In a new Yale survey, the majority of professors identified as progressives. The staggering divide explains the “ideological echo chamber” effect present on campus.
The September survey conducted by the Yale Daily News revealed the staggering political divide present at Yale University. The figures are reflective of other elite colleges across the United States.
Of the 314 professors who responded to the survey, only 7 percent identified as conservative, and an even smaller 2 percent stated they were “very conservative.” In contrast, three quarters of the college faculty identified as either liberal or “very liberal.”
Yale president Peter Salovey expressed apathy about the results, calling it “neither positive nor negative,” not seeing its potential to foster an ideologically restrictive environment that often excludes conservative viewpoints.
“It’s in the educational interest of students to be exposed to a diversity of political viewpoints… Having said that, in most fields, the political point of view of a faculty member is not relevant to the substance of their teaching, and so we would need to be very careful about making it a part of the hiring process for faculty,” Salovey told the Yale Daily News.
In contrast, Salovey expressed concern with the demographics of Yale’s teaching faculty, which is largely white. He called it the “single biggest problem” faced by the university. In 2015, Yale pledged $50 million to increase its racial diversity.
Speaking to The College Fix, a conservative student and a reporter for the Yale Daily News named Aryssa Damron said that she personally witnessed the injection of progressive politics by professors into their lessons. In one instance, a professor compared Republicans to “followers of Lord Voldemort.”
After all, where would leftists be without the guidance of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels?
But not every liberal professor was as closed-minded. Damron said that several of her liberal professors encouraged her to share her opinions and allowed for “actual discussion of ideas instewad of simply an echo-chamber of liberal ideas.”
Despite their openness to discussions, issues with the lack of political diversity remain. Over 90 percent of the professors said they oppose the Trump administration, and agreed that climate change is caused by human activity. Another 70 percent expressed their belief that New Haven should remain a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants.
Unlike Yale’s president, some professors expressed unhappiness with the findings. “We talk about diversity in every area of the University except the one that counts, and that’s intellectual diversity,” said political science professor Steven Smith.
Of all the departments surveyed, the humanities department held the largest concentration of progressives at Yale with nearly 90 percent identifying as liberals or “very liberal.” Social sciences came in second at 68 percent, followed by STEM fields at 65 percent.