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Social Science and Humanities Faculty Comprise the Liberal Core of Higher Education Social science and humanities faculty are the most liberal and Democratic, and least diverse in their political culture. Fully 54% of the social science and humanities faculty identify as Democratic and 60% as liberal, and only 11% as Republican and 12% as conservative, a 5-to-1 ratio. Of social science faculty who voted in 2004, they were more than four times as likely to have chosen Kerry (81%) over Bush (18%) while humanities faculty were more than five times as likely (81% for Kerry, 15% for Bush).
Faculty Political Culture Is Self-Perpetuating University faculty, which moved to the left during the 1960s and 1970s, have maintained their political allegiance and are not likely to move to the right in the near future. Furthermore, new faculty members are proving to be equally if not slightly more liberal. Some academic disciplines, especially the social sciences and humanities, exhibit particularly consistent political behaviors. Recruitment, hiring, and tenure review processes have either failed to adequately prevent this political imbalance within disciplines or have actively perpetuated and deepened political unity.
Dominant Faculty Culture Can Lead to Self-Censorship Significant percentages of faculty acknowledge that not only students but also other faculty may feel restricted in their expression of opinion if they conflict with dominant popular views on campus
The social science and humanities faculty show little political diversity at all. Fully 54% of the social science and humanities faculty identify as Democratic and 60% as liberal, and only 11% as Republican and 12% as conservative, a 5-to- 1 ratio. Behaviors and Beliefs of College F a c ult y • Those faculty with the highest religiosity and observance are the most conservative and most likely to vote Republican. Thirty-one percent of those for whom religion is very important answered that they were conservative and 29% Republican, 38% voted for Bush. Likewise, 36% of those faculty who attend religious services weekly are conservative and 32% Republican, 44% voted for Bush. Moreover, Evangelical Christians and, to a lesser extent, Catholics and other Christians tend to be more conservative and Republican than their Jewish and non-religious colleagues. Fiftyfour percent of Evangelicals are conservative and 48% are Republican versus 3% of Jews who are conservative and 2% Republican, and 7% of atheists who are conservative and 3% Republican. “
Whom did you vote for in the 2004 presidential election?” • In the 2004 presidential elections, 25% of faculty who voted voted for George W. Bush, while 72% voted for Senator John Kerry and 3% for other candidates, including Ralph Nader. Of social science faculty who voted, they were more than four times as likely to have chosen Kerry (81%) over Bush (18%) while humanities faculty were more than five times as likely (81% for Kerry, 15% for Bush).
• Evangelical Christians, by a ratio of more than 2-to-1, are the only faculty religious group to vote in favor of Bush: 68% versus 30% for Kerry. The closest to Evangelicals are Catholics, a distant 29% in favor of Bush and 69% for Kerry, and non-Evangelical Christians, 26% for Bush and 70% for Kerry. Of those who voted, 90% of faculty with no religion or atheist voted for Kerry and 8% for Bush. Jewish faculty voted 87% for Kerry and 11% for Bush, exceeding the propensity of the American Jewish public to vote Democratic. Data S ummary xi Faculty political ideology, party self-identification and voting patterns. •
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Many more faculty (37%) identify as Democrat and liberal, and voted for Kerry and other Democrats in the House of Representatives than those who identify as Republican and conservative and voted for Bush and House Republican candidates (11%). • While those who identify as liberal or as a Democrat nearly always vote accordingly, those who identify as conservative or as a Republican may or may not vote for the Republican candidate. This holds true for both the presidential and congressional elections. In the presidential election, while 1% of Democrats and 1% of those identifying as liberal or very liberal voted for Bush, 13% of Republicans and 8% of those identifying as conservative or very conservative voted for Kerry. In the congressional elections, just under 2% of Democrats and those identifying as liberal or very liberal voted for the Republican candidate, while 8% of Republicans and 12% of those identifying as conservative or very conservative voted for the Democratic candidate. • Among those independent faculty who voted in the 2004 presidential election, only 27% voted for Bush while 66% voted for Kerry, a 2.5-to-1 ratio. Among those faculty who identified as moderate/middle-of-the-road, 27% voted for Bush and 68% for Kerry, a 2.5-to-1 ratio. In the 2004 congressional election, 66% percent of independent faculty voted for the Democratic candidate and 28% for the Republican, more than a 2-to-1 ratio. Among those who identified as moderate/middle-of-the-road, 64% voted Democratic and 32% Republican, a 2-to-1 ratio.