The Nudnik File

Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

              Academic Diversity
It is pretty much an accepted fact at this point that university faculties are far to the left of the general population and even of their own students. This is one European professor's experience of the climate at an elite US liberal arts college.
In fact, their uncritically positive image of Europe astonished me so much that I began trying to convince them that they were wrong. (In the name of free speech and an educated academic conversation – things that you would expect to find on a college campus.) This turned out to be a bad idea: my colleagues slowly but steadily changed their attitude toward me. I refused to acknowledge that the politics in Europe was as superior as European wine, cars or cuisine. (In fact, I prefer California wine, I drive a Chevrolet and I love pumpkin pie!)

The most feverishly liberal among my colleagues now began looking at me as a traitor. One told me to stop expressing my political views when other faculty was around. Why? Because, he said, “I do not want to have to defend why we have a conservative here” at our department.

As much as this shocked me, I began talking to a close group of friends about it. I had realized that the overwhelming majority of my colleagues were radically liberal, effectively socialist. I had also realized that the overwhelming majority among them, in turn, would not tolerate dissenting political views on campus.
Jonah Goldberg looks at the inane arguments in Paul Krugman's latest column for why there aren't many Republican academics. The attitude on campus is best exemplified by this quote
Here’s a better example than anything Krugman musters. And I cite it simply because it was something I read just yesterday. These things happen every day. The historian John Moser, who has just written a fascinating biography of J. T. Flynn, recently went to the Organization of American Historians conference. While there he happened to mention to a colleague that he voted for Bush. She responded, "And yet you write books.”
|| Nudnik 1:13 PM
Listed on BlogShares