Campus Imbalance

The Volokh Conspiracy writes about campus imbalance here and here, based on a WaPo article that rightfully points out that campus professors are lopsidedly liberal:

The evidence is mounting that there is an ideological one-sidedness to university campuses today. The relevant question is whether it is having an effect on the education of American college students.

A recent conversation with a professor of mine at Babson can shed some light on the matter. Jefferson Flanders taught an intensive course I took recently, and he teaches regularly at NYU. He mentioned after class one day that he is consistently surprised by the comments he gets from the student surveys. Students give him consistently high marks because, they say, “he’s the only professor I’ve had at NYU who hasn’t brought his politics into the classroom.” Flanders was astounded by that, and believes that students will increasingly tune their professors out, and in the long term, may look to alternative means of obtaining an education rather than paying for the farce that a liberal arts degree has become. Volokh seems to agree:

This is consistent with what I hear from many of my own students–university campuses have become so cartoonishly left-wing that many students are essentially just tuning out their professors. Students report that they just go through the motions of pretending that they are converted, then they just regurgitate the mantra on exams in order to get a good grade. Meanwhile, many students dismiss their professors as risible ideologues (a good example here).

BTW, Flanders wrote a pretty good op-ed on blogging here.


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