Cornell Student Government Rejects Bill to Increase Faculty’s Ideological Diversity

AP Photo/Jonathan Jay Fink
AP Photo/Jonathan Jay Fink

The Cornell student government rejected a motion that would have pushed the administration to increase the faculty’s ideological diversity.

Between 2011 and 2014, over 96% of faculty donations at Cornell went to Democrats. Despite this, the Cornell Student Assembly defeated a measure which would have a created a task force to “investigate and increase faculty ideological diversity.”

“Having more ideological diversity on campus would help students because I think that if students go into class and are faced with a professor with different views than them, then they’re tasked with challenging every single subtle assumption the teacher puts out,” McBride said.

But many members of the Assembly did not buy that argument — noting that the resolution refers to a 2015 report in The Sun that showed 96 percent of faculty donations over four years went to Democratic campaigns — and some people speaking in favor of the resolution contradicted McBride’s statements.

“We are a severe political minority on campus,” Cornell Republicans Chairwoman Olivia Corn ’19 said, referring to Republican-leaning students. Corn and others in favor of the resolution frequently cited the majority of liberal-leaning professors in several departments.

Mitchell McBride, the motion’s sponsor, pushed back hard against those who accused him of being motivated by his personal politics in bringing the resolution before the assembly.

“If we are truly going to live up to our university motto, we must have free and diverse thought, and this requires professors who come from different perspectives, in order to foster that critical thinking which is the purpose of a university,” he said.