportion approaches 50%. You can actually have meaningful conversations with these people at faculty meetings and not feel completely isolated, it's wonderful.

Solution to identification problem: require all professors to put suitable bumperstickers on for each election cycle, track 'em that way. I can see those "Churchill for President" stickers popping out at U Colo and Haaahvaad!

Posted by: The MaryHunter at March 30, 2005 6:29 PM