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Colleges Need Affirmative Action for Conservative Professors
5 years ago

New York

Bill O’Reilly is right. As a devout Democrat and a frequent O’Reilly critic, I never imagined I’d write that sentence. But last week, the conservative Fox news talk-show host said something that makes real sense to me: Universities should institute affirmative action for conservative professors, so all the professors don’t think the way I do.


No, we’re not the wild-eyed Marxists that Mr. O’Reilly and other right-wing pundits sometimes make us out to be. But we are overwhelmingly liberal, as the recent national elections confirmed. At the eight Ivy League schools, for example, a whopping 96 percent of faculty and staff who made campaign donations gave to President Obama’s re-election bid.

At Columbia University, 650 employees wrote checks for the Obama campaign, while only 21 made donations to Mitt Romney. And at Brown, 129 faculty members gave to Mr. Obama, and just one staff member – that’s right, a single individual – donated to Mr. Romney.

It’s not just an Ivy League thing, either. At the University of Wisconsin, only 4.5 percent of faculty and staff donations since 2011 have gone to Republicans. At the University of Connecticut, just 3 percent of campaign donations went to the GOP.

Is this a problem? I think it is. And might a conscious hiring effort on the part of universities – that is, an affirmative action program – help remedy it? I think it would.


To see why, have a look at the Supreme Court’s landmark 1978 affirmative action decision, Regents of the University of California v. Bakke. The ruling barred such quotas for minorities, ruling that race and ethnicity could be used as a &ldquolus” factor – but never as the only factor – in university admissions. The Bakke decision upheld special consideration in admissions for racial and ethnic minorities, on the grounds that “diversity” would enhance universities’ intellectual life.


In his opinion, Justice Lewis F. Powell quoted the Court’s 1967 ruling in Keyishian v. Board of Regents, which struck down mandatory loyalty oaths for public school and university teachers and other state employees. “The Nation’s future depends upon leaders trained through a wide exposure to that robust exchange of ideas which discovers truth ‘out of a multitude of tongues, [rather] than through any kind of authoritative selection,'" the Keyishian decision declared.


Powell also cited in his ruling a 1977 article by William G. Bowen, the then-president of Princeton University and one of the nation’s most articulate defenders of affirmative action. According to Mr. Bowen, as quoted by Powell, a racially diverse university would help students “to learn from their differences and to stimulate one another to reexamine even their most deeply held assumptions about themselves and their world.” The passages from Bowen that Powell references included the observations of a Princeton graduate student, who stated that &ldquoeople do not learn very much when they are surrounded only by the likes of themselves.”


5 years ago

the question that should be asked is why are these profs. like this?  Why are they pro-democrat?  Not all are aging hippies either. 

5 years ago

I think you missed the answer then Sheila, as the illustration is that affirmative action would open the door for more diversity in hiring of professors.  The more you open the door to different thoughts the more you break down the tendency toward only liberal thinking as you are no longer hiring only those from the same school of thought.  This being public and state run and/or supported higher education institutions.

You will find the majority of all private universities are religious schools which tend toward conservatives.  Therefore, students coming from these schools will normally demonstrate a more conservative position.  However, public schools are definitely more liberal.  

I can tell you that my eldest son attended a church supported university for 4 years and maintained his conservative leaning.  He then worked for about 8 years and decided to go back to school, this time to a state-run univeristy.  The difference was unbelievable and he is now a liberal Obama supporter.  The indoctrination he received from liberal professors and fellow liberal students had a huge affect on him.  His wife, who graduated from the same private university as he still maintains her conservative views so there is no discussion of politics in their house any more.  Praying he will open his eyes and get back to where he was; slowly it is happening as he didn't vote for Obama this time, however he didn't vote or Romney either.  By 2016 I hope his head is back on his shoulders right; lol.

But that is part of the illustration, Sheila.  And it is not limited to just the state where he went to school.  I can take you state by state and you will find the same issues; private are conservative and state run public are liberal.  Washington, Idaho, Oregon, California, Utah, Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, etc., it is the same state by state.  I would like to have someone research civil service employees (non-military) and see if there is anything that shows the same tendency.  I know that my observation in Washington State was that most civil service employees followed the same pattern at the State level, but then the state is a blue state, too.

5 years ago

I cannot follow your reasoning that affirm. action opens doors for more  diversity; it is a cycle of continuing their indoctrination.  I am really tired of all of this Linda. 


I am going to wish all a Happy New Year's and I am not going to be actively posting any longer.

I wish everyone the best.

5 years ago

Affirmative action would be great, But private colleges aren't subject to a federal law like this one, so it's not realistic to expect it.

State schools are another animal. I think affirmative action if implemented in State schools would provide a more balanced political philosophy/ ideology, and could make students more comfortable to challenge each ideology and think for themselves ....for a change!!!!!!! 

5 years ago

Sheila, best to you.  It was not meant to upset you and frankly, if I took your course everytime I got tired of all of this, I would be gone and forget politics in general.  That may be what all this is really trying to say to you, Sheila.  I am sorry you reacted as you did as this does make sense, you just have to think outside your comfort zone some.  Just one comment, Sheila, if the only way you are comfortable is when everyone sees your views and accepts them as the right answer, there there is no need to be in any group as you are the only one that matters to yourself.  So develope your opinions and don't waste time with other people.  Not meant offensively, but that is my experience.  If I want to just have my opinion only, I am not willing to learn and grow, so I will continue to welcome opposing opinions or those that don't quite get to where I thought I should go; I may learn that was not the place to be.

Elizabeth, that is right and had forgotten that affirmative action would only affect public, but since that is where I seen we need more diversity, that is just fine.  LOL  

It was not until my niece whose father is Japanese (2nd generation born in US) was enrolled in a private university to begin grad school that she was able to finally challenge racism and it's ideology and allow her own views to be expressed and heard.  She attended a public university for undergrad studies and spent one year of that time at Boston University where she experienced the most racism she has in her life as well as the least opportunity to really learn.  She always felt that it was more of an indoctrination into biased beliefs and opinions and there was no acceptance of challenge to this at all.  But the private university actually opened up this learning experience for her.  My daughter, having gone to a private university was also so grateful as just in her own 2 areas of major study she was able to see diversity of opinion among the professors; great respect for each other but the ability to learn more than just one ideology.  So you are so right and this is what is trying to be expressed.  And it is not just the encouragement of minorities with the educational background to teach, and it also encourages more women to teach at the university level.  And with this it will allow conservative educators to join the public university institutions instead of being pretty much locked into private religious schools, for the most part.

5 years ago

from my experience, affirm. action students are minorities and if they go onto teach in college; they continue with a liberal doctrine.  It may have to be life experience to influence their political leanings and it is best to get out of the academica world to do that evolution of the mind.



5 years ago

That is interesting Sheila, as I don't completely agree with you.  Affirmative action also includes women, regardless of ethnicity and financial means.  Affirmative action allowed some of these women to enter the academic profession in colleges around the country and to bring conservatrive philosophy as well.  Condi Rice might be a good example of this.  I also know a number of people from minority background that are very conservative in their thinking and of these, a number of them are teachers, as well and teach a conservative philosophy.  

The problem with your thought in this is that it is too general and people are not that "general" Sheila.  You can't generalize something that has real potential.  You can't continue to look at everything from the "hafl-empty cup", you have to see the bigger picture of "half-full cup".  Life is not hopeless, as long as there is one person breathing that believes that there is hope for the future, something good can happen.  We all have to reach the point where we let go of the negatives in our life and determine to let the positive have priority.

Romney lost, we move on.  Is there hope for the Republican Party?  You bet your lfie there is hope, there is a great deal of hope out there.  There are excellent leaders in the Party as well.  I am so glad that the colonists and my ancesters did not give up when they faced so much adversity.  I am so thankful that the Founding Fathers did not give up but were willing to stand up to the King of England.  I am thankful to ancesters that never gave up.  And I am thankful for all of those in the military that are currently serving or have served, and for those that lost their lives as a result that we all can maintain our hope and love for this Country.  My cup is half-full and I hope that the others on PD feel the same.  The Republican Party has a great future and I want to be part of the future of that Party as we work to rebuild and head to 2014 and 2016.

5 years ago

Last I looked the vast majority of the Ivy League colleges (Rutgers excepted if that gets thrown into the mix) as well as some Catholic colleges like Notre Dame had a rather left wing slant to their teaching staff so it is only a selection of private colleges that have a conservative bent. Not sure how you can enforce a change in ideology when the staff that determines assignments and tenure are usually very marxist in orientation. They've move on from being "left" like in the 50s/60s/70s to being largely ultra 'progressive" to marxist in outlook. Makes one wonder as to the value of a higher 'education" unless going into a technical or scientific field that requires advanced work. Education schools have turned into out right propaganda mills that stress "education techniques" and associated garbage rather than haw to teach the subjects and the subject matter to be taught like in math/science/etc .

5 years ago

Black women are affirmative action I am Not as I am white.

Why do you think Warren claimed Cherokee Indian?


I am not speaking as a generalist; I am citing what I know from my very liberal state of MA.

I continue to go to college alumnis events and I do not see conservative professors.

I do see a lot of affirmative action students who are black and hispanic.

They are getting scholarships to private colleges, free education to state universities and they do believe in the liberal agenda.

Not one of them are pro Tea Party and that discussion was active during the summer when I attended an open class on politics.  They preferred the Occupy Movement over the Tea Party and I consider that very liberal.    

5 years ago

I actually defended the tea party movement in this ultra liberal class as people who were well organized with a strong belief system.   They did not believe me as they were to hell bent on making fun of the entire movement.   I am not a tea person at all, I can find good and bad in many of the movements.


You are making an assumption that I am taking this out of thin air when I am not; I was present at these events and this is just one example of many.  I don't waste my breath at many of these because the liberal forces are far too strong and deafening to anyone not like them.

This post was modified from its original form on 27 Dec, 7:50
5 years ago

Oh Sheila, you are so wrong.  When talk affirmative action, it was to help minorities and WOMEN.  I have a white female friend that benefited from it as they helped her set up a business in an all-male field and to have access to bidding privileges and priority consideration on government jobs.  She became very successful as a result.  It is more than BLACKS, too.  It is all minorities, Sheila.  I suggest that you go back and brush up on the facts.  I also suggest that you are getting very close to racism here and that is not what I think you mean to suggest.  There are forms of affirmative action, Sheila, as well.  

John, I can give you the name of well over 100 colleges that are private and have a conservative leaning; so I don't think your argument holds that much water.  You have to go a lot farther than Ivy leave and Notre Dame, sorry.   I can also go down the list of States and their public institutions and show you liberal leaning almost to a school.  I based my comment on the facts that I am familiar with which is based on actual situations.  I won't argue that there are not some private schools that are liberal; but certainly not he majority.

Oh, Sheila, the woman that started that business was not poor, either, so that blows that theory.  She worked and had a decent income, making over $65,000 a year but wanted to start her own business.

5 years ago

Linda:  sorry you are not right all the time as you may think.


You are being very presumptious here.

Why don't you read what you are stating.


I am not continuing as I have said what I have meant to state.

5 years ago

Sheila, I said that you were wrong that affirmative action was not for ALL women, not just Black.  That was your comment, that it was for Black women and you are white.  Did you not state that?  I simply told you the facts, it was for all women, no matter what their ethnicity.  That is fact.  I would be happy to put you in touch with several white women I am in contact with that were reciptients of affirmative action and are now business owners in their own right as a result.  I am not 100% for affirmative action, no, and I also have a brother-in-law who is 2nd generation Japanese American who had a boss try to set him up in business using his minority status to get more jobs as he was allowed to bid where other's were not.  He turned it down as he sees himself as an American just like you and I, not a Japanese American for which there is no such thing, just as there is no such thing as African Americans.  If you become a citizen of this Country you are an American, period, end of conversation.  There are Native Americans but they come from many different tribes and are not limited to just one "nation".

I am not always right nor are you.  I admit when I am wrong.  Can you?  I did read what I stated, Sheila.  I was offended by your reference to Black women when affirmative action allows for all women first, and the fact there are many minorities among women, not just Black and they are not all poor as you have implied either.  A Japanese friend owns her own business and is allowed preference in bidding on contracts for the City and County and she came here from Japan and is now a citizen.  A native american friend was able to secure government jobs due to affirmative action.

Do I approve of this, no, as I think they should just be allowed to bid on the jobs regardless.  However, you also need to be aware that until very recently, all government jobs in at least the construction business were limited to Union contractors only.  Affirmative action did open that up some and now all non-union shops may submit bids.  So it did do something good there.  Want examples?  Grand Coulee Dam on the 3rd power house, Chief Joseph Dam expansion, University of Washington, Eastern Washington University, Washington State University, Central Washington University, Western Washigton Univesrsity, 4 regional postal sorting terminals, U.S. post offices at Davenport,  Liberty Lake, Newman Lake, Otis Orchards, all in Washington and Priest River, Sandpoint, Hayden Lake and a few other locations in Idaho that I am completely familiar as my ex is an electrician and these jobs were not allowed to be bid on by anyone but Union electrical shops.  Later he was able to work on some jobs awarded to Union contractors only because they were able to get the non-union electrical company he worked for to bid more competitively than the union shops.  But that was unusual.  

Sheila, sorry, but I know what I stated is true and if it upset you that was your choice to take it as an afront, it was not intended to be.  I just wanted you to see that there was more to consider than the manner you limited your comments.

5 years ago


are you familiar with Abigal Fisher?  That case is coming up soon.


This post was modified from its original form on 27 Dec, 9:53
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