EXCLUSIVE REPORT: 100 percent of SMU administrators, 98.8 percent of faculty donate to Dems

Grace Gottschling
Investigative Reporter

  • A Campus Reform analysis has found that an overwhelming majority of faculty and administrators at Southern Methodist University contributed financially to Democrat candidates and causes from 2017-2018.
  • SMU employees donated a grand total of $85,037.43 during this time frame, 98.5 percent of which went to Democrat candidates and causes.
  • Southern Methodist University might be the home of former President George W. Bush’s presidential library, but the overwhelming majority of faculty members and administrators at the Dallas-area school don’t share the 43rd president’s party affiliation. 

    Campus Reform analyzed the donation records of Southern Methodist University employees from 2017-2018, using publicly available records from the Federal Election Commission, in order to determine the political leanings of faculty and administrators at the college.

    "According to a Campus Reform analysis, 100 percent of all SMU administrators who donated to political candidates or causes gave a total of $13,598.50 to Democrat politicians or Democrat organizations."   

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    According to a Campus Reform analysis, 100 percent of all SMU administrators who donated to political candidates or causes gave a total of $13,598.50 to Democrat politicians or Democrat organizations, such as the Progressive Turnout Project and Battleground Texas.

    In total, SMU employees donated $85,037.43 from 2017-2018. Of that amount, 98.5 percent were made to Democrat politicians or Democrat organizations, while just 1.6 percent of the donations were made to Republican politicians or Republican organizations.

    SMU faculty members, specifically, donated a total of $65,253.99 to politicians or political organizations. They contributed 98.8 percent of the money to Democrat politicians or organizations, such as Act Blue and Swing Left. Just 1.2 percent of donations went to Republican politicians or Republican causes.

    Meanwhile, SMU administrators donated exclusively to Democrat political candidates and politicians, such as Beto O’Rourke and Jon Ossoff, who ran for Congress in 2017 in Georgia’s sixth congressional district. SMU administrators also donated to Democrat organizations, like Emily’s List, which advocates for abortion access. SMU administrators made no donations to Republican politicians or Republican organizations from 2017-2018.

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    Swing Left and Act Blue received the highest amount in donations in the Democrat and Democrat category while Donald J. Trump for President received the highest amount in donations in the Republican category.

    For the purposes of this data, Campus Reform defined “faculty” as employees of the college that have direct instructional contact with students, such as professors, teachers, and instructors. “Administrators” were defined as employees who manage programming or are responsible for students and faculty, such as department chairs, deans, presidents, and provosts. 

    Campus Reform sorted individual donors using their stated position at the college. For example, if the individual donor noted that they were a “professor of literary theory,” they were designated as a faculty member. If an individual noted that they were employed as an “executive director,” they were designated as an administrator. Campus Reform used a variation of keyword searches to cull data specific to SMU employees. 

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Grace_Gotcha





    Grace Gottschling

    Grace Gottschling

    Investigative Reporter

    Grace Gottschling is the Investigative Reporter for Campus Reform. She is a recent graduate of The College of New Jersey and has experience traveling across the country to engage and train others in pro-life apologetics. Grace manages research and Freedom of Information Act records requests for Campus Reform.

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