Thomas Sowell

The lopsided imbalance among college professors in their political parties is a symptom of the problem, rather than the fundamental problem itself.

If physicists taught physics and economists taught economics, what they did on their own time politically would be no more relevant than whether they go swimming or sky diving on their days off. But politics is intruded, not only into the classroom, but into hiring decisions as well.

Even top scholars who are conservatives are unlikely to be hired by many colleges and universities. Similarly with people training to become public school teachers. Some in schools of education have said that, to be qualified, you have to see teaching as a means of social change -- meaning change in a leftward direction.

Such attitudes lead to lopsided politics among professors. At Stanford University, for example, the faculty includes 275 registered Democrats and 36 registered Republicans.

Such ratios are not uncommon at other universities -- despite all the rhetoric about "diversity." Only physical diversity seems to matter.

Inbred ideological narrowness shows up, not only in hiring and teaching, but also in restrictive campus speech codes for students, created by the very academics who complain loudly when their own "free speech" is challenged.

So long as voters, taxpayers, university trustees, and parents tolerate all this, so long it will continue.


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate

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