Over at Campus Reform, the conservative site dedicated to spotlighting left-wing bias on college campuses, reporter Grace Gottschling has been issuing some provocative, if not exactly surprising, reports on the partisan tilt of some schools’ administration and staff. There have been three so far. Most recently, she determined that 98.4 % of University of Missouri administrators and 97.6% of faculty donated to Democratic Party candidates or causes. Previously, her research covered the University of Oregon, where 100% of administrators, and 99.95% of faculty have donated to Democrats—she found that a grand total $35.17, .0005% of the political contributions of 201 faculty members, went to Republicans—and the University of Texas, where the numbers were 96.1% of administrators, and 93.5% of faculty supporting Democrats.
Gottschling doesn’t say it–her reports just lay out the facts—so I will. It is impossible, literally impossible, for students to receive a balanced, objective and responsible education in institutions with such unbalanced and ideologically uniform campus cultures as these. Culture’s power over human beings has been accurately described as resembling water’s relationship to a fish: it influences everything in the lives of the people in it, often with their never being aware that they are dependent on it and controlled by its limitations. You can choose your own analogies, but active indoctrination into political beliefs and partisan values is hardly necessary when uniform attitudes are all around students, displayed in subtle and not-so subtle ways, every day, all day, in class and out.
It seems so obvious that colleges and universities cannot conceivably achieve their stated goals as described in their published mission statements and promotional materials without the ability to open minds instead of closing them. I have to conclude that they know they are running ideological indoctrination camps, and that it is by design. “Our community is at our best when we affirm, respect, support, and celebrate what makes us different” claims the University of Oregon, except that it has no interest in employing or graduating people who think differently. With all the extolling of diversity, intellectual diversity, which is the most important kind of diversity of all, has no place on these campuses. Oregon commits to a “willingness to listen to and learn from the people around us,” but since the people it deliberately surrounds its student body with all see the world in exactly the same way, this is a deceitful admission that indoctrination is the objective, not opening minds and teaching critical thinking skills.
This homogeneous hive culture could not have developed accidentally, and it definitely is being preserved with intent and purpose. The schools know they are ideological monoliths, but rationalize the campus hostility to non-conforming views by arguing that their own views are the smart, right, good ones. Of course smart people all support the same things.
This issue should not be a partisan one, and it gives us a sense of how driven by power lust rather than principle that progressives are not as troubled by these statistics (and the ones to come—I can’t wait to see the equivalent stats for my schools, both of which are good bets to make the University of Oregon look like Bob Jones U.) as conservatives are. The state of universities reveal generations of betraying the ideals of liberal education. Meanwhile, everyone else was asleep at the switch. How could the public, policy-makers, journalists, researchers, scholars, faculties and educators allow such extreme lack of diversity to accumulate on campuses over the decades? Conservatives are equally accountable for leaving vulnerable young minds unprotected from what appears to be a deliberate, long-term plan to recruit movement soldiers rather than to train intellectually skilled, inquiring and versatile citizens of a democracy.
The question is whether anything can be done about the consequences. The water is polluted; we let it get that way. It is poisoning democracy. Now what?