The Myth of the Liberal Professor

Well there is some whining today in the AJC today about lack of conservative professors in America’s Colleges and Universities.

Let’s look at a few claims.

Colleges and universities are widely known to have overwhelmingly liberal faculties; most institutions have only a few, if any, conservative professors.

Correction: Colleges and universities are widely believed to have overwhelmingly liberal faculties; most institutions are believed to have only a few if any conservative professors. However, this belief is unsupported by any evidence. I know of no college dedicated to upholding the politics of the left, whereas there are many colleges dedicated to upholding the politics of the right. Such colleges are usually affiliated with conservative, evangelical Christianity and require that both students and professors sign statements declaring the commitment to conservative values. I know of no school that does something equivalent for liberal values.

On numerous occasions, I’ve observed firsthand the ridicule that we conservative students are subjected to upon offering a viewpoint other than the professor’s.

Well, my experience with conservatives (and the extreme left) is that they usually take any challenge to their viewpoints as ridicule or biasness. It couldn’t be because they are wrong or haven’t thought through their viewpoints enough? College is about education. These whines from conservatives about liberal bias in education derive from a desire not for education but from a desire for simple approval of their viewpoints. In other words, they don’t want to use college to reexamine their highschool viewpoints, but to rubber stamp them. They whine because their viewpoints can’t stand up to the challenge. If they don’t want challenge, they should go to a bible college.

I have seen students–conservative, liberal, and moderate–be challenged by teachers when they say something not well thought out, mistaken, or just plain stupid. I have been both the student and the teacher.

What student who cares about his academic standing dares contradict a professor utterly convinced of his perspective? Maybe if I didn’t want to get into law school, I would have the courage to risk a real debate!

Pure and utter projection. Professionals, like most professors are, don’t let things like political differences dictate the grades they give. The fact that so many of these whining students imagine that it would happen makes me worry what they would do if they were the professor and some student had different politics.

Pharyngula has blogged this topic before here, here, and here.

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