EXCLUSIVE REPORT: Fla. midterm results in limbo, majority of UMiami admin., faculty donate to Dems

With the results of Florida’s midterm election in limbo, it’s anyone’s guess as to who the winner will be, both in the U.S. Senate race and the Florida governor’s race. Currently, all eyes are on South Florida’s Broward and Miami-Dade Counties, where the majority of the election controversy is centered. 

Young voter turnout hit record levels in the 2018 midterms, but it remains unclear what impact college administrators and faculty could have had on the election results. As part of a continuing series, Campus Reform analyzed the donation records of University of Miami 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 Miami-Dade County school.

[RELATED: With Florida midterm recount underway, college admin, faculty could affect results]

According to a Campus Reform analysis, 86.55 percent of all UMiami administrators who donated to political candidates or causes gave a total of $22,528.98 to Democrat politicians or Democrat organizations, such as former Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala’s Congressional campaign.

In total, UMiami employees donated $340,894.11 from 2017-2018. Of that amount, 92.98 percent were made to Democrat politicians or Democrat organizations, while just 7.02 percent of the donations were made to Republican politicians or Republican organizations. Only 21 UMiami employees donated Republican, eight of whom were faculty members.

Two hundred ninety-three faculty members, specifically, donated a total of $245,543.62 to politicians or political organizations. They contributed 96.79 percent of the money to Democrat politicians or organizations. Just 3.21 percent of donations went to Republican causes or politicians, like Florida congressional candidate, Julio Gonzalez.

Meanwhile, 38 administrators donated $22,528.98 to Democrat political candidates and politicians. According to the records, only one UMiami administrator made a contribution to Republican politicians or Republican organizations from 2017-2018.

Act Blue and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee received the highest amount of donations in the Democrat category.

[RELATED: EXCLUSIVE REPORT: 96.1 percent of University of Texas administrators, 93.5 percent of faculty donated to Dems]

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. In the event an employee’s title was ambiguous and could not be confirmed, they were marked as general employees, but not sorted into faculty or administration categories. Campus Reform used a variation of keyword searches to cull data specific to University of Miami employees. 

Campus Reform used the most recent FEC donor records from Jan. 1, 2017 to Oct. 22, 2018.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Grace_Gotcha