UCSD's profs mostly liberal

    Six is the magic number, but what importance does that number carry for UCSD students? A very biased one, according to American Enterprise magazine. In a recent study, the magazine found that colleges are all but completely overflowing with a certain kind of professor. So if you’re pursuing a Bachelor of Arts, listen up.

    Believe it or not, when it comes to the liberal arts, there are two sides to just about every issue. And while you may be given the arguments from both sides in class, more emphasis can be put on one side than the other. Unlike entry-level science and math, the supposed golden truths heard in your political science classes — or any other liberal arts classes, for that matter — may not be so golden after all. Yes, they’re opinions — informed, but opinions nonetheless.

    While some may argue that facts are facts, what happens when not all the facts are in the curriculum, when some half-truths are disingenuously altered to seem golden, or when some ideas are given more intellectual merit than others? This means that while you might think your teacher’s words — and even assigned texts that are written by opinionated people themselves — are undisputed, there could be a completely different side to the story.

    And that goes for sources from both sides of the political spectrum, liberal or conservative. However, on our college campus, the other side just happens to be conservatism.

    American Enterprise magazine took it upon themselves to cross-reference party registration (by inspecting boards of elections) with professor listings at major universities across the United States. And although in some places the study was limited by available records, the big picture is evident: The number of teachers registered with a party on the left (Democrat, Green, etc.) vastly outnumber those registered with a party on the right (Republican, Libertarian, etc.).

    Here at UCSD, out of a total 105 for which records were available, the number of professors registered on the right is six. Six! The number of professors registered on the left: 99. Yes, you read it right. We hardly have what you could call a politically “”diverse”” professorship.

    Here’s what the UC Office of the President has to say about diversity: “”Faculty … affirmative action and diversity … develops, implements, coordinates and manages university-wide outreach, recruitment and retention efforts intended to enhance the diversity of the university’s … faculty populations.””

    I happen to believe in the increasingly archaic school of thought that if you institute a policy it should be consistent. If the UC system wants to implement an affirmative action diversity policy, why does it not apply to diverse political backgrounds, why only race?

    Universities, the champions of diversity, have shown their true colors: Diversity doesn’t apply when it comes to conservative teachers. Diversity? Well, only for the color of your skin or your gender. How about we all get past skin color and throwing around terms like “”racist”” or “”sexist”” whenever anyone disagrees with what we believe?

    Furthermore, of the teachers surveyed at the UC Berkeley, seven teachers were registered on the right, compared with 59 on the left. At the University of California at Santa Barbara, one percent of surveyed teachers are registered on the right. One percent! At UCLA, it’s slightly higher at six percent.

    But it doesn’t stop with the UC campuses. The same problem plagues Harvard’s political science department (29 on the left, one on the right; four percent on the right overall), Williams College (four on the right out of over 200 total), Stanford (11 percent on the right) and Cornell (three percent on the right). The list goes on and on.

    Another study conducted by the Center for the Study of Popular Culture verifies the findings of the American Enterprise study. This study found that only three percent of Ivy League professors called themselves Republicans. The percentage crept up to only six percent — slightly better, but still disturbingly low — when the word “”conservative”” was used.

    Is the tilt in professorship consistent with the general population? No. A recent Associated Press poll showed we’re still evenly split, 40 to 40 (percent), between Democrats and Republicans (the rest undecided or abstaining) when asked what party we will vote for this November. Do the 2000 elections ring a bell?

    There’s no spin here; odds are that the vast majority or possibly even all of your teachers will, in fact, be liberals.

    Of course, this wouldn’t be a problem if you listen to supporters of schoolroom bias when they try to divert your attention by saying, “”The individual political preference of a teacher is left outside the classroom door.”” But let me tell you, that’s patently false.

    Who is it, I ask, that picks the textbooks you read for class, designs the lectures, controls the debate and otherwise has the most influence on your education? Yes, that’s right: your professors. And if you were to have a healthy balance of teachers from across the political spectrum, you could choose what best defines you politically, be it the right or the left. Yet in colleges today, you might never encounter a conservative teacher in your four-year stay.

    An even more astonishing argument from the supporters is, “”So what?”” So what! Well, what if the tables were turned? What if conservatives held over 90 percent of university professorships? Would there be outrage? You bet. And I’d be right there challenging the inconsistency if they touted diversity in their policies.

    Yet this would be no problem at all if diversity weren’t proclaimed to be the answer to everything wrong with society. Does everyone not see the laughable irony that as colleges champion “”diversity”” as one of the main concerns facing society, there’s no political diversity in their own backyard?

    Colleges have become their own worlds, separate from society. And the frightening thing is that, as students, we’re attending in record numbers. I have but one question: Where’s the fair and balanced education we’re all paying tens of thousands of dollars for?

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