[“A new website is asking students and others to “expose and document” professors who “discriminate against conservative students, promote anti-American values and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom.””]
FYI - I read many different news sources and first learned about this here…
“We need to resist censorship of cyberspace” [Al Jazeera]…
Good to read; New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, and international: BBC, UK Guardian, Al Jazeera, UK Times, etc.
Seriously, the alarm bell word in all this is “free markets”. This means it is a libertarian website, probably with ties to the Koch brothers, who have infiltrated universities across the country with their brand of voodoo economics.
So it’s one random website. Far from a vast right wing conspiracy.
And a consistency check - if a professor goes on an anti-homosexual or right-wing propaganda rant, should a student “expose and document” that?
Higher Ed tends to be a liberal echo chamber in certain areas of study. What is tricky is the lopsided balance of power. Say you’re going to Iowa State; would it be helpful to know that Prof Jones will fail you if you mention you voted for Trump? My freshman year of college (around '90), my English prof told us outright that males would have to work harder to earn a grade in her class since we benefited from patriarchy. Guess what complaints accomplished before social media? One more piece of paper for the dean to throw in the trash can.
Right. And the student newspaper was completely uninterested in following up on this tasty bit of controversy? Students didn’t get together to protest, they just meekly agreed to the professor’s terms? No rich conservative alums protested that they would never donate to the school again?
I call bullshit, unless you’ve got a cite. (And by the way, if that did happen, it is completely unacceptable.)
The idea of the website is, imho, a bad one though I believe I can understand why they created it. (I think the Heterodox Academy is a better idea, go read it and maybe you will have a better understanding)
There have been a bunch of studies that point to professors discriminating against conservatives in hiring/peer review/etc.
Here is a peer reviewed study* that found that 30% of academics would discriminate against conservatives in hiring. Link 1. Link to Study.
Another one that found in psychology one third of social psychologists would discriminate against openly conservative colleagues. Link.
I see no reason to assume that the academics who admitted that they would discriminate against conservative colleagues would not stoop to doing the same to students.
Interestingly, some of the numbers in those studies make little sense. For example, 53% of English professors admit that they would be less likely to hire a conservative. That is rather odd as one would think that political ideology wouldn’t be a huge issue in the English department.
I believe you, but you do know your cites aren’t as strong as they could be, right? The first one suggests that at least one liberal leader DOES have a capacity for self-reflection, which is probably not the point you were trying to make.
The second is a site that helpfully tells me the cost of buying the book - it does not provide contents of the study in a way that we can meaningfully respond. I guess we’ll just have to take your word for it.
Again, I believe this is a legitimate point, but your cite is a bit frustrating. The study was done by a university in the Netherlands, and I couldn’t see any evidence to indicate WHERE the research was done. Was it in the US? Because if it was in another country, it’s not really all that conclusive for American university dynamics.
Sample size of n=1, but I actually had a social psychology class this last quarter. The professor managed to carefully discuss the differences between conservatives and democrats without judgment on either one. My psychology statistics prof TOLD us he was conservative. His peers respect him, as do his students.
I’m largely apolitical in the classroom anyway, but I’ve really steered away from politics this year cuz it’s been such a polarizing election.
IRL, I’m a flaming lefty but have never been big on pondering from the ivory pulpit; I find study of things like social media and consumerism more productive and interesting. Though, of course, everything can be politicized, I just find other topics more interesting and appropriate for composition courses.
I have some colleagues who are intent on “converting” students who are on the conservative spectrum p and I know they’ve made some students really uncomfortable to the point of dropping a course. I don’t avoid political conversations that come up organically in class, I just prefer to teach with other topics In comp and lit.
In grad school I had the left-iest prof who ever walked the Earth. We didn’t learn much about Marxist theory, but we sure knew every little nuance of his personal politics (and, of course, he drove a 7 Series BMW and owned two homes in the third most expensive city in the U.S. :D)
One of our students went to the dean this semester because his prof called him “deluded and emotionally reyarded” for supporting Trump in front of the entire class. The student, rightfully so, got a full tuition refund and placed in a different class.
I’m don’t buy into Special Snowflake Syndrome, of which we have plenty - but jeez, teaching by humiliation is indefensible.
Sorry, I missed that the study respondents were SPSP members (that’s not specified in the abstract).Given that the authors aren’t American, I wouldn’t automatically assume that everyone who responded was American. With some digging, I found that 74% of the members of SPSP are in the US. So now we know that a group of social psychologists, about three-quarters American, cop to political bias in hiring. That’s something, but not definitive. Are we sure that academics in, for example, hard sciences like physics and chemistry also express the same bias?
On the first link: when Nicholas Kristof takes time for self reflection, I think that’s a good thing, and I applaud that capacity. For Shodan to dismiss it because “one person” said it is silly - last time I checked, Nicholas Kristof was a pretty significant “one person.” (All I’m asking is for credit to be given where it’s due - seriously, don’t you think it is promising that Kristof was able to be objective enough to write such a piece? I do.)
Regarding the second link - am I supposed to click through to something else? Because I still don’t see anything on the link except the cover of the book, a brief abstract, and a price. There’s no information there that would permit analysis and dissection of the arguments made.
I suspect my overall point is getting lost in the noise, anyway. My “feelings” tell me that yes, a study, or studies, showing liberal bias in university hiring is likely to be correct. Those Kristof quotes (the whole “reality has a liberal bias” schtick) rang very true. But we’re supposed to set aside feelings and engage with objective facts. I’d like to see more of those so that I can form a more informed opinion. That is all.
If 30% of Republicans said they would not hire a black person, and Paul Ryan said that was discrimination, would you say that the takeaway should be “it’s promising that a significant Republican sees that this is discrimination”?