Nearly all my professors are Democrats.Isn't that a problem?

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It's always interesting to me that EVERY side thinks theirs is the open minded side and that the other is closed minded, when in fact they have the same basic methodology in attempting to further their causes and beliefs. The problem is that when someone has a different view on the same subject using the same data it is difficult to reconcile yourself to the differences. Things like statistics on abortion or the death penalty are numerous and anyone can get them, yet there is a political and social divide that will never be crossed by those on opposing sides - with neither side able to give an inch on their platform or belief.

In the end it's not how well you teach or talk but how you practice and act that gives an idea of your true ideals.
 
Hiring anyone because of his or her political beliefs is outrageous--it implies that someone else more qualified will be excluded for the same reason. Frankly, I tend to agree with the first professor he spoke to, albeit minus the vitriol. Students in this country have hundreds of options when it comes to schools to attend; if you don't like the ideological makeup of the institution you attend, there is nothing to stop you transferring to another one after a year or two. I would never go to Wheaton College (a local college that is famed/notorious for its uber-conservative Christian principles) and then bitch about how there were not enough liberal professors on the staff. All of the professors I've ever had have showed a high tolerance for--even an enthusiam for--opposing viewpoints and debate, so long as an atmosphere of respect was maintained in the classroom. If the University of Oregon's faculty is really that poor, nobody is making right-wing students stay.
 
Most of my college is pretty liberal professor wise and I usually don't mind it, my modern western civ teacher was super liberal and we debated all the time on opposing issues and it was fun as hell. But my environmental science professor my God, he was the most liberal pompous holier-than-thou "all my opinions are fact" asshole ever and I felt like punching him in the face.

Sure it would be nice to have some more conservative professors that I could relate to but I have found other ways to relate to some professors, one of my history professors is a total Led Head and has literally every single bootleg of theirs and he loves LOTR and plays LOTRO so I relate to him in those ways and not political ways...
 
Also, according to polling, people with post-graduate degrees are much more likely to be liberal than conservative. Professors are... surprise... all people with post-grad degrees!
 
should just do what I do. Get an engineering degree and have to take very few humanities.
 
Charlie Dont Surf said:
Also, according to polling, people with post-graduate degrees are much more likely to be liberal than conservative. Professors are... surprise... all people with post-grad degrees!
Are you sure that's cause and not correlation?

In other words, couldn't the argument be that since there exists a large population of liberal professors, then liberal students would naturally be better supported and find more in common with the existing professors, and thus feel more comfortable pursuing higher education, regardless of the field?

-Adam
 
C

Chazwozel

stienman said:
Another take on educational institution diversity. This is not uncommon in the US, but the article articulates the issue and problematic solutions quite well.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0713/p09s02-coop.html

-Adam
Because more intelligent people usually swing on the liberal side of the fence... :whistling:

Oh and from my own personal university experiences, it's always the republican or conservative groups that try to stir shit up at LIBERAL academic institutions. Case in point, this article. I can't tell you how many republican students at my undergrad university bitched about the democratic 'hippie' professors. There were several republican profs there too. No one ever gave them shit.
 

GasBandit

Staff member
Charlie Dont Surf said:
Also, according to polling, people with post-graduate degrees are much more likely to be liberal than conservative. Professors are... surprise... all people with post-grad degrees!
Yep, the longer you are sheltered by Academia, the less you have to deal with the real world, the more your mind turns to the left.

"Personally, I liked the university. They gave us money and facilities and we didn't have to produce anything. You've never been out of college! You don't know what it's like out there! I've worked in the private sector. They expect RESULTS!" - Dr. Ray Stantz
 
stienman said:
Charlie Dont Surf said:
Also, according to polling, people with post-graduate degrees are much more likely to be liberal than conservative. Professors are... surprise... all people with post-grad degrees!
Are you sure that's cause and not correlation?

In other words, couldn't the argument be that since there exists a large population of liberal professors, then liberal students would naturally be better supported and find more in common with the existing professors, and thus feel more comfortable pursuing higher education, regardless of the field?

-Adam
I think it's a combination of this, and that at least at a national movemement level, American conservatism has spent decades demonizing academia as a sham political tactic.

I find it hard to give credence to most of the "OMG LIBERAL PROFESSORS!!1" complaints, because I think it depends massively on what school you go to, where that school is, that school's relationship with its outside community, and the history of scholarship across individual departments. You can have a very conservative econ department in a very liberal humanities school (I did, and no one cared).
 
S

Steven Soderburgin

GasBandit said:
Yep, the longer you are sheltered by Academia, the less you have to deal with the real world, the more your mind turns to the left.
Tell us more about how learning things is bad.
 
C

Chazwozel

stienman said:
Charlie Dont Surf said:
Also, according to polling, people with post-graduate degrees are much more likely to be liberal than conservative. Professors are... surprise... all people with post-grad degrees!
Are you sure that's cause and not correlation?

In other words, couldn't the argument be that since there exists a large population of liberal professors, then liberal students would naturally be better supported and find more in common with the existing professors, and thus feel more comfortable pursuing higher education, regardless of the field?

-Adam

No.

-- Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:04 pm --

Kissinger said:
GasBandit said:
Yep, the longer you are sheltered by Academia, the less you have to deal with the real world, the more your mind turns to the left.
Tell us more about how learning things is bad.

I love how he quotes a FICTIONAL Ph.D. as an example of us higher 'larned' types are sheltered from the real world.
 
Chazwozel said:
stienman said:
couldn't the argument be that since there exists a large population of liberal professors, then liberal students would naturally be better supported and find more in common with the existing professors, and thus feel more comfortable pursuing higher education, regardless of the field?
No.
Poor argument that can never be made. I weep for your loss.

:tear:

-Adam
 

We could all be like GB and QUOTE GHOSTBUSTERS TO PROVE HIS POINT!! :rofl:
 

GasBandit

Staff member
Kissinger said:
GasBandit said:
Yep, the longer you are sheltered by Academia, the less you have to deal with the real world, the more your mind turns to the left.
Tell us more about how learning things is bad.
Learning is great. But at some point you have to get out of the ivory tower. Well, most have to anyway. But post doctorate work in biochemistry makes you a political genius how? An expert on government? Even health care administration (tertiarily related to the field)? No, it makes you an expert on biochemistry... and an ardent supporter of the government system that made you such.


Chazwozel said:
I love how he quotes a FICTIONAL Ph.D. as an example of us higher 'larned' types are sheltered from the real world.
Because it's funny, pop culture, the game recently came out, and topical?

-- Thu Jul 16, 2009 12:16 pm --

Edrondol said:
We could all be like GB and QUOTE GHOSTBUSTERS TO PROVE HIS POINT!! :rofl:
That movie quote is funny because, like all great comedy, it builds on something ridiculous but true.
 
C

Chazwozel

stienman said:
Chazwozel said:
stienman said:
couldn't the argument be that since there exists a large population of liberal professors, then liberal students would naturally be better supported and find more in common with the existing professors, and thus feel more comfortable pursuing higher education, regardless of the field?
No.
Poor argument that can never be made. I weep for your loss.

:tear:

-Adam
People that strive for a higher education do so because they want to and have a drive to do so, not because they get pampered by professors. Even if that was the case, in science at least, your professors could give a shit about your political motivations and focus more on your scientific determination. Your conclusion is complete and utter bullshit.

Furthermore, If you prance around science professors (as an example) telling them how Darwin's Black Box was the greatest book ever written, and loudly state how Princeton's bio deptartment is immoral for stem cell research you're not going to make many colleague connections. No one likes a jack ass.

On the same note, it is usually hardcore republican kids that have the loudest voices on liberal college campuses. I've often wondered why they don't join a seminary rather than go to a liberal university, where all those crazy 'hippies' are able to study all subjects without religious or 1950's conventional conservative bias. Oh wait, a seminary won't get you into law school...

-- Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:21 pm --

GasBandit said:
No, it makes you an expert on biochemistry... and an ardent supporter of the government system that made you such.


Chazwozel said:
I love how he quotes a FICTIONAL Ph.D. as an example of us higher 'larned' types are sheltered from the real world.
Because it's funny, pop culture, the game recently came out, and topical?
Topical to what? That the Ghostbusters were comfortable in their funded positions in a movie? A fictional account of some lazy post-docs? A more relevant point would be the discussion of how tenure allows a professor to teach however the hell he/she wants without political worry. That's really the essence of a liberal university education, and that's why so many conservative kids end up going to liberal schools.
 
C

Chazwozel

Back off man, I'm a scientist. - Ray Ghostbuster, Ph.D.
 

GasBandit

Staff member
Chazwozel said:
A more relevant point would be the discussion of how tenure allows a professor to teach however the hell he/she wants without political worry. That's really the essence of a liberal university education, and that's why so many conservative kids end up going to liberal schools.
That as well. I sure with the I.T. industry offered tenure. Then I could REALLY slack off.
 

"I don't have to take this abuse from you, I've got hundreds of people dying to abuse me." - [strike:2lfby66t]GasBandit[/strike:2lfby66t] Dr. Peter Venkman PhD
 
C

Chazwozel

GasBandit said:
Chazwozel said:
A more relevant point would be the discussion of how tenure allows a professor to teach however the * he/she wants without political worry. That's really the essence of a liberal university education, and that's why so many conservative kids end up going to liberal schools.
That as well. I sure with the I.T. industry offered tenure. Then I could REALLY slack off.

Well it's not a matter of slacking off (don't worry I'm not naive, I know tenured profs are lazy fucks), but rather a system which tries to remove political stigma in the face of academics. Tenure ain't going no where.

Oh you know what else I learned from Ghostbusters? The E.P.A. is EVIL!
 
I want to know why 50% of all Fortune 500 CEO's are not bleeding heart liberals? I mean come on, the Republican Party is keeping all the Million Dollar a year jobs for themselves...
 

GasBandit

Staff member
Chazwozel said:
GasBandit said:
Chazwozel said:
A more relevant point would be the discussion of how tenure allows a professor to teach however the * he/she wants without political worry. That's really the essence of a liberal university education, and that's why so many conservative kids end up going to liberal schools.
That as well. I sure with the I.T. industry offered tenure. Then I could REALLY slack off.

Well it's not a matter of slacking off (don't worry I'm not naive, I know tenured profs are lazy fucks), but rather a system which tries to remove political stigma in the face of academics. Tenure ain't going no where.

Oh you know what else I learned from Ghostbusters? The E.P.A. is EVIL!
Of course Tenure ain't going nowhere. The inmates run the asylum, and nobody wants to stop the gravy train. Kinda reminds me of the U.S. House of Representatives, actually.
 
Chazwozel said:
Tenure ain't going no where
Think that's part of the problem. :paranoid:

My tenured teachers have been a 50/50 split between really awesome and horribly shitty people who are only teaching because they can't do just research. I don't think I've had a middle.
 
C

Chazwozel

Covar said:
Chazwozel said:
Tenure ain't going no where
Think that's part of the problem. :paranoid:

My tenured teachers have been a 50/50 split between really awesome and horribly shitty people who are only teaching because they can't do just research. I don't think I've had a middle.

Tenure track liberal arts professor is what I want to do in like 20 years. That way I don't have to do shit when I'm 60 except show up to work and pop open a nice bottle of Jack.
 

fade

Staff member
GasBandit said:
Charlie Dont Surf said:
Also, according to polling, people with post-graduate degrees are much more likely to be liberal than conservative. Professors are... surprise... all people with post-grad degrees!
Yep, the longer you are sheltered by Academia, the less you have to deal with the real world, the more your mind turns to the left.

"Personally, I liked the university. They gave us money and facilities and we didn't have to produce anything. You've never been out of college! You don't know what it's like out there! I've worked in the private sector. They expect RESULTS!" - Dr. Ray Stantz
Yeah, we're totally sheltered. Your evidence for this "sheltering" is....?

Maybe it's because we don't have to compete and scramble to win like a private busine...oh wait. Nope scratch that one. I have to write grants, prove myself to conservatives and liberals alike, and generally justify my existence on a daily basis the way your average corporate grunt sure doesn't have to.

No one has ever "sheltered" me or given me anything for free! I don't get to keep my job just for performing adequately unlike people in the quote-unquote real world. Tell me. If you go through the next three years doing only what your job description says you have to do, will you be able to keep your job at the end of those 3 years? I wouldn't be able to. I have to be better. You know, like the rhetoric Republicans masturbate to. Do you have to come up with your own business plan, work out the finances, pay yourself somewhere in all that, all while writing the NEXT business plan because each one lasts only a year or two? All while running a third business of teaching a bunch of unappreciative (which is incredibly soul-sapping) students who make it their jobs to search for errors in what you're doing? It's like I'm starting one of those small businesses conservatives lap up all by myself every 1-3 years, while maintaining a "real" job of teaching. And no one catches me if I fall. If I miss a grant in one of these highly competitive (another buzzword you guys like) funding programs, no one says, "Aww, shucks, Jack. Here's a check anyway." No, they cover their eyes and say, "Sorry, better luck next time. Better go find some consulting work to feed your kids this summer!"

I don't live at the school or even in a neighborhood surrounded by academics. I, like all professors, live in the real world. I deal with the consequences of my actions just like anyone else. I don't know where this haven-like "shelter" is. If you find it, let me know. It ain't an easy job. It's a fun job, but it's a lot of competitive, stressful, performance-oriented work.

What else could I be sheltered from? Political issues? Hell, everyone wears those on their sleeves here. More than most workplaces.

All that aside, I don't think I agree with the original point anyway. I know just as many reds as blues here. The last freakin' college luncheon we had erupted into a heated debate about Obama with plenty of supporters on either side. I think there are a lot of outspoken, unafraid liberals at universities, but I don't know if I agree anecdotally that there's a huge imbalance.

Stantz is a fictional character. He'd be out of a job like Venkman at the end of his tenure-track period if he didn't produce results.
 
Summary:

So the article says, "There's lots more liberals here (at a given university) than conservatives, which could be a problem."

And the defenders of the status quo are saying:
"It's because you have to be intelligent to go to grad school, and intelligent people are liberal."
"It's not really a problem."
"If you don't like it, go to a university with a conservative bias."

Oh well. Better luck next debate!

-Adam
 
S

Steven Soderburgin

I didn't even read the article, tbh

EDIT: Oh, it's an op-ed by a journalism student. Hm.

EDIT2: I'm not even really seeing what his argument is. It seems to boil down to, "Having more diverse opinions is better," and he doesn't even really support that concept.
 
Kissinger said:
I didn't even read the article, tbh
Oh, don't bother. It's the same thing you read in the college newspaper every 6 months.

"Oh noes! Liberals are in charge of our edumacation!"

It is an interesting topic to discuss, though. Lots of people are very quick to defend either side vigorously, with very few actually having an objective perspective.

-Adam
 
J

Joe Johnson

Or it could be you found a subject here that most forumers don't feel like debating.

Now, ask who would win in a fight, Superman or the Hulk, and you'll get 20 pages in 3 days.
 

fade

Staff member
stienman said:
Summary:

So the article says, "There's lots more liberals here (at a given university) than conservatives, which could be a problem."

And the defenders of the status quo are saying:
"It's because you have to be intelligent to go to grad school, and intelligent people are liberal."
"It's not really a problem."
"If you don't like it, go to a university with a conservative bias."

Oh well. Better luck next debate!

-Adam
I didn't even argue with the article. I argued with GasBandit telling me what my job was like. If it effects your student's education and you can prove it, do something about it. Isn't that the Republican tact anyway: you do it, not "we" do it? Forcing a balance sounds ironically like what conservatives accuse liberals of all the time.

Regardless, in my entire career as a student, I cannot once recall a professor bringing his or her views of any sort other than scientific to the classroom. If he or she did, someone would complain, and tenure or not, the professor would be quickly dealt with--regardless of which side was taken.

(Since when is "not really a problem" not a valid point in an argument?)
 

GasBandit

Staff member
fade said:
Maybe it's because we don't have to compete and scramble to win like a private busine...oh wait. Nope scratch that one. I have to write grants, prove myself to conservatives and liberals alike, and generally justify my existence on a daily basis the way your average corporate grunt sure doesn't have to.
Yeah, those grants, boy I'll tell ya. They're just the very model of sink or swim free market economics. :eyeroll:


No one has ever "sheltered" me or given me anything for free! I don't get to keep my job just for performing adequately unlike people in the quote-unquote real world. Tell me. If you go through the next three years doing only what your job description says you have to do, will you be able to keep your job at the end of those 3 years?
Maybe, but I sure as hell wouldn't get a raise.

I wouldn't be able to. I have to be better. You know, like the rhetoric Republicans masturbate to. Do you have to come up with your own business plan, work out the finances, pay yourself somewhere in all that, all while writing the NEXT business plan because each one lasts only a year or two?
In the real world we have to do that 4 times a year and call them quarterly budgets.

All while running a third business of teaching a bunch of unappreciative (which is incredibly soul-sapping) students who make it their jobs to search for errors in what you're doing?
Yeah, damn tough time for professors, actually having to TEACH and all.

It's like I'm starting one of those small businesses conservatives lap up all by myself every 1-3 years, while maintaining a "real" job of teaching. And no one catches me if I fall. If I miss a grant in one of these highly competitive (another buzzword you guys like) funding programs, no one says, "Aww, shucks, Jack. Here's a check anyway." No, they cover their eyes and say, "Sorry, better luck next time. Better go find some consulting work to feed your kids this summer!"
So what you're telling me is that you don't get a salary from the university, you entirely subsist on grant programs?

You really think everybody outside academia just coasts to payday? Some perhaps, but they're being paid hourly, don't get raises, and often don't break the 30k/year barrier. In the real world, true financial success means 80 hour work weeks, personal financial risk, and no grants. Either people buy your product or you go under. And there's never any tenure.
 

All your professors being Democrats or Republicans or even Libertarians is only a problem if you make it a problem. 99% of what is being taught has no basis in political beliefs and so is independant of that fact. Sure, there will be the occassional professor who tries to inject their views into what they are teaching, but that is wrong and should be delt with by the university.

Conducting a poll about what your professors believe has nothing to do with what they are teaching. Demanding that an equal number of professors be conservative would only be to the detriment of your and your classmate's educations. The university has gone out and hired the best professors they could find. If a conservative-thinking professor was the better choice, then they'd already be teaching the class.
 
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