The Corner

Politics & Policy

No Leftist Bias in Higher Ed? A Professor Disagrees

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It’s plain to any objective observer that American higher education has become completely suffused with leftism. Most of the faculty and administrators are sympathetic to every “progressive” notion and push those beliefs as much as possible. Our colleges and universities have become magnets for people on the Left and others are unwanted.

And yet, on occasion, we find leftist academics saying that higher ed isn’t loaded with ideological bias. Recently, a pair of Harvard scholars penned an essay for that reliably leftist organ The Chronicle of Higher Education making that argument.

In today’s Martin Center article, one of the remaining non-leftists, Professor Mitchell Langbert, takes issue with their “no bias” claim.

Langbert writes, “Left-wing bias pervades higher education, and since the COVID-19 lockdowns, colleges have carried left-wing bias to greater extremes than ever. At Brooklyn College (a part of the City University of New York), where I work, a faculty group called ‘Rank and File Action’ just emailed a university-wide invitation to an event featuring the Marxist Democratic Socialists of America chapter at LaGuardia Community College. RFA describes itself as ‘a group of militant rank & file activists at CUNY challenging the culture of austerity in higher education and demanding a more democratic fighting union.’ Is there any counterweight to RFA? Of course not.”

He recounts some of the numerous examples of hostility toward faculty members and students who don’t go along with leftist ideas. There would be more, except for the fact that most have learned to keep quiet when they encounter aggressive “social justice” types, lest they find themselves targets for the intolerant.

Langbert also lacerates the poor methodology of the authors in arriving at their conclusion that there isn’t any problem of left-wing bias on our campuses.

He concludes, “The professoriate is left-wing, and the most important portion of the professoriate with respect to political ideology, the social scientists at elite institutions, are almost universally so.”

Fortunately, Professor Langbert has tenure and a tough hide.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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