From Zogby comes news that the public may be waking up to the problem of campus bias. According to a new poll, 58% of Americans believe the political bias of professors is a “serious problem” with 39% saying it is “very serious.” To no one’s surprise, the poll reveals a sharp divide between liberals and conservatives, with only 3% of liberals stating that the problem is “serious” compared to 91% of those who described themselves as “very conservative.”
Notably, the poll also noted scant support for tenure, with 65% believing that non-tenured professors were more motivated to do a good job in the classroom.
If these poll results are real (Zogby surveyed a large sample — 9,464 adults – and claims a margin of error of only 1%, but the poll was also “online,” which raises a host of questions), then this could be a leading indicator that campus bias may soon emerge as a serious political issue, on par with the media bias debate that has raged for decades.
My own sense is that the conservative media is paying more attention to campus abuses than ever before, and that persistent attention will result in slowly (but inexorably) increasing public awareness. I’ll wait for more evidence to declare that we’ve reached a tipping point, but progress is being made.