Conservatives are essentially unwelcome on the annual college commencement speaker circuit - when politicians, the famous and infamous don a graduation robe and make a speech. According to the Young America’s Foundation’s annual survey of speakers at the nation’s top 100 universities, liberal speakers dominate the field.
Among the top 100 campuses in the nation, liberal speakers outnumber conservatives 6-to-1. Among the top 50, the ratio increases to 9 liberals for every one conservative. And among the elite top 10 universities, there were no conservatives invited to speak whatsoever.
On the program at those ivy-covered halls this year: former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick will address Harvard University; Vice President Joe Biden will speak at Yale, former EPA administrator and Obama appointee Lisa P. Jackson will be at Princeton.
Overall, 59 percent of all speakers on campuses this year are liberals, 10 percent are conservatives and the remaining 39 percent have unknown or neutral political affiliations. This bias toward liberal speakers is an established trend, however: in 2014, the ratio was five-to-one; in 2013, four-to-one; in 2012, seven-to-one, the survey reports.
There are a few rare exceptions for 2015, though. Former President George W. Bush at Southern Methodist University, Fox News correspondent Brit Hume at Pepperdine University and Condoleezza Rice at the College of William and Mary.
“Higher education preaches inclusion and diversity, while largely excluding conservative leaders from campuses,” says Ron Robinson, president of Young America’s Foundation, an interest group for conservative college students.