NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


December 8, 2004

At many universities, finding a Republican anywhere on the faculty is problematic, says Bruce Bartlett, a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis.

Two recent studies by Santa Clara University economist Daniel B. Klein prove this point. In one study, he looked at party registration of the faculty at Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley. He found 7.7 registered Democrats for each Republican at the former and 9.9 Democrats per Republican at the latter.

In certain departments, Republicans are literally nonexistent:

  • There are no Republicans in either the anthropology or sociology departments at Stanford or UC-Berkeley.
  • At Berkeley, the ratio of Democrats to Republicans is 11 to 1 in the economics department and 14 to 1 in the political science department.
  • Stanford is a model of intellectual diversity by contrast, with a Democrat/Republican ratio of 7 to 3 in economics and 9 to 1 in political science.

In a larger study, Klein looked at voting patterns from a survey of academics throughout the country. He found:

  • In anthropology, there are more than 30 votes cast for Democratic candidates for each one cast for a Republican.
  • In sociology, the ratio is 28 to 1; Republicans do best among economists, who only vote Democratic by a 3 to 1 margin.
  • In political science, the ratio is 6.7 to 1. On average, across all departments, Democrats get 15 votes for every one going to Republicans.

Not surprisingly, the ideological orientation of college faculty skews heavily toward the left, explains Bartlett. According to a survey in the Chronicle of Higher Education, 47.9 percent of all professors at public universities consider themselves to be liberal, with another 6.2 percent classifying themselves as far left. Only 31.8 percent say that they are middle of the road and just 13.8 percent are conservative.

Source: Bruce Bartlett, "Intellectual Diversity in the Classroom," National Center for Policy Analysis, December 8, 2004.


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