Phi Beta Cons

Naysaying a New Study on Politically Imbalanced Faculties

A study soon to appear in the journal PS: Political Science & Politics affirms that faculties tilt left but, as Inside Higher Ed reports, “deflates the idea that cadres of tenured radicals are somehow corrupting America’s youth — or scaring them into adopting new political views.”
Daniel B. Klein, who has written about predominantly liberal, pro-government faculty, criticizes the authors for not having “done more tracing why students move from one political category of identification to another,” in which case, he adds, “they likely would have found some correlation with the political leanings of professors.”
Moreover, Klein sharply faults the study for neglecting the “opportunity cost.” “Even if it were true that students totally took a Bart Simpson attitude toward their college professors and were completely uninfluenced by them, I still think it would be a tragedy that during those four years, they were not getting the good stuff,” i.e., they were deprived of exposure to the ideas of such figures as Adam Smith and Friedrich Hayek.
The dominance of left-wing faculty has consequences. Period.

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