Political Diversity in Six Disciplines
The inclination toward the political left in the American academy has existed as a presumption for decades. Recently, faculty and students, who found themselves marginalized by reason of the party they support or their religious convictions, have been advancing the cause of intellectual diversity. Their appeal would seem compelling, given the mission of higher education, but it has met opposition in an institution where diversity is defined as sex and race preferences that outweigh alternate considerations in admissions, hiring, and other areas. Until recently, one impediment to their push for intellectual diversity has been the lack of an adequately rigorous body of research to identify and quantify the presumed political imbalance to which they were responding. Daniel Klein et al. have now provided that research base in two studies of faculty affiliation. The first, a nationwide survey of six fields in the humanities, and the second, of party registration of faculty at two schools in California, reveal that an overwhelming and monolithic majority of professors support the Democratic Party. Republicans, conservatives, and libertarians constitute a negligible minority. Klein’s revelations received broad media coverage after an 18 November 2004 New York Times article (A23) directed readers to the data and conclusions via the NAS web site at www.nas.org. The two studies appear formally in print below for the first time.
Related content: Working Paper No. 53
Klein, D.B. & Stern, C. (2005). ”Political Diversity in Six Disciplines.”Academic Questions, 18(1): 40-52.