The Ghost of Snapped Shot

Or, welcome to my low-maintenance heck.

Shocka: Schools Lean "Slightly" Left

You can find the details at Stop the ACLU, but the real kicker is this pretty little pie chart:

This, of course, comes as no surprise to any conservative that's ever deigned to enter the halls of academia. The question I'd be interested in learning is why these numbers skew as hard as they do to the left-hand side of the spectrum? Are there really that few conservatives willing to enter the teaching profession, as the old stereotype of us being profit-driven holds? Or, perhaps, could this dramatic bias be due to the fact that the left-hand side of the spectrum dominates the hiring and tenure committees at these very same Universities?

It doesn't appear that this particular study dealt with questions like this, but it would certainly be something interesting to know. Rachel, if you're reading this, do you have any theories on why this pattern consistently comes up in surveys of university professors?

Oh, and as an aside, I'm very pleased that my very own George Mason University was involved in this research. While I occasionally share my gripes about the school, I can't be clear enough in saying that it is one of the most conservative Universities I've ever seen. (I've really been falling behind in maintaining that category, incidentally. There've been plenty of times I've been walking across campus, and suddenly gotten a big, fat tear of joy in my eye upon reading some of the sidewalk scrawlings on campus.) It really is an awesome place to go and study, so long as you never need to deal with the History or Social Sciences departments.

Update: Soccer Dad sends this link, which is on a similar vein. As academia goes, so follows the media? Or is this another example of "the jobs conservatives won't do?" Thanks alot, SD!



#1 Charles 25-Oct-2007
What's funny is that, even while the data is clear for all to see, they still try to hide it with their statement "Moderates are the largest political group among Professors".

They get that by combining the three center categories. Remember the categories are self-selected, and one of them is called "middle-of-the-road", which is where you'd expect moderates to put themselves.

The largest CATEGORY by far is "Liberal".

You could just as easily say there were three catagories, those who wouldn't identify with the left or right, those on the left, and those on the right. In that case, the largest would be "liberal", with over 62%, while only 19.7 are "conservative".

An even more obvious sign of bias? They have 7 categories, supposedly to rank the spectrum from left to right. But while the far left is labeled "Extremely liberal", and therefore likely to make some people avoid the tag as being negative, the far right is called "very conservative", meant to intice people to answer that way.

In other words, they attempted to bias the self-identification so that liberals would tend to NOT pick the most liberal, while conservatives would WANT to pick the most conservative.

And they still found a large tilt left.
#2 forest 25-Oct-2007
Yeah Charles, the lame effort to spin the data really jumps off the page.

The self-identification part of it concerns me too. I know more than a few manifesto-thumping socialists who swear they are moderate. Right.
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