An op-ed published in the New York Times on Monday argues that college administrators are behind academia’s overwhelming left-wing bent.
Professor Samuel J. Abrams of Sarah Lawrence College published a column in the New York Times on Tuesday that argued that college administrators shape the political atmosphere of their campuses more so than professors.
Abrams decided to conduct research into his hypothesis after noticing an alarming trend at his own college. Administrators at Sarah Lawrence, a notoriously ideological institution, were hosting partisan political events. And all of the events they hosted featured progressive ideas and talking points.
Intrigued by this phenomenon, I recently surveyed a nationally representative sample of roughly 900 “student-facing” administrators — those whose work concerns the quality and character of a student’s experience on campus. I found that liberal staff members outnumber their conservative counterparts by the astonishing ratio of 12-to-one. Only 6 percent of campus administrators identified as conservative to some degree, while 71 percent classified themselves as liberal or very liberal. It’s no wonder so much of the nonacademic programming on college campuses is politically one-sided.
The 12-to-one ratio of liberal to conservative college administrators makes them the most left-leaning group on campus. In previous research, I found that academic faculty report a six-to-one ratio of liberal to conservative professors. Incoming first-year students, by contrast, reported less than a two-to-one ratio of liberals to conservatives, according to a 2016 finding by the Higher Education Research Institute. It appears that a fairly liberal student body is being taught by a very liberal professoriate — and socialized by an incredibly liberal group of administrators.
Breitbart News has reported extensively on the drastic increase in spending on ideologically-driven administrative offices. For example, the University of Michigan — whose diversity office has an $11 million payroll for its 100 employees. The newly appointed Vice President of Diversity at Ohio University earns $200,000 per year. And this isn’t an unusual salary for those in such a position. Chief diversity officer positions, which are based on progressive ideas about how to best administer affirmative action, are popping up all around the country, and those filling the positions are earning well over six figures.