Monday, September 22, 2008

Persecution Hypochondria?

A lot of people I know bemoan the liberal bias in academia and a lot of effort is put in by the "free market movement/sector/industry" to try and correct this bias. An article in yesterday's NYTimes discusses these efforts and how (yippie!) it's about to be subsidized with government money. Darn Republican statists.

But what if the liberal bias isn't as vitriolic as we all thought? I discussed this over billiards recently with one of the authors of the new book, Closed Minds? Political Ideology in American Universities. I haven't read it just yet, but basically the authors admit that the vast majority of university professors are liberal...they just aren't biased! Smith, Mayer, and Fritschler find there to be no systemic or even perceived persecution of conservative students or professors in American Universities. I don't know if I totally buy that it's no big deal that academia is dominated by liberal ideologues, but it's nice to hear that students aren't being graded down and that professors aren't losing tenure track positions due to their conservative bents.

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