By Walter Williams*
This May 2, 2018, column is reprinted by permission.
July 2018 – Just within the past week or so, some shocking professorial behavior has come to light. In the wake of Barbara Bush’s death, California State University-Fresno professor Randa Jarrar took to Twitter to call the former first lady an “amazing racist.”
At the City University of New York School of Law, students shouted down guest lecturer Josh Blackman for 10 minutes before he could continue his remarks. When Duke University president Vincent Price was trying to address alumni, students commandeered the stage, shouting demands and telling him to leave.
None of this professorial and student behavior is new at the nation’s colleges. It’s part of the leftist agenda that dominates our colleges. A new study by Brooklyn College professor Mitchell Langbert – “Homogeneous: The Political Affiliations of Elite Liberal Arts College Faculty” – demonstrates that domination. Langbert examines the political affiliation of Ph.D.-holding faculty members at 51 of the 66 top-ranked liberal arts colleges according to U.S. News & World Report. He finds that 39% of the colleges in his sample are Republican-free – with zero registered Republicans on their faculties. As for Republicans within academic departments, 78% of those departments have no Republican members or so few as to make no difference.
Langbert breaks down the faculty Democrat-to-Republican ratio by academic department, and there are not many surprises. Engineering departments have 1.6 Democrats for every Republican. Chemistry and economics departments have about 5.5 Democrats for every Republican. The situation is especially bad in anthropology departments, where the Democrat-to-Republican faculty ratio is 133-to-1, and in communications departments, where the ratio is 108-to-zero. Langbert says, “I could not find a single Republican with an exclusive appointment to fields like gender studies, Africana studies, and peace studies.”
Later on in the study, Langbert turns his attention to Democrat-to-Republican faculty ratios at some of our most elite colleges. At Williams College, the Democrat-to-Republican ratio is 132-to-1. At Amherst College, it’s 34-to-1. Wellesley’s is 136-to-1. At Swarthmore, 120-to-1. Claremont McKenna, 4-to-1. Davidson, 10-to-1. Only two colleges of the top 66 on U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 list have a modicum of equality in numbers between Democratic and Republican faculty members. They are the U.S. Military Academy, aka West Point, with a Democrat-to-Republican ratio of 1.3-to-1, and the U.S. Naval Academy, whose ratio is 2.3-to-1.
Many professors spend class time indoctrinating students with their views. For faculty members who are Democrats, those views can be described as leftist, socialist, or communist. It is a cowardly act for a professor to take advantage of student immaturity by indoctrinating pupils with his opinions before the students have developed the maturity and skill to examine other opinions.
Langbert’s findings suggest biases in college research and academic policy, where leftist political homogeneity is embedded in the college culture. The leftist bias at most of the nation’s colleges is in stark contrast to the political leanings of our nation. According to a number of Pew Research Center surveys, most Americans identify as conservative. These Americans are seeing their tax dollars and tuition dollars going to people who have contempt for their values and seek to indoctrinate their children with leftist ideas.
* American economist Walter Williams, Ph.D., (photo, left) professor of economics at George Mason University, is a syndicated columnist who emphasizes that free markets do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, or nationality.
Washington Times writer Richard Rahn wrote in 2010 that Williams rose to prominence largely because his single mother “instilled the value of education and excellence in her son,” he was smart enough to understand “that hard work could result in a better life,” he was open to changing his views when “empirical evidence disproved the prevailing liberal orthodoxy so widely held by his peers,” and he was never afraid “to speak truth to power.”
Williams’s books include Liberty Versus the Tyranny of Socialism and his autobiographical Up From the Projects. Read more at walterewilliams.com.