Conservatives are a minority at colleges and universities, aren’t they?

The American Interest reports.

The Last Minority

The campus turmoil of 2015 has exposed the American academy to a level of public scrutiny it hasn’t experienced since at least the “canon wars” of the late 1980s, and possibly since the anarchic New Left revolts of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The current eruptions, like those that preceded them, have radiated outward into the body politic, with leftists following the campus crusaders’ lead on issues from free speech to sexual harassment to identity politics, and conservatives—sensing, understandably, that another American institution is slipping even further from their grasp—escalating their scorched-earth rhetorical campaign against the the Ivory Tower.

Into this firestorm step two right-of-center political scientists, Jon Shields of Claremont McKenna College and Joshua Dunn of the University of Colorado, with a book that is unlikely to win them any close allies on either side, but which probably offers the most balanced and constructive portrait of academic political culture to date.

Passing on the Right is based on 153 interviews with conservative professors in humanities and social sciences departments—literature, history, sociology, philosophy, political science, and economics. The authors excluded the “studies” fields—gender studies, Middle Eastern studies, race and ethnic studies, and so on—disciplines dominated by “activist-scholars” that they identify as “no-go zones,” not just for conservatives, but for mainstream liberals as well.

Nonetheless, right-of-center professors were hard to find. “The percentage of self-identified conservatives” they write in the introduction, “ranges between 5% and 17% in the social sciences and between 4% and 8% in the humanities.” Those conservatives that they could find were heavily concentrated in economics and political science departments, and were particularly scarce at elite institutions. “We identified only two conservatives at Princeton and two at Yale,” they explain at the website Heterodox Academy. “We found a single conservative at Dartmouth, and one at Brown as well. At Cornell we identified no conservatives in the fields we examined. We also identified no conservatives at Columbia.” The most important contribution of this book is its emphasis on the degree to which conservative scholars are numerically isolated. Despite (or perhaps because of) its almost religious reverence for racial and sexual diversity, the academy has allowed political diversity in certain quarters to wither to the point of vanishing.

Read the original article:
The Last Minority (The American Interest)