Monday, December 24, 2007

College Communists

Education Reporter has an article on the political beliefs of college professors. Perhaps the most interesting finding: "17.6% of social sciences professors declared a Marxist political identity". Read it all.


44% of professors who responded to the survey classified themselves as liberal, 46% as moderate, and 9% as conservative. The study's authors, Neil Gross and Solon Simmons, were surprised to find so many moderate professors, but other academics attending the presentation disagreed with their conclusions. Much of the conservatism and moderation in higher education cropped up in certain subcategories: the health science professions, for example, and community colleges and non-elite universities.

At community colleges, 37% of professors identified themselves as liberal, 44% as moderate, and 19% as conservative. Professors at liberal arts colleges were most likely to identify themselves as liberal: 61% were liberal, and just 4% conservative. Elite Ph.D.-granting institutions were fairly close behind, with 57% liberal, 33% moderate and 10% conservative.

Business and health sciences professors helped to boost the representation of moderate and conservative views at both elite and non-elite Ph.D.-granting universities, compared to liberal arts colleges. 20.5% of health sciences professors are liberal, 20.5% are conservative, and 59% are moderate. Business professors are another less liberal group, with 24.5% conservative, 54% moderate, and 21.5% liberal.

Predictably, humanities and social sciences professors were most likely to lean left. 17.6% of social sciences professors declared a Marxist political identity. Marxism also claimed 5% support in the humanities, and negligible support in other disciplines. 88% of social sciences professors voted for John Kerry in 2004, and 84% of humanities professors. Half of the social sciences professors who did not vote for Kerry voted for non-mainstream candidates, leaving the Republican Party with just 6% of their vote. Only health sciences professors supported Bush in 2004, by a narrow margin of 52% of votes for Bush and 48% for Kerry. Overall, 78% of academics voted for Kerry.

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