We previously discussed how surveys at universities show a virtual purging of conservative and Republican faculty members. Last year, the Harvard Crimson noted that the university had virtually eliminated Republicans from most departments but that the lack of diversity was not a problem. Now, a new survey conducted by the Harvard Crimson shows that more than three-quarters of Harvard Arts and Sciences and School of Engineering and Applied Sciences faculty respondents identify as “liberal” or “very liberal.” Only 2.5% identified as “conservative,” and only 0.4% as “very conservative.”
A recent Gallup poll stated, “Roughly equal proportions of U.S. adults identified as conservative (36%) and moderate (35%) in Gallup polling throughout 2022, while about a quarter identified as liberal (26%).”
Compare that to this survey, which is consistent with many other schools. Nationally, less than a third of Americans identify as “liberal” but Harvard and other schools show over twice that percentage on the faculty. That does not happen randomly. It takes a consistent culture of intolerance for opposing viewpoints. Indeed, there is a greater percentage of faculty who identify as “very liberal” than citizens overall identify as “liberal.” Less than three percent identify as “conservative’ rather than 35% nationally.
The trend is the result of hiring systems where conservative or libertarian scholars are often rejected as simply “insufficiently intellectually rigorous” or “not interesting” in their scholarship. This can clearly be true with individual candidates but the wholesale reduction of such scholars shows a more systemic problem. Faculty insist that there is no bias against conservatives, but the obviously falling number of conservative faculty speaks for itself.
The editors of the legal site Above the Law have repeatedly swatted down objections to the loss of free speech and viewpoint diversity in the media and academia. In a recent column, they mocked those of us who objected to the virtual absence of conservative or libertarian faculty members at law schools.
Senior editor Joe Patrice defended “predominantly liberal faculties” based on the fact that liberal views reflect real law as opposed to junk law. (Patrice regularly calls those with opposing views “racists,” including Chief Justice John Roberts because of his objection to race-based criteria in admissions as racial discrimination). He explained that hiring a conservative academic was akin to allowing a believer in geocentrism (or that the sun orbits the earth) to teach at a university.
It is that easy. You simply declare that conservative views shared by a majority of the Supreme Court and roughly half of the population are not acceptable to be taught.
I frankly do not understand why professors want to maintain this one-sided environment in hiring. I was drawn to academia by the diversity of viewpoints and intellectual challenges on campuses. School publications and conferences today often run from the left to the far left. We have discussed a long line of incidents on this blog of conservative faculties being targeted by cancel campaigns with tepid support from their colleagues or administrations. We have become the face of intellectual orthodoxy and it is reflected in these numbers.