Saturday, April 9, 2016

Political Diversity in Higher Ed

I try so hard to keep it inside
So no one can hear
--Til Tuesday

Georgetown b-school prof questions why universities do not recruit for political and ideological diversity with at least the same priority as cultural or ethnic diversity. After all, a primary objective of higher ed is exposing minds to a variety of ideological perspectives, something can hardly be done when faculty selection processes favor ideological homogeneity.

The author states that he has been involved in searches in which the chair of the search committee stated that no libertarian candidates would be considered, and when candidates were dismissed because of their associations with conservative or libertarian institutions.

He then cites some of the many studies that indicate how lopsided the political ideologies of university faculties tend to be--with some disciplines, such as sociology, almost completely void of conservative or libertarian professors (see for example here, here, here).

I witness the consequences of this bias daily in the classroom. Having been inculcated with singular ideological perspectives, many students are incapable of articulating other possibilities, or of critiquing the opinions that they have come to hold.

I also routinely see it in scholarship, particularly in research that has 'policy' implications. It is rare to read an journal article that considers merits of less rather than more intervention in private affairs.

More balance in political ideology among faculty would certainly heighten learning in higher ed.

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