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Liberal Bias on College Campuses?

flip2

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I recall a "NightLine" episode last year which devoted an entire show on this subject.

In it, a study was revealed that a whopping, yet not surprising, 9/10 college professors lean/favor/vote liberal/Democrat. In spite of this large number of political dominance, the breakdown of the students was even more surprising.

Although I can not remember exactly the percentages, I do remember which political leaning was favored more by the students.

More than 1/3 of college students, freshmen to final year students, ages 18-22, found themselves leaning/favoring/possibly voting conservative/Republican. The breakdown between students--same factors--voting for a Democrat or an independent/3rd party was about even, slight edge to the Democrat Party.

What are your thoughts on this subject? And are you encouraged, not surprised, discouraged of the numbers? Does this prove that a liberal teaching curriculum and bias in the classroom by the professor do not matter in the end?
 

ShamMol

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I have always said that the true students cut through what people say to find their own truths, liberal or conservative.
 

26 X World Champs

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flip2 said:
And are you encouraged, not surprised, discouraged of the numbers? Does this prove that a liberal teaching curriculum and bias in the classroom by the professor do not matter in the end?
Very few courses in college are affected by political persuasion. For example, Math, any Science class, language, or literature. Perhaps in history, poli-sci or perhaps religion would lend itself to opinion....

However, I firmly believe that adults, yes, college students are adults, do think for themselves, and they take in all kinds of info and then determine what works best for them.

As far as stats re the politics of academia goes, it is not at all surprising that the deeper thinkers in America are more liberal than conservative....it makes perfect sense to me...
 

RightinNYC

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26 X World Champs said:
Very few courses in college are affected by political persuasion. For example, Math, any Science class, language, or literature. Perhaps in history, poli-sci or perhaps religion would lend itself to opinion....
Not necessarily true.

I had a Natural Science professor who spent days talking about how Bush was destroying the environment. I had a Journalism professor who talked for days about how Bush was producing propaganda. I had a Spanish professor who talked for days about how Bush was lying to Hispanics. I had a Calculus professor who talked for days about how Bush was cutting funding for education and making it harder for him to attend grad school.

No matter what the class, professors will find a way to insert their biases into the subject matter.

More to the subject at hand, those numbers don't surprise me in the slightest.

There was a recent study showing that the ratio of democrats to republicans in certain departments such as politics, journalism, public policy, history, and sociology were in the range of 14:1 to 35:1 at top universities nationwide.

Here at NYU, in the 2004 election, 87% of the student body voted Kerry, 7% voted NADER, and 6% voted Bush. For the professors they could only find ONE who admitted voting for Bush. One.
 

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As far as stats re the politics of academia goes, it is not at all surprising that the deeper thinkers in America are more liberal than conservative....it makes perfect sense to me...
Only in your dreams Champ. If that were true I would be :afraid: very, very :afraid: Actually, most young people are liberal because they are rebelling against authority ,and want to do as they wish without responsibility attached. That is the basis of liberalism despite Champs attempt to :spin: it into an intellectual exercise. Good try though Champ. :catapult:
 

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RightatNYU said:
Not necessarily true.

I had a Natural Science professor who spent days talking about how Bush was destroying the environment. I had a Journalism professor who talked for days about how Bush was producing propaganda. I had a Spanish professor who talked for days about how Bush was lying to Hispanics. I had a Calculus professor who talked for days about how Bush was cutting funding for education and making it harder for him to attend grad school.

No matter what the class, professors will find a way to insert their biases into the subject matter.

More to the subject at hand, those numbers don't surprise me in the slightest.

There was a recent study showing that the ratio of democrats to republicans in certain departments such as politics, journalism, public policy, history, and sociology were in the range of 14:1 to 35:1 at top universities nationwide.

Here at NYU, in the 2004 election, 87% of the student body voted Kerry, 7% voted NADER, and 6% voted Bush. For the professors they could only find ONE who admitted voting for Bush. One.
I agree about the inserting of bias and have yet to experience it after taking 5 college courses. That shouldn't be done. However, is it wrong that they are liberal? Is it possible that there aren't that many well-qualified conservative teachers? Or do they all flock to community colleges and form an underground network so that we never see or hear about them?
 

26 X World Champs

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RightatNYU said:
Here at NYU, in the 2004 election, 87% of the student body voted Kerry, 7% voted NADER, and 6% voted Bush. For the professors they could only find ONE who admitted voting for Bush. One.
Not surprising in the least considering how smart NYU students are and the city in which they live and go to school.

You know, did you ever consider that one reason Bush doesn't want to improve education is because he would lose voters? Just a thought...
 

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ShamMol said:
Is it possible that there aren't that many well-qualified conservative teachers?
Champ said:
did you ever consider that one reason Bush doesn't want to improve education is because he would lose voters?
Who made you fella's so bright? :fly:
 

RightinNYC

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ShamMol said:
I agree about the inserting of bias and have yet to experience it after taking 5 college courses. That shouldn't be done. However, is it wrong that they are liberal? Is it possible that there aren't that many well-qualified conservative teachers? Or do they all flock to community colleges and form an underground network so that we never see or hear about them?
The reason why conservatives have such a hard time getting into tenured positions in higher education is because they need the support of the current faculty. Professors have to publish papers which are anonymously peer-reviewed. Liberal professors rate down conservative candidates, thus ensuring the sanctity of their offices. This explains why there is an increased discrepancy in departments where professors are forced to be more political.

The one conservative professor, who I'm taking a class with next semester, is constantly criticized by his counterparts here, finds his class schedules rearranged, funding cut, difficulties in getting sabbaticals, etc. It's a self sustaining network of bias that only hurts the students by denying us diversity in our teaching staff.
 

ShamMol

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RightatNYU said:
The reason why conservatives have such a hard time getting into tenured positions in higher education is because they need the support of the current faculty. Professors have to publish papers which are anonymously peer-reviewed. Liberal professors rate down conservative candidates, thus ensuring the sanctity of their offices. This explains why there is an increased discrepancy in departments where professors are forced to be more political.

The one conservative professor, who I'm taking a class with next semester, is constantly criticized by his counterparts here, finds his class schedules rearranged, funding cut, difficulties in getting sabbaticals, etc. It's a self sustaining network of bias that only hurts the students by denying us diversity in our teaching staff.
See, I didn't know this. I had always figured that they just didn't exist. But you do have to also realize that in addition to this, more professors are liberal.

See, the place where I am going has about a 1/4 to 3/4 majority for liberals in the non-calculating departments (like english and philosophy and poli sci) according to students that I have been talking to, but that isn't the same at other places, and about half of those 3/4s are very moderate. I find it fascinating these places where the liberals rule. I would find that extremely boring to hear one side all the time.

Oh, and Squak, don't call us on idiotic comments when you think it is your job to make them and leave us speechless. It was a rhetorical question, aka, one that begs the question and I got my answer. Don't rag on others when you make many of the same type of comments, it shows how inept you really are.
 

RightinNYC

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ShamMol said:
See, I didn't know this. I had always figured that they just didn't exist. But you do have to also realize that in addition to this, more professors are liberal.
Could this be because conservative thinkers would rather enter the marketplace with their ideas and seek out their own fortunes while liberal thinkers would rather enter a job where they would be assured their elitist status and job security without facing difficult situations or hard work?

Or could it be because so many young conservatives such as myself see the hostile environment that conservative professors face, and choose to pursue other career paths where they won't immediately be shunted off to the side because of their political leanings?

I would argue that either of these reasons, combined with the original obstacle of peer review and recommendation, is enough to explain the disparity in professors leanings.
 

ShamMol

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Alright, but answer me this. Is there an equal number of conservatives who would want to teach if the situation was not that way, or are there just more liberals out there who want to teach, or, you get my point, no more questions are needed.

On topic to your post, I tend to agree that more people with conservative leanings enter the private sector, but that is one of the main differences between liberals and conservatives in my opinion. And that comment about hard work? Complete bs. The professors I know work harder grading papers and writing papers, as well as writing books, but maybe that is the difference between liberal arts and the university. So, where I see some conservatives who are accepted, you don't see any because you are at a different type of institution, I don't know, just guessing.
 

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ShamMol said:
Alright, but answer me this. Is there an equal number of conservatives who would want to teach if the situation was not that way, or are there just more liberals out there who want to teach, or, you get my point, no more questions are needed.
We'll never know, because at this point, its hearsay from now on until something changes. Affirmative Action for conservatives?

On topic to your post, I tend to agree that more people with conservative leanings enter the private sector, but that is one of the main differences between liberals and conservatives in my opinion. And that comment about hard work? Complete bs. The professors I know work harder grading papers and writing papers, as well as writing books, but maybe that is the difference between liberal arts and the university. So, where I see some conservatives who are accepted, you don't see any because you are at a different type of institution, I don't know, just guessing.
Hard work is relative. The career of an academic isn't exactly a difficult one. Two classes a semester, teaching 6 hours a week, paid 4 month sabbatical once every few years, summers off...not such a bad deal.

These professors would be writing books anyways, so it's not as if its unexpected.
 

ShamMol

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RightatNYU said:
ShamMol said:
Hard work is relative. The career of an academic isn't exactly a difficult one. Two classes a semester, teaching 6 hours a week, paid 4 month sabbatical once every few years, summers off...not such a bad deal.

These professors would be writing books anyways, so it's not as if its unexpected.
Definetly is the systemic differences between liberal arts education and that of a university. True about summers off, and the sabaticals (though that isn't every few years, try 10 or so for my school), but the six hours a week is completely different. There is the grading of papers which they don't have teachers assistants to do, they usually teach three classes which meet at least 4 hours a week to 6 (so that is anywhere from 12 to 18 hours) plus mandatory office hours, plus staying usually during the summer to help people do research, etc, etc. I guess it must be the differnce in the institution, thus making me even happier I chose not to go to a university.
 

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ShamMol said:
RightatNYU said:
Definetly is the systemic differences between liberal arts education and that of a university. True about summers off, and the sabaticals (though that isn't every few years, try 10 or so for my school), but the six hours a week is completely different. There is the grading of papers which they don't have teachers assistants to do, they usually teach three classes which meet at least 4 hours a week to 6 (so that is anywhere from 12 to 18 hours) plus mandatory office hours, plus staying usually during the summer to help people do research, etc, etc. I guess it must be the differnce in the institution, thus making me even happier I chose not to go to a university.
Fair enough.
 

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RightatNYU said:
Could this be because conservative thinkers would rather enter the marketplace with their ideas and seek out their own fortunes while liberal thinkers would rather enter a job where they would be assured their elitist status and job security without facing difficult situations or hard work?

Or could it be because so many young conservatives such as myself see the hostile environment that conservative professors face, and choose to pursue other career paths where they won't immediately be shunted off to the side because of their political leanings?

I would argue that either of these reasons, combined with the original obstacle of peer review and recommendation, is enough to explain the disparity in professors leanings.
Or could it be that professors prefer to keep their peers from teaching things that are wrong? Any bias that steers away from "wrong" is a good bias. Granted we're still trying to define right and wrong, I'm only pointing out another reason for the lop-sided ratio that you somehow missed.

The conspiracy theory that conservative professors are shunned, ridiculed, and kept out of the job market by the dominant number of liberal professors is almost as dumb as some of the extreme conspiracy theories I've heard from liberals. If that were the true, how do you explain red states like Oklahoma having liberal colleges like OSU and OU? Both are state-sponsored universities, so you would have to assume the conspiracy goes all the way to the state government who looks the other way and never follows up on complaints when an "honest" conservative professor is denied yet another position by the evil liberals.

The most obvious explanation to me is that a good, thorough education leads to the belief in many liberal values. I guess I can see why conservatives would have a problem with that, and want to find some ridiculous way to blame it on the liberals.
 

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"Or could it be that professors prefer to keep their peers from teaching things that are wrong? Any bias that steers away from "wrong" is a good bias. Granted we're still trying to define right and wrong, I'm only pointing out another reason for the lop-sided ratio that you somehow missed."
What's been so wrong about conservatism lately? Conservatives bluffed the Soviets into bankrupting themselves early, got the hostages back from Iran, stated in the '70's that OPEC was going to ruin the availability of gasoline in the U.S., etc. What have the left accomplished lately? There was the.....no....the "Great Society" didn't work, poverty and inflation actually increased after that one, then there was the....no....restructuring education didn't work so well either, but then there was the....damn....gun control failed too, or the...oops....almost considered that green movement, well...there was the...no Clinton letting Osama go didn't work so well either. But Social Security was a good idea as it stood, for awhile.
 

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Binary_Digit said:
Or could it be that professors prefer to keep their peers from teaching things that are wrong? Any bias that steers away from "wrong" is a good bias. Granted we're still trying to define right and wrong, I'm only pointing out another reason for the lop-sided ratio that you somehow missed.

The conspiracy theory that conservative professors are shunned, ridiculed, and kept out of the job market by the dominant number of liberal professors is almost as dumb as some of the extreme conspiracy theories I've heard from liberals. If that were the true, how do you explain red states like Oklahoma having liberal colleges like OSU and OU? Both are state-sponsored universities, so you would have to assume the conspiracy goes all the way to the state government who looks the other way and never follows up on complaints when an "honest" conservative professor is denied yet another position by the evil liberals.

The most obvious explanation to me is that a good, thorough education leads to the belief in many liberal values. I guess I can see why conservatives would have a problem with that, and want to find some ridiculous way to blame it on the liberals.

Are you serious? It's not a conspiracy theory, its a simple fact. The method by which professors are hired is set up so that current professors and anonymous peer review are the most important factors. It doesn't matter whether it's a state school or a private school, the hiring process is the same. There's no difference between OSU or Harvard, they both rely on heavily liberal bodies to decide who gets prized positions. That naturally leads to a liberal bias.
 

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:fyi: The name is Squawker. The effort to try to make College liberals more intelligent than the average DR. Lawyer, or executive is amusing. It seems to be a trait of the left to think you are the best and brightest people on the planet. Did you every think it may just be the opposite? What is that saying – Those who can, do, Those who can’t, teach. Lincoln and Jefferson both had an IQ over 150, just as a side bar.

Unlike in the past, the brightest women rarely go into teaching. Before the women’s movement, most women considered teaching to be the highest-level career to which they could reasonably aspire.
That’s all changed. Fully half of the incoming medical school and law school classes are women. Today’s K-12 teachers have the lowest average SAT scores of people in any professional occupation.
To teach in California, one must hold a bachelor’s degree and pass the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST). That test requires no more than eighth grade reading, writing, and math. One-third of bachelor’s degree holders who aspire to a career in teaching fail the CBEST.
Source

Colleges do not require all teachers to have a Doctorate. If I took the time and money to get a Doctorate, I certainly wouldn’t settle for a low paying job at a University. Maybe Professors were at the lower end of the grade scale and couldn’t get hired any place else. Did that scenario ever occur to you?

Source

P.S. Liberal Professor = Pompous Ass, Arrogance Expert Extraordinaire.
 

RightinNYC

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Squawker said:
:fyi: The name is Squawker. The effort to try to make College liberals more intelligent than the average DR. Lawyer, or executive is amusing. It seems to be a trait of the left to think you are the best and brightest people on the planet. Did you every think it may just be the opposite? What is that saying – Those who can, do, Those who can’t, teach. Lincoln and Jefferson both had an IQ over 150, just as a side bar.


Source

Colleges do not require all teachers to have a Doctorate. If I took the time and money to get a Doctorate, I certainly wouldn’t settle for a low paying job at a University. Maybe Professors were at the lower end of the grade scale and couldn’t get hired any place else. Did that scenario ever occur to you?

Source

P.S. Liberal Professor = Pompous Ass, Arrogance Expert Extraordinaire.

Well put. The idea that the average intro "College Writing I" professor is more intelligent than a Managing Director at a corporation boggles my mind.
 

ShamMol

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Everyone is different, there are smart teachers, dumb teachers, but I will still call you Squak, just like you call my mentor a pompous ass, lol.
 

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You know I can read that anyway, so don't be spreading stories Sham. :catapult: That new smilie is so cool. :mrgreen:
 

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If any of you get a chance and have Showtime, catch the most recent episode of Penn and Teller's Bullsh*t on college. They address some basic things like college diversity, free speech, etc. They pretty much hand Noam Chomsky his arse on it too.
 

ShamMol

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Squawker said:
You know I can read that anyway, so don't be spreading stories Sham. :catapult: That new smilie is so cool. :mrgreen:
I know, but I do smart things...still calling you Squawk.
 
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