KHAN: When the Right Is Left Out
Mr. Right

A true liberal arts education is meant to introduce students to a wide variety of thoughts, and professors are supposed to be the well-intentioned and informed mediators of discussion. However, it is very clear that, as stated by a New York Times reporter in 2010, a “professor is a label that leans left.”

Robert Lichter of George Mason University, Stanley Rothman of Smith College and Neil Nevitte of the University of Toronto conducted the last comprehensive study on the topic in 2005, examining the political affiliations of professors on college campuses nationwide. The findings were based on a survey of 1,643 full-time faculty members at 183 four-year universities. The researchers relied on 1999 data from the North American Academic Study Survey. The study found that 72 percent of American professors are liberal and only 15 percent are conservative. Not surprisingly, the disparity was found to be the largest at elite schools, where 87 percent of faculty identify as liberal. According to a more recent study by UCLA in 2013, the trend is only getting worse.

Additionally, among other interesting tidbits, the 2005 study found that 65 percent of faculty members want the government to ensure full employment, a stance to the left of the current Democratic Party’s position. It should be noted that, according to Gallup, self-identified conservatives outnumber liberals two to one in the country; therefore, you would expect to see college campuses be at least a little bit more balanced, especially considering that they pride themselves on their “diversity.” Well, think again.

The history of college radicalism and liberalism is a rich one. Ward Churchill, who infamously compared 9/11 victims to Nazis, was a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder for 17 years. Bill Ayers, an unapologetic terrorist in the Weather Underground, was a professor at the College of Education at the University of Illinois in Chicago, once even holding the title of Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar. His like-minded wife, who put forth a “Declaration of a State of War” against the United States and was placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, was a clinical associate professor of law at Northwestern University School of Law until 2013. Both individuals, under the umbrella of the Weather Underground, staged the bombings of various public buildings to express their outrage over U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. Moreover, in April 2013, former Weather Underground member and convicted murderer Kathy Boudin was named scholar-in-residence at New York University; at the time, she was also a professor at Columbia University. After serving 20 years in prison for murder, Columbia offered her a full-time position.

And these are only the terrorists. Leftists with wacky views about world politics can be found all over American college campuses — including at Georgetown. Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson has accused former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani of thinking like a white supremacist and insinuated that the Bible teaching of loving Jesus could be considered homoerotic. Another Georgetown professor, Preston Mitchum, has called on Americans to celebrate “Parent’s Day” because gendered nouns are somehow offensive. The university as a whole also endorses liberal moves on climate change, with professors touting it and hiding behind our Catholic identity to promote it — only because it aligns with their own personal political views. On the issue of traditional marriage, however — another tenet of Catholic doctrine — the university is notably silent.

By taking stances on political issues, hiring like-minded professors who sing the same tune and holding one-sided panel discussions on issues such as racial strife in America — all of which Georgetown has done — the very concept of a university of free thought is made into a punch line. What a disservice this does to students who actually believe going to college will better their lives and their understanding of the world — little do so many know that, on the contrary, elite universities are turning into mobilization centers for hard-core leftist activists, while kicking all others to the curb.

Former conservative Georgetown government professor Patrick Deneen left the hilltop for the University of Notre Dame in 2012, saying that he felt he had no support or encouragement from his colleagues. He wrote at the time, “I have felt isolated from the heart of the institution where I have devoted so many of my hours and my passion. Over time, I discovered that I was lonely at Georgetown.” Unfortunately, too many conservative students here feel exactly the same way.


Michael Khan is a sophomore in the College. Mr. Right appears every other Tuesday.

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  1. Perhaps you missed the Pope saying that recognizing and combating climate change are moral obligations for all Catholic people and institutions

    • What does your comment have to do with the article?

      • Had you read the article, you would have noticed that the author criticizes Georgetown for “touting and promoting” climate change (whatever that means) and “hiding behind our Catholic identity” to do so. Which is a dumb argument because dealing with climate change is not a “liberal” thing, it’s a requirement for all Catholics according to the guy who is in charge of the Catholic Church.

  2. I don’t know how we still live in an age where “racial strife in America” is a politically polar issue. I’m sorry if conservatives have their feelings hurt by Georgetown addressing racism, but if this type of event runs so opposite to your own views, maybe it’s time to have your views challenged. I’m bemused by the logic that “one-sided panels” is a label that we can give to events addressing white supremacy, but which somehow doesn’t apply to events such as the Cardinal O’Connor Conference on Life, the largest student-run pro-life conference in the country that Georgetown has funded and sanctioned every year since 2000.

  3. @ SFS *2016 What does that have anything to do with the article?

  4. Just because Gallup says that 2 in every 3 average Americans are “conservative”, that doesn’t mean this composition should necessarily reflect the makeup of this country’s professors. The fact that some of the most educated people in the country espouse a more “liberal” view does say something about the credibility of their ideas, does it not?

    • It more or less shows they are incapable of holding a real job that requires results and instead flee to ivory towers

      • If you yourself ever hope to hold what you deem a “real job,” I expect you’ll need a degree for that. I pray that the people paying $65,000 a year for your Georgetown education never hear you say that being a professor is not a “real job.” The blind, ungrateful, unabated privilege being portrayed here is terrifying.

        • Wasting one’s time research the psychology of queer studies in the 18th century helps no one and is a waste of everyone’s time and money. A real job is one where you create wealth for the world. Some professors do that. Many do not.

    • If you were to take a look at who most criminals support, it would be overwhelmingly Democrat. What does this say about the value of Democratic ideals?

  5. Perhaps the reason that professors lean toward the left is because they are more educated than your average person. Additionally, if academia is meant to teach us to think critically, it should not be surprising that professors have what you refer to as “radical” (i.e. idiosyncratic) views.

    • Having a credential does not mean you’re smart. Plenty of morons have college and graduate degrees. The fact you think credentials equals intelligence exposes your own ignorance.

  6. I agree with “a moderate” and would like to add that the author’s unfair portrayal of professor Dyson’s work isn’t doing his argument any favors. Just because something sounds strange does not make it unfounded or a illegitimate argument. Dismissing a scholar’s work for seeming odd without providing a real argument defeats the purpose of scholarship

  7. Jack the Bull Moose says:

    If panels on racial strife are so one-sided, what would a fairer one look like? Would it have to contain a member who doesn’t think that there is any racial strife in America? One who thinks racial strife is good? I don’t understand the point of that comment.

    I’m also not really sure about where the climate change jab comes from. Acknowledging that is much less bending to Democrat agendas than it is recognizing the overwhelming consensus of the scientific community, which is something I generally expect academic institutions to do.

    • Wow, Jack. I’m surprised your at Georgetown with your lack of critical thinking skills.

      Obviously a fairer panel on racial strife wouldn’t have to contain a panelist who think racial strife is good or denies it exists. The two-sided would come in with differing views of the CAUSES and SOLUTIONS to the strife.

      You need to take a logic class.

  8. Since this article strikes me as so extreme on it’s own, I have a few questions for clarification:

    Have you considered that going to college with liberal professors who challenge your worldview might be doing the very thing that you’re asking – providing you a better understanding of the world?

    Do you really think that universities are systematically discriminating against conservatives? What would the reasoning be for this?

    Did Professor Deneen happen to say anything about the political leanings of the school as part of his reason for feeling lonely? Your statement does not demonstrate that he felt anything about conservative versus liberal ideology. Could his loneliness be from something else entirely?

    • Have you considered that every student, whether they be on the right or left, should have their views challenged, and not just libertarian or conservative students?

      Have you considered that it’s a problem that the University faculty is overwhelmingly (90%) liberal? If you do not think it’s a problem, then can we assume that you don’t think it would be a problem if the University faculty were, say, 90% of any other identity group?

  9. Check your privilege.

  10. Offcampuscrusader says:

    There are many resources available on Georgetown’s campus for conservative students to engage in. Theres the College Republicans, the Tocqueville Forum, Right to Life, Vita Saxa, and a plethora of Catholic and other religious organizations that tend to shade to the right of the campus average.

    If you havn’t found any of these organizations as of yet, you must not have been looking very hard, as they are quite visible.

    • You forgot about The Georgetown Academy.

      And by the way, the article isn’t about student orgs. It’s about the faculty being overwhelmingly liberal. For all the talk about the importance of “diversity,” Georgetown’s faculty isn’t that diverse intellectually. After all, we have whole departments that are considered left-wing havens. Womyn’s Studies, the Justice and Peace Program, and Sociology, to name just three. There is not right-leaning counterpart in the the university.

  11. Do you want to talk about the professors in America that are war criminals?

    I’ve attached some information for students wishing to transfer to Notre Dame. Enjoy!

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