In an article published by the National Association of Scholars, evidence is presented that almost 40% of colleges across the United States are lacking something vitally important: a Republican professor.
This astonishing prejudice against conservative thought is illuminated by Mitchell Langbert, an associate professor of business at Brooklyn College, who writes, “The political registration of full-time, Ph.D.-holding professors in top-tier liberal arts colleges is overwhelmingly Democratic. Indeed, faculty political affiliations at 39 percent of the colleges in my sample are Republican free—having zero Republicans.”
If that weren’t sinister enough, Langbert adds that of the remaining 61%, most of them feature barely more than 0% GOP professors; he notes that 78.2% of the academic departments that he sampled had either zero Republicans, or “so few as to make no difference.”
Between February 2017 and September 2017, Langbert sampled 8,688 tenure track professors with Ph.Ds from 51 of the top 66 top-ranked liberal arts colleges in the U.S. News 2017 report. Of those 8,688 professors, 5,197 (59.8%) were registered as either Republican or Democrat. He writes, “The mean Democratic-to-Republican ratio (D:R) across the sample is 10.4:1, but because of an anomaly in the definition of what constitutes a liberal arts college in the U.S. News survey, I include two military colleges, West Point and Annapolis. If these are excluded, the D:R ratio is a whopping 12.7:1.”
Langbert points out that in response to the widespread bias displayed at universities, over 1,000 professors and graduate students have started Heterodox Academy, an organization committed to increasing “viewpoint diversity” in higher education.
There were exceptions to the pervasive prejudice against conservatism at colleges and universities, but notably, they were primarily either religious or military colleges. Thomas Aquinas had 33 full-time faculty; all were Republican. West Point and Annapolis were more balanced than most universities; they had D:R ratios of 1.3:1 and 2.3:1. Claremont McKenna and Kenyon colleges also featured more viewpoint diversity.
Langbert also notes the cogent supposition of Daniel B. Klein and Charlotta Stern that the pressure on professors to “publish or perish” fosters left-oriented groupthink. That injunction is downplayed at Thomas Aquinas and St. John’s colleges, allowing more room for viewpoint diversity.