POLL: 75 percent of Yale professors identify as liberal
- A recent survey by the school newspaper found that 75% of Yale University faculty members identify as "liberal" or "very liberal," dwarfing the 10% who lean conservative.
- The results raised concerns among some professors about the lack of intellectual diversity on campus, but Yale President Peter Salovey thinks the results are “neither a positive nor a negative.”
A recent survey shows that nearly 75 percent of Yale University faculty members identify as liberals, while a paltry 10 percent claim to be conservative.
According to the study conducted by The Yale Daily News, 34 percent of faculty respondents claimed they were “somewhat liberal,” with another 41 percent identifying as “very liberal.”
Meanwhile, 18 percent identified as “moderate,” eight percent as “conservative,” and just two percent said they were “very conservative.”
The study also found that a staggering 90 percent of Yale faculty, including majority of conservative professors, oppose the Trump administration.
“We talk about diversity in every area of the university except the one that counts, and that’s intellectual diversity,” political science Professor Steven Smith told the Daily News, adding that universities at their core “are basically and fundamentally devoted to the study and investigation of ideas.”
Similarly, Professor David Gelernter, a former candidate for science advisor in President Trump’s administration, expressed surprise that his colleagues didn’t lean even more to the left.
“Students who leave the academic world run a chance, at least, of discovering new approaches to the world and turning conservative,” he explained. “But those who stay within academia tend to keep thinking what they’ve been taught to think.”
University President Peter Salovey, however, doesn’t think the study’s findings are an issue, saying the results are “neither a positive nor a negative.”
In contrast to his views on racial diversity, the lack of which he has identified as the “single biggest problem” for Yale, Salovey refused to endorse any explicit efforts to improve viewpoint diversity among the faculty because he does not feel the matter is relevant to most fields of study.
“It’s in the educational interest of students to be exposed to a diversity of political viewpoints,” he acknowledged, but suggested that “in most fields, the political point of view of faculty members is not relevant to the substance of their teaching.”
Notably, the survey found that the skew is especially pronounced among humanities professors, 90 percent of whom reported liberal leanings, compared to 69 percent of social sciences faculty and 65 percent of STEM faculty.
Indeed, Campus Reform found that, as of September 24 during the 2016 election, 87 percent of all Ivy League donations had gone to Democratic candidates, along with 99 percent of donations from top liberal arts professors.
“We’ve been going along this way for a long time really, decades, and I don’t see a likelihood that it’s going to change,” Lecturer Charles Hill told the Daily News. “There are various sectors in American life and…certain sectors are going to lean more one way than another along a political spectrum.”
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