Report: Almost 80% of Academic Departments at Top Colleges Have No Republicans

Students throw their mortarboards in the air during their graduation photograph at the University of Birmingham degree congregations on July 14, 2009 in Birmingham, England
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A new study of 51 top colleges revealed that almost 80 percent of the academic departments at those institutions have zero Republican faculty members.

The research, which was conducted by Mitchell Langbert of Brooklyn College, sought to highlight the political homogeneity of American academic departments. Langbert’s research looked at 8,688 tenure-track professors at 51 top American colleges. The unsurprising results confirmed that there are disproportionately more Democrats in academia than there are Republicans.

Perhaps the most striking figure gathered by Langbert is the overwhelming amount of academic departments that have zero Republicans on staff all together. “Thus, 78.2 percent of the academic departments in my sample have either zero Republicans or so few as to make no difference,” the report reads.

Langbert also made another interesting finding. Some colleges boast an unusual amount of conservative professors. For example, Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, California, has 33 full-time faculty members, all of which are registered Republicans. Additionally, military colleges such as West Point and the Naval Academy carry faculty rosters that have more Republicans than average.

In addition to his findings, Langbert made a compelling argument as to why extreme political homogeneity has a negative impact on academia.

Political homogeneity is problematic because it biases research and teaching and reduces academic credibility. In a recent book on social psychology, The Politics of Social Psychology edited by Jarret T. Crawford and Lee Jussim, Mark J. Brandt and Anna Katarina Spälti, show that because of left-wing bias, psychologists are far more likely to study the character and evolution of individuals on the Right than individuals on the Left.2 Inevitably affecting the quality of this research, though, George Yancey found that sociologists prefer not to work with fundamentalists, evangelicals, National Rifle Association members, and Republicans. Even though more Americans are conservative than liberal, academic psychologists’ biases cause them to believe that conservatism is deviant.


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