Conservatives are Hiding in Academia

, Malcolm A. Kline, 2 Comments

harvard university photoOne way to measure the left-wing bias in academia is by looking at the degree to which those who don’t subscribe to that point of view go to camouflage their outlook on life.  “Approximately a third of the conservatives we interviewed, for example, concealed their politics prior to tenure by ‘passing’ as liberals,” Jon A. Shields and Joshua M. Dunn, Sr., write in their book, Passing On the Right: Conservative Professors In the Progressive University.

Shields teaches at Claremont McKenna College. Dunn is an associate professor at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

They travelled extensively in order to gather their subjects. “During these regional trips, we interviewed as many professors as possible, completing 153 interviews at eighty-four colleges and universities,” Shields and Dunn report. “With one exception, the identities of the professors have been concealed.”

Even with the protection of anonymity, some interview subjects remained wary. “We met our first closeted professor in a leafy park, about one mile from his prestigious research-one university,” Shields and Dunn recount. “Though we found a secluded spot, our subject was edgy and spoke softly.”

“When the sound of footsteps intruded on our sanctuary, he stopped talking altogether, his eyes darting about. As the sound of footsteps receded into the distance, the promise of anonymity returned and our interview resumed.”

“Given the drama of this encounter, one might think that he is concealing something scandalous. In truth, this professor is hiding the fact that he is a Republican. It is a secret he guards with great care.”

“This professor of sociology has been in the closet for the better part of a decade, ever since a successful interview for his first tenure-track job.”


Photo by David Paul Ohmer

Photo by David Paul Ohmer