A new study compares registered Republicans and registered Democrats in the full-time faculty of the top liberal arts colleges. They found a gross imbalance, swung way toward Democrats.
Chemistry, economics, and mathematics had a Democrat-to-Republican ratio of more than five to one. That was the lowest ratio of any liberal arts discipline.
My discipline, sociology, showed a ratio of 44 Democrats for every Republican. Our sister discipline, anthropology, showed no Republicans at all.
We know that Republicans in higher education gravitate to business and engineering, so are much less likely to end up in liberal arts colleges.
And I can believe that smart college students of a conservative persuasion head toward business rather than higher education for a career.
Still, if we have almost no Republican faculty for the many Republican students to talk to, we leave them to develop their political understanding in the gutter -- from talk radio, blogs, and Russian bots.
Ideological diversity is as important as any other kind of diversity in a liberal arts faculty. Not more important, but not less, either.
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
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