Faculties Are Liberal Because Conservatives Don't Seek Academic Careers, Study Finds
The oft-noted dominance of liberals on American faculties has spawned a host of research about the source and effect of the pattern, but according to an unpublished study described in today's New York Times, the past research has been focused on the symptoms, not the cause. Rather than ask why most professors are liberals, the study finds a more fruitful line of inquiry is to ask why liberals seek to become academics, and conservatives do not. The new research -- "Why Are Professors Liberal?," by Neil Gross, of the University of British Columbia, and Ethan Fosse, a doctoral student at Harvard, both sociologists -- says that faculty positions are "typecast" just like any other jobs that are also overwhelmingly held by one gender, such as nursing (women), or one political outlook, such as law enforcement (conservative). "Occupational reputations affect people's career aspirations," said Mr. Gross. The research, which echoes similar findings in a paper published two years ago by Matthew and Kellie Woessner, found that intentional discrimination against conservatives in hiring was an insignificant factor in the pattern; rather, conservatives were simply choosing not to enter the field.
What do you think, ONTD? Have you had mostly liberal professors? What was the atmosphere at your campus like regarding professors' leanings? source