Brigham Young University in Provo on Wednesday Sept 21, 2022. According to an analysis of political donations, Utah colleges are more ideologically balanced than most, with BYU topping the chart as the most politically balanced college in America.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

American colleges and universities have long been among the envies of the world. They are without peer in terms of research and opportunities. Over the past decade, however, there’s been growing attention to what’s become the dirty little secret of American higher education — namely, the degree to which faculty at most institutions have become, in the words of Jonathan Haidt, a “political monoculture.” 

For instance, a 2018 analysis found that 99.5% of donations from Cornell University faculty, instructors and researchers were made to left-wing candidates and causes — with only a single donation of $100 to a Republican candidate among the entire faculty, compared with tens of thousands given to Democratic candidates. 

Another 2018 analysis of 8,688 tenure track professors with degrees from 51 of the 66 top-ranked colleges likewise confirmed a striking imbalance in political affiliation among faculty. A remarkable 39% of colleges represented in this survey were “Republican free” — with most others “absurdly skewed against Republican affiliation and in favor of Democratic affiliation,” according to the author.

In addition to hindering educational and research quality, such an environment becomes a “hostile climate for people who don’t fit in intellectually,” according to Haidt. “We’ve marginalized them. We’ve made it clear they don’t belong; they’re not welcome. And then the really smart ones among them don’t apply! And what we’re left with is a politically homogeneous field of inquiry, which therefore has problems studying anything that is politically (sensitive).” 

Political monocultures on campus

We were curious to get a better sense of how extensive a problem this was, and how Utah schools stacked up on this issue. So Stephen Cranney went to the same Federal Election Commission website which allows people to search political donations and donors by place of employment. 

With a variety of different political organizations available, we focused our examination on individual donors from schools over the past two years to ActBlue, an organization …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News


How politically skewed are American universities?

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