September 04, 2003


Celebrate diversity:

At 32 elite colleges registered Democrats on the faculty outnumbered Republicans 10-1. At two of the schools – Bowdoin and Wellesley – the ratio was 23-1.

Posted by Tim Blair at September 4, 2003 12:55 AM

This is news?

Posted by: Roger Bournival at September 4, 2003 at 12:57 AM

No surprise there...Wellesley took a high school girlfriend of mine who was a vivacious and funny young lass and turned her into a humourless lesbian (not that there's anything wrong with that...the lesbian bit, I mean). What a tragedy.

Meanwhile, I just reealized that Australia has turned me into a person who automatically spells "humourless" with two u's!

Posted by: James Morrow at September 4, 2003 at 01:28 AM

Stay away from our heterosexual Australian women, Morrow!

Posted by: tim at September 4, 2003 at 01:37 AM

Ten percent of academics anywhere identify themselves as Republicans?

I have a hard time believing even in the 1 out of 23.

Posted by: Mike G at September 4, 2003 at 02:25 AM

Well, the proportion of Republicans is a lot higher in engineering and the sciences than it is in the liberal arts. This survey seemed to focus on schools best known for their liberal arts departments (exceptions: MIT, Princeton, UC Berkeley) and furthermore apparently only surveyed mostly soft-in-the-head departments that anybody would guess to be heavily liberal-dominated. Given the way this was done, I'm with the last guy: surprised that even 1 in 23 ivy league sociologists is a registered Republican.

A little -- or better, a lot of -- intellectual diversity certainly would be nice, though.

Posted by: Harry at September 4, 2003 at 02:38 AM

Wow this is news? I bet the lefties are going to hunt down the Republicans and make their life hell, like they did when I was at Colby. And what kind of Republicans, R.I.N.O.s?

Posted by: Andrew Ian Dodge at September 4, 2003 at 03:01 AM

my wonderful bride is a wellesley grad. i believed she learned early on to avoid political discussions there.

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at September 4, 2003 at 06:07 AM

Given how much you think Private Schools rock what's your point. If anything you should be pleased that the Dems are preemptively following your suggestions on supporting the private school sector. You should be happy about this.

Posted by: White Bread at September 4, 2003 at 08:48 AM

A boring Statistical note- The survey does not say that one in ten academics is a republican, it says that democrats outnumber republicans by 10 to 1. This suggests that when you consider the various Greens, Communists and unregistereds, Republicans make up a lot less than one in ten.

Posted by: Ross at September 4, 2003 at 09:12 AM

White Bread:
"Private Schools??? Cal-Berkeley? Amherst? Pennsylvania?

These are all publicly-funded universities.


Posted by: SteveMG at September 4, 2003 at 09:24 AM

Hillary went to Wellesley. Her undergraduate thesis was so stupidly left-wing that she has kept hidden under lock and key ever since. Probably with those Whitewater documents.

Posted by: George at September 4, 2003 at 09:30 AM

Guess this is kind of to the point of this blog:

If you watched lateline last night you would have seen the verbal vomit (aka keating) launching into our PM as he launched yet another book to sink Windschuttle.
More to the point you would have seen Windschuttle debate Stuart MacIntyre the author of said book.
In response to Windschuttle's charge that academia is infested with leunig lefties (my words) MacIntyre said that while he did not know the politics of his 30 odd staff members he did know that they encompassed the total political spectrum.

MY question ; How could he know this without knowing the politics of his staff?
Perhaps Adam could field this one.

Posted by: Lawrie at September 4, 2003 at 11:57 AM

But his teachings encompass the entire spectrum from far laft to off the edge of the earth.

And Keating described the Howard era as a smudge on history.

Woner how Keating's legacy could be described?

Posted by: ilibcc at September 4, 2003 at 12:47 PM


Is the proportion of Republicans really higher in the sciences? I could believe it for engineering, but I'm in the hard sciences at one of those schools, and I'm outnumbered at least twenty-to-one.

SteveMG-- Little detail: Amherst is a private college. UMass Amherst is a public university. Sorry to be a pedantic nit-picker, but I do it for a living.

Posted by: JPS at September 4, 2003 at 02:36 PM

Thanks. My error.

I was mulling over Amherst as I included it. Wasn't sure and was too tired to check.

Although I think they may receive - indirectly - public funds? They're not like, say, Hillsdale which refuses to receive ANY government monies - either directly or indirectly. E.g., student w/ government loans?

Wellesley, Bowdoin are also private, I believe. Most of the colleges surveyed are public.


Posted by: SteveMG at September 4, 2003 at 02:55 PM

Actually, I thought economists were usually more conservative than other social scientists:

"Surveys of academics regularly indicate that economists are much more “conservative” on average than academics in the other social sciences. This results in large part from the fact that the public identifies support of market-coordinated economic systems with conservatism and that economists, who have specialized in the study of market systems, tend to have a much more favorable view of them than do other intellectuals. It is unfortunate that this kind of conservatism has also come to be associated in the public mind with an indifference to poverty."

-- Paul Heyne, "A Student's Guide to Economics"

Posted by: Michael S. at September 4, 2003 at 03:31 PM

Well. That makes sense. I would be willing to wager that the majority of the best and the brightest of the Republican set are out making serious amounts of money in their choosen field, teaching hold little interest for them. Or it could come down to that idea that Republicans are doers more then dreamers.

Posted by: JamesT at September 5, 2003 at 01:55 AM

Hey, don't knock it. You see, social psychology suggests that when people screw up, they like to blame external rather than internal causes. My underachieving as an undergrad, therefore, was due to the oppression inflicited upon me by my professors, who were generally lefty, rather than my lack of studying, intensive alcohol-consumption, and basketball watching/playing.

Please do not attempt to alter in any way, a fragile psyche depends on it.

Gratefully yours,


Posted by: Jerry at September 5, 2003 at 02:12 AM

news item: did you see that the cause of the blackout we recently had here in the us has been traced to a certain wellesley grad?

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at September 5, 2003 at 04:15 AM

Great comment by David Brooks in the (latest?) issue of the Atlantic:

It's striking that the institutions that talk the most about diversity often practice it the least. For example, no group of people sings the diversity anthem more frequently and fervently than administrators at just such elite universities. But elite universities are amazingly undiverse in their values, politics, and mores. Professors in particular are drawn from a rather narrow segment of the population. If faculties reflected the general population, 32 percent of professors would be registered Democrats and 31 percent would be registered Republicans. Forty percent would be evangelical Christians. But a recent study of several universities by the conservative Center for the Study of Popular Culture and the American Enterprise Institute found that roughly 90 percent of those professors in the arts and sciences who had registered with a political party had registered Democratic. Fifty-seven professors at Brown were found on the voter-registration rolls. Of those, fifty-four were Democrats. Of the forty-two professors in the English, history, sociology, and political-science departments, all were Democrats. The results at Harvard, Penn State, Maryland, and the University of California at Santa Barbara were similar to the results at Brown.

I had that one printed out and hung it on the wall. I wonder if any similar Australian studies have been done?

Posted by: TimT at September 5, 2003 at 10:36 AM

Follow the money. Democratic administrations typically allocate more research money to the arts and soft sciences than conservative administrations, so liberal arts professors support the people who will give them money. 'Hard' science professors can rely on private inductry, so their choice of president isn't based as much on likelyhood of research grants. Also, some of the discoveries that they make can free them from dependance on grants.

Economists are more conservative than other social scientists, because they can make a living outside of acedemia. People who depend upon the government for their living tend to be very fond of increasing taxation; people who pay theirs taxes - and will make a good income without government payments - tend to be a bit more conservitive.

Posted by: David D at September 9, 2003 at 03:12 PM