A recent Pew Research Center survey reveals that only half of American adults think that colleges and universities are having a positive effect on our nation. The political bias towards the left, sustained by members of the faculty affiliated with the Democratic Party, in most higher education institutions explains much of that disappointment. Professors Mitchell Langbert and Sean Stevens document this bias in "Partisan Registration and Faculty Contributions in Emblematic Colleges."
Langbert and Stevens conducted a new study on the political affiliation of 12,372 professors in the two main private and two public universities in 31 states. For the party registration, they found a Democratic to Republican (D: R) ratio of 8.5: 1, which varied according to the range of the institution and the region. For donations to political candidates (using the Federal Elections Commission database), they found a D: R ratio of 95: 1, with only 22 Republican donors, compared to 2,081 Democratic donors.
Several consistent findings have emerged from the study by Langbert and Stevens. The proportion of professors who identify or are registered as Democrats versus Republicans almost always favors the Democratic Party. Democratic professors outnumber their Republican counterparts more in humanities and social sciences, compared to natural sciences and engineering. The ratio is 42: 1 in anthropology, 27: 1 in sociology and 27: 1 in English. In the social sciences, the registered Democratic faculty outnumbers its Republican counterparts less in 3: 1 economy. The partisan political inclination is more extreme in the best-qualified institutions.
The leftist bias in our colleges and universities has many harmful effects. Let's see some. At the University of California, Davis, last month, a math teacher faced a considerable reaction because of her opposition to the "diversity statement" requirement of the faculty. The University of California, San Diego, requires that job seekers admit the "barriers" that prevent women and minorities from fully participating in campus life. At American University, a history professor recently wrote a book in which he advocates the repeal of the Second Amendment. A professor at Rutgers University said: "Seeing the Iowa Caucus is a disgusting sign of the overrepresentation of whiteness."
The University of California, Berkeley, professor and former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich intervened to say: “Think about this: Iowa is 90.7% white. Iowa is now the only state with a lifelong vote ban for people with a felony conviction. Blacks make up 4% of the Iowa population but 26% of the prison population. How is this representative of our electorate? A professor at Williams College said he would advocate for social justice to be included in math textbooks. Wayne State University students no longer have to take a single math course to graduate; however, they may soon be required to take a diversity course.
Then there is a question about loyalty to our nation. Charles Lieber, former president of the Harvard Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, was arrested earlier this year on charges that he made a materially false, fictional and fraudulent statement about the work he did for a program run by the Chinese government that seeks to attract American talent to China. He was paid $ 50,000 a month and up to $ 158,000 in living expenses for his work, which involved cultivating young teachers and students, according to court documents. According to the Department of Justice, Lieber helped China "cultivate high-level scientific talent to foster China's scientific development, economic prosperity and national security."
They are not just Harvard teachers. Recently found court records reveal that Emory University neuroscientist Li Xiao-Jiang was fired in late 2019 after being accused of lying about his own ties to China. Li was part of the same Chinese program as Lieber. A jury found a professor at the University of California in Los Angeles guilty of exporting stolen US military technology to China. Newsweek reported that he was sentenced on June 26 for 18 federal charges. Meanwhile, NBC reported that federal prosecutors say the professor at the University of Texas, Bo Mao, tried to steal technology from the United States using his position as a professor to gain access to protected circuits and then hand them over to the Chinese telecommunications giant , Huawei.
The real tragedy is that many Americans are blind to the fact that today's colleges and universities pose a threat on several fronts for the well-being of our nation.
Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. For more information about Walter E. Williams and to read the characteristics of other writers and artists of Creators Syndicate, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.