A new survey conducted by the Yale University student newspaper revealed that only nine percent of the faculty at the Ivy League university identify as conservative.
According to the report, the faculty of Yale University is overwhelmingly on the left. Nearly 75 percent of the faculty described themselves as “liberal” or “very liberal.” A shockingly low seven percent described themselves as “conservative.” Only two percent of respondents considered themselves “very conservative.”
The Yale Daily News asked University President Peter Salovey for his thoughts on the results of the survey. It’s “neither a positive nor a negative,” he responded.
“It’s in the educational interest of students to be exposed to a diversity of political viewpoints… Having said that, in most fields, the political point of view of a faculty member is not relevant to the substance of their teaching, and so we would need to be very careful about making it a part of the hiring process for faculty,” Salovey explained.
Yet, despite Salovey’s desire to brush away the survey’s finding, a few members of the Yale faculty expressed their dismay at the findings.
Yale political science professor Steven Smith expressed concern over the survey’s findings, explaining that Yale celebrates every type of diversity other than the diversity of ideas. “We talk about diversity in every area of the University except the one that counts, and that’s intellectual diversity,” said Smith. “Universities are basically and fundamentally devoted to the study and investigation of ideas. The expression of the full range of ideas is the central aspect of a university’s mission.”
Yale computer science professor David Gelernter, who was considered as a potential science advisor to President Trump, said that he was shocked that the results weren’t more heavily skewed towards the political left. “Students who leave the academic world run a chance, at least, of discovering new approaches to the world and turning conservative,” he said. “But those who stay within academia tend to keep thinking what they’ve been taught to think.”
Charlies Hill, a former advisor to President Reagan and an international studies lecturer at Yale, expressed his pessimism over the chance for ideological change. “We’ve been going along this way for a long time really, decades, and I don’t see a likelihood that it’s going to change,” said Hill. “There are various sectors in American life and … certain sectors are going to lean more one way than another along a political spectrum.”