Republicans Are An Endangered Species At Top Universities - Survey One-Sided Liberal Indoctrinations, and Fear of Retaliation for Conservatives
Republicans Are Increasingly An Endangered Species
WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 30, 2022) - A new survey shows that Republicans are increasingly an endangered species on many college and university campuses, even in states which are primarily Republican, since almost half of the departments in those states [33 out of 65] did not have even a single registered Republican on the faculty.
The results are not only one-sided discussions and presentations - some say indoctrinations - in classes, but a real fear, even among ordinarily outspoken law students, that they may be punished by their professors, with lower grades and problems obtaining letters of recommendation, for expressing conservative views, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf.
Law professor Jonathan Turley says "This is the result of years of faculty replicating their own ideological preferences and eradicating the diversity that once existed on faculties." Today voices of conservative and libertarian professors "are relatively rare and faculties have become political echo chambers. . . School publications and conferences today often run from the left to the far left."
The College Fix, which conducted the survey, explains that “we’ve already seen the retiring old guard of classically liberal professors being rapidly replaced by budding scholars trained up in critical race theory and diversity, equity and inclusion dogmas. Today, hiring committees also have so-called diversity and inclusion monitors and require applicants to submit diversity statements."
Another frightening consequence of overwhelmingly liberal - sometimes even ultra-liberal - faculties is that students are afraid to speak up. For example, two ultra-liberal institutions of higher education - Harvard University and the George Washington University [GWU] Law School - stifle free speech on campus according to reports by distinguished professors, notes Banzhaf.
Indeed, the problem at GWU is serious enough to warrant alarming reports in the Washington Examiner ("GWU Law Professor Says Students Ask Him If They Can Speak Freely in Class") and The College Fix ("Conservative GWU Law Students Fear Grading Bias From Professors").
At Harvard, where the faculty is over 82% "liberal" or "very liberal," but only 1.46% "conservative" and 0.0% "very conservative" - compared with the general population which is about 35% conservative, 25% liberal, and 35% moderate - a senior professor complains that:
- “The Harvard Commencement is something like the Democratic National Convention"
- "I don’t think a conservative has been hired in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in the last decade. And it’s probably been going on longer than that."
- "if you’re conservative and want to get on with your colleagues, you have to indulge in self-censorship . ."
- "I think a number of students do that ['indulge in self-censorship'] as well [as faculty]."
Students Fear Speaking Freely
At GWU, Prof Turley reports that he routinely has visits from students who wonder if they dare to speak freely in classes without being penalized by professors; a fear he has heard about only in the past several years.
He suggests that "it is the widespread fear of conservative students who have faced faculties with overwhelmingly liberal viewpoints and growing intolerance on virtually every campus."
Clearly, one of those faculties with overwhelmingly liberal viewpoints is GWU. The National Jurist has just reported that of all the American law schools it was able to rank, 89% "fall on the liberal side of the divide."
More precisely, 4 law schools were labeled "Most Conservative," 14 were "Conservative," 23 were "Moderate," 80 were "Liberal," and another 57 were "Very Liberal." Then, even more off to the left in philosophical leaning, was a smaller group of only 16 law schools - including GWU Law School - which were labeled "Most Liberal."
Turley notes that what is happening at GWU Law School is happening on many campuses, and suggests that "it is the widespread fear of conservative students who have faced faculties with overwhelmingly liberal viewpoints and growing intolerance on virtually every campus."
"A new study at North Carolina confirms how conservative students routinely 'self-censor' and do not feel comfortable sharing their views in classes. Not surprisingly given the heavy liberal makeup of faculties, liberal students feel little such fear over retaliation."
Indeed, Turley notes that another study "finds that only nine percent of law school professors identify as conservative at the top 50 law schools"; a very sharp [40%] drop from fifteen percent only a few years ago in 2017.
More recently he wrote that "other faculty . . . are fearful of being publicly targeted by their colleagues or students. In three decades of teaching, I have never seen this level of intolerance and the general lack of support for free speech on many campuses."
Although there may be no concrete evidence that any GWU law professor even penalized a student because he was conservative or libertarian, the concern - if not fear - that this could happen may not be completely unreasonable.
That's because GWU's law students probably have read of many instances at GWU, and on other campuses, where students have been punished by their universities for what they said or otherwise expressed.
Banzhaf notes, for example, that, according to a formal complaint filed with the Department of Education, students at the University of Vermont were in fact penalizing with lower grades because of what they said.
More specifically, the formal legal complaint alleged that: "During the last half-year, she has threatened [apparently on social media] to lower the grades of Jewish students for whom Zionism is integral to their Jewish identity"; an identity which is described as "demonstrat[ing] pride in their shared Jewish ancestry and ethnicity by expressing support for a Jewish homeland."
But few at Harvard or GWU seem to think there is a serious problem if students are afraid to speak for fear of being penalized by faculty for expressing certain views.
Even if there is no evidence that this has even happened - and it's hard to see how there could ever be such evidence of actions taken in the privacy of a faculty office unless a professor was stupid enough to brag about it - it does suggest a toxic poisonous atmosphere of distrust where many very bright and enthusiastic young law students are afraid that one of their law professors might engage in conduct which is not only unethical, but could even lead to disbarment.
At Harvard, for example, the editors of Harvard's Crimson wrote that they disagree sharply "that a more even distribution of faculty along a conservative-liberal binary would increase productive disagreement in any meaningful way. We find little reason to believe that. In fact, boiling down ideological and intellectual diversity to such limited labels strikes us as downright reductive."
So, at Harvard, whose motto is "Veritas" (truth), as well as at what some have called GWU (perhaps half jokingly) "The Harvard on the Potomac," as well as at many other universities, truth may be dying if students are afraid to say what they believe to be true for fear of being penalized, argues Professor Banzhaf.