Past Event

Café Society: University Hiring & Bi-Partisan Politics

For years, conservatives have alleged a liberal bias in academic circles that affects hiring and tenure decisions at the nation’s universities. With some polls suggesting that two thirds of professors consider themselves to be liberals, many have suggested that this reflects a disconnect between a leftist academia and the society that it depends upon for funding. Given the statistically even divide between left and right in the population at large, they argue that the role of the university requires a diversity of opinions and that the conservative viewpoint deserves a broader representation.

The circumstances surrounding the hiring of professors and granting of tenure are considered by some to be rather obscure. Subjective decisions regarding the nature and value of a candidate’s research, publishing and teaching are not easily quantifiable. Do the statistics reveal ideological discrimination, or is it simply a fact that intellectuals of a conservative bent are more likely to pursue careers in the business world, or are more inclined to do their research at think tanks and foundations, where they are perhaps more able to focus on research without the distractions of teaching and administrative work?

Does the academic world need affirmative action for conservative scholars? Does the disparity between liberals and conservatives in academic circles reflect anti-conservative bias, or are there other factors that must be taken into account? If a diversity of opinions is necessary for a truly intellectual discussion to take place, doesn’t the lack of conservative scholars at the nation’s universities point to a glaring hole in their hiring policies? Come to a Café Society near you to discuss these and other questions.

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For more informaiton, please contact Kristin Millikan at 312.422.5580.

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