- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 3, 2005

You had better sit down and firmly grip your bowl of Corn Flakes while reading this shocking news: College faculties are not only mostly liberal, but lean even further to the left than conservatives have imagined.

According to a study by professors at Smith College, George Mason University and the University of Toronto (they surveyed 1,643 full-time faculty at 183 four-year schools), 72 percent of professors at American universities labeled themselves liberal, while just 15 percent said they are conservative. Fifty percent of faculty members identified themselves as Democrats and only 11 percent Republicans.

Political Science professors Robert Lichter of George Mason University, Neil Nevitte of the University of Toronto and Stanley Rothman of Smith College also found 51 percent of those surveyed said they rarely or never attend church or synagogue.

These liberal leanings translate into liberal political beliefs. Eighty-four percent surveyed strongly or somewhat favor abortion rights, 67 percent think homosexuality acceptable, 88 percent want more environmental protection “even if it raises prices or costs jobs.” And 65 percent want government to ensure full employment, which puts the professors to the left of the Democratic Party.

The study, in the March issue of the online political journal the Forum, was funded by the Randolph Foundation, which donates to mostly conservative organizations.

Jonathan Knight, director of academic freedom and tenure for the American Association of University Professors, was asked about the study. He told The Washington Post, “The question is how this translates into what happens within the academic community on such issues as curriculum, admission of students, evaluation of students, evaluation of faculty for salary and promotion.” Mr. Knight added he is unaware of “any good evidence” linking professors’ personal views to what they teach. He must be living in an ivory tower without Internet access, or believe surveys such as this one are “bad evidence” because they don’t conform to his views.

A quick Google search of “liberalism on college campuses” brings a wealth of good evidence what is taught on many campuses is anti-American, anti-religious, anti-Israel, pro-homosexual rights and pro-abortion, often to the exclusion and ridicule of opposing views.

In December, Columbia University appointed a committee to look into charges of bias and intimidation by faculty, particularly in Middle East studies. The report, released Thursday, found no evidence professors made anti-Semitic statements to intimidate students in classes. But examples abound on other campuses. Check out www.campus-watch.org for more instances.

Ward Churchill, a tenured professor at the University of Colorado, is in the news for his grotesque characterization of the victims of September 11, 2001, as “little Eichmanns” who were not casualties of terrorism but legitimate “military targets.” His views are part of his teaching.

From “gay rights” courses, even majors, at an increasing number of colleges, to the usual anti-military and anti-free enterprise bilge documented in numerous books and articles, only those in complete denial would claim no link exists between professors’ mostly liberal views and how they shape their subject matter in the classroom, at numerous forums and in advocacy groups that make up modern academic life.

The Wisconsin Policy Research Institute’s Thomas Reeves has said “conservatives are discriminated against routinely and deliberately” in faculty hiring. Thus some highly qualified teachers are virtually unemployable because of their political and social views, ensuring a single approach on most subjects.

Colleges practice affirmative action to hire more professors and attract more students who are female or racial minorities. Why won’t they do so for conservative professors and students in the name of diversity, pluralism and academic freedom?

Why do so many conservative parents send their children to these colleges and often subsidize their tuition when so many such schools undermine their beliefs and values? Stories are legion of young people sent to these schools who emerge with a far different worldview than held when they entered.

Fortunately, there are many alternatives to these “re-education camps.” And parents would be well-advised to search for them if they don’t want their kids to grow up to be liberals.

Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist.

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