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Saturday, April 09, 2005

Why Professors Act The Way They Do

Most studies show that the typical university is, shall we say, a bit left of the American public. Within a University, the Business School tend to be among the most conservative, and the finance (and accounting) departments are usually the most conservative in the Business School. However, even in my department, I'd say that the majority tend to be liberal with an occasional spicing of libertarian tendencies.

David Tufte at VoluntaryXchange has a great post explaining why the university political climate tends to be this way. He writes:

Here's five thougtful links about why - on average - professors hold the poltical views they do.

It all starts with an op-ed piece entitled "An Academic Question" in the New York Times by future Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman. He points out that:

...today's Republican Party - increasingly dominated by people who believe truth should be determined by revelation, not research - doesn't respect science, or scholarship in general. It shouldn't be surprising that scholars have returned the favor by losing respect for the Republican Party.

I work with a lot of academics who take the idea of revelation through faith very seriously, and while I don't side with their religion, I can't see Krugman's claim as anything other than blinkered bigotry. Important blinkered bigotry though, because Krugman has the guts to say in print what a lot of academics use for an intellectual crutch to save themselves the trouble of engagement with the other side.

Click here for the whole piece.

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