- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 5, 2002

A majority of college professors across the country are registered Democrats, most of whom end up teaching in disciplines where politics matters the most, a new survey released by the Center for the Study of Popular Culture and the American Enterprise Institute shows.
More than 90 percent of the professors who work in the arts and sciences departments at schools like the University of Maryland, Brown, Cornell, Stanford, Penn State and Harvard belong to either Democrat, Green or Working Families parties, the survey found. Few faculty members are registered as Republicans or Libertarians.
"You can't get a good education if you only get half the story," said David Horowitz, author and editor of Frontpagemag.com, which has been following the issue of what he calls "one-party campuses" closely for several years.
"This is a national outrage. You could understand this taking place in the [former] Soviet Union, but you can't understand why this takes place in the United States. This is McCarthyism in the extreme."
However, some analysts argue that those who end up teaching politics don't like politics. "The problem here is not that these professors are perpetuating liberal political biases, but being anti-politics," said Thomas Mann, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a liberal research and policy institute.
"Many of them teach that politicians are too consumed with being re-elected and forget about what the people want," he said.
The survey found:
At the University of Maryland, of the 69 professors whose political affiliations were located, 59 were registered as Democrats and 10 as Republicans. Out of a sample of 37 sociology professors, 34 were Democrats. Of 20 political science professors, 17 were Democrats. Of 12 economics professors, eight were Democrats.
At the University of Colorado at Boulder, 116 of the professors whose party registrations could be established were Democrats and five were Republicans. Out of a sample of 37 professors who teach English, none were Republicans. Out of a sample of 29 history professors, one was Republican. Out of 19 political science professors, two were Republican.
At Brown University, 54 professors whose political affiliations showed up in primary registrations last year were Democrats, compared with three Republicans. Out of 10 English professors, none was Republican. Of 17 history professors, none was Republican. Out of seven political science professors, none was Republican. Of eight sociology professors, none was Republican. Out of six economics professors, one was Republican. Of nine engineering professors, two were Republican.
At Harvard University, of the 52 professors whose affiliations were found, 50 were registered Democrats and two were Republicans. Of 15 sociology professors, none was Republicans. Out of 16 economics professors, one was Republican. Of 21 political science professors, one was Republican.
At Penn State University, 59 professors from the arts and sciences department were registered Democrats and 10 were Republicans. Out of 37 sociology professors, 34 were Democrats. Of 20 political science professors, 17 were Democrats. Out of 12 economics professors, eight were Democrats.
At the University of California at Santa Barbara, a sample of 72 arts and sciences professors were registered Democrats and one was Republican. Out of 29 history professors, one was Republican. Of 21 English professors, none was Republican. Out of 29 history professors, one was Republican. Of 13 political science professors, none was Republican, and out of eight journalism professors, none was Republican.
At the University of Texas at Austin, of the 109 professors whose political affiliations were found, 94 were Democrats and 15 were Republicans. Out of six philosophy professors, one was Republican. Of 19 political science professors, 15 were Democrats. Out of 14 history professors, two were Republicans. Out of 42 English professors, 35 were Democrats.
College campuses should be a safe haven for vigorous debate over the merit of ideas, some education analysts argued. But no debate is possible if the vast majority of opinions originate on one side of the political spectrum, they said.
"Faculties that won't brook intellectual dissent in their own ranks feel more comfortable indoctrinating students than educating them, because genuine education requires a willingness to examine problems rigorously," said Winfield Myers, an education analyst in Delaware.
"Intellectual rigor is the antidote to academic pieties and the key to great teaching, but a professorate afraid of internal debate is intellectually lazy."
David Salisbury, director of the Center for Educational Freedom at the Cato Institute, said the results reinforce the idea that colleges are now "hostile environments" for economic and cultural conservatives. The country needs more private colleges that still provide traditional curriculums, he said.
"You don't want to suppress the opinions of these professors, but this is worrisome," Mr. Salisbury said. "There's no question that people's individually held philosophies influence their teaching. The whole purpose of going to college is for a student to get exposed to a diverse range of ideas, not a single viewpoint."
But other analysts like Mr. Mann argue that if conservatives are so worried about campuses being politically unbalanced, there is something they can do about it.
"Would it be better if colleges were balanced? Sure, but we can't assign people to careers," Mr. Mann said. "If they're so worried, then maybe they should try to turn conservatives on to such careers."

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