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Missing Diversity at the U of Nevada-Las Vegas By: UNLV Students for Academic Freedom
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, March 17, 2004


The following report on the overwhelming leftist orientation of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas was prepared by that university's chapter of Students for Academic Freedom and the UNLV College Libertarians. -- The Editors.

The issue of ideological bias at American universities has recently attracted nationwide attention.  Studies of faculty diversity indicate that today’s colleges and universities are “virtual one-party states” where liberal bias tilts virtually all intellectual debates to the left, according to a recent report by the American Enterprise Institute (2002).  Most colleges have faculties that are composed of more than 80 percent registered Democrats, even though the number of registered Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. is roughly the same.

 

Conservative commentator David Horowitz has been writing about the problem of liberal bias at American universities for more than a decade.  The “total domination of the left over the institutions of higher learning,” writes Horowitz, has generated “a politicization of academic life unprecedented in the history of our democracy” (1999: 141).  Conservative dissenters “are more isolated, more politically excluded, more intimidated, and more restricted in their opportunities for scholarly advancement and political expression than communist and pro-Soviet professors were in the McCarthy period, during the height of the Cold War” (Horowitz 1999: 142). 

 

This deplorable situation did not happen by accident.  It is the result of a McCarthyism operating inside these academic institutions, fueled by the atmosphere of “political correctness” that has enveloped the academy since the ascension of the tenured left.  The hegemony of this left has resulted in politicized hiring practices, systematic exclusion of dissenting voices, and an atmosphere of political intimidation to a degree seen only in countries ruled by communist or fascist or theocratic dictatorships.  In America, however, the state is not the enforcer of political orthodoxy.  It is leftist faculty members and pliant administrators who are responsible for this state of affairs (Horowitz 1999, 143). 

 

The problem of academic bias has become so acute that two members of the U.S. Congress, Jack Kingston and Walter Jones, recently introduced an “Academic Bill of Rights” (authored by Horowitz) calling for universities to end discrimination against hiring conservatives (Kingston and Jones 2003). “Most students probably graduate without ever having a class taught by a professor with a conservative viewpoint,” according to Kingston (R-GA) (Kingston and Jones 2003).  Representative Jones (R-N.C.) has cited statistics showing that campus funding is distributed to organizations with leftist agendas by a ratio of 50:1 (Kingston and Jones 2003). 

 

During the past two years David Horowitz has worked with college students to build a nationwide network of students called “Students for Academic Freedom” (SAF), and more than 123 colleges and universities now have SAF chapters.  Horowitz and the Students for Academic Freedom have established themselves as watchdogs over the liberal bias of America’s institutions of higher learning.  UNLV’s SAF chapter was started by two political science majors, Adriana Jawel and Amanda Moran. 

 

Among the chief aims of SAF is to document the extent of ideological disproportion among higher educational institutions.  The SAF has initiated a complaint process for students to complain about abuses by liberal faculty members.  The complaint process is intended to record instances of discrimination in grading and promotion, as well as the common practice by liberal professors of turning their classrooms into bully pulpits for political indoctrination.  Studies of party affiliations of professors are another way to measure the extent of political lopsidedness at colleges and universities.

 

FACULTY BIAS AT UNLV

 

How does the faculty at UNLV compare to faculties at other American colleges with regard to political disproportionality?  We established a research group composed of UNLV SAF members and UNLV College Libertarian members and decided to find out.  On March 8, 2004, our research team conducted a study of UNLV faculty affiliations based on the research model established by David Horowitz and the American Enterprise Institute.  We took the names of 125 UNLV professors in the Departments of Civil Engineering, Economics, English, History, Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology and compared them against Clark County voter registration rolls.  Nineteen professors were registered as nonpartisan and another 19 were unregistered.  Another nine professors had names that were too common to determine their party affiliation.  Of the 78 professors who were registered with any party, there were 69 registered Democrats, 6 registered Republicans, 2 registered Greens, 1 registered Independent American, and 0 registered Libertarians.  This compares to overall Clark County voter registration, which is 43.7 % Democrat and 37.2 % Republican. 

 

There were several large departments at UNLV where not a single registered Republican was found.  In the History Department, for example, there were 16 Democrats and zero Republicans.  In Sociology, there were eight Democrats, one Green, and zero Republicans.  In Economics, there were 5 Democrats and no Republicans.

 

One of the most diverse departments in the study, Civil and Environmental Engineering, had only two registered Republicans out of a total of 14 professors (6 were registered Democrat and the others were either unregistered or nonpartisan registered).  In the UNLV Political Science Department, there was only one registered Republican out of 16 professors.  In contrast, there were 8 registered Democrats and 1 registered Green.  Twenty-three English professors in the UNLV English Department were registered Democrats, as opposed to two Republicans, one professor registered with the Independent American Party, and four who were not identified with any party.

 

LIBERAL VERSUS CONSERVATIVE POLITICAL AFFILIATION

 

The September 2002 issue of American Enterprise featured a report that categorized professors at twenty higher education institutions according to “left” or “right” political affiliation.  Professors who registered in either the Democratic or Green Party were classified as members of a party of the Left.  Those registered in either the Republican or Libertarian Party were classified as members of a party of the Right.  In this study of UNLV faculty affiliations, the research team adopted this same classification system, with the addition of the Independent American Party as another party of the Right.

 

Based on ratios of liberal-to-conservative bias at twenty other institutions of higher learning studied by the American Enterprise Institute, liberal disproportionality among UNLV’s professors closely tracks trends at other schools.  Fully 91 percent of UNLV’s faculty who are affiliated with any party are registered with a party of the Left (Democratic or Green), and just nine percent are registered with a party of the Right (Republican, Libertarian or American Independent Party).  Of the twenty colleges surveyed by the American Enterprise Institute--ranging from 98.6-percent-liberal-registered U.C.-Santa Barbara to 76-percent-liberal-registered University of Houston—a rough average of approximately 91.8 percent liberal-registration was found (American Enterprise 2002).  It is difficult to tell whether these twenty institutions are representative of all American colleges, and we caution readers not to generalize from this figure.  The twenty schools in the American Enterprise study may represent higher-than-average liberal-to-conservative ratios.  In any case, rates of liberal-to-conservative tilt among UNLV professors approximate the mean for the schools featured in American Enterprise.     

 

Liberal Party Registration at Selected Schools

 

School

Professors Registered in Parties of the Left

Brown University

94.7 percent

Cornell University

96.5 percent

Davidson College

90.9 percent

Denver College

97.2 percent

Harvard University

96.5 percent

Penn State University

85.5 percent

Pomona College

90.0 percent

San Diego State University

87.9 percent

Stanford University

89.9 percent

State U. of New York at Binghamton

97.2 percent

Syracuse University

96.2 percent

U.C. Berkeley

89.4 percent

U.C.L.A.

94.0 percent

U.C. San Diego

94.3 percent

U.C. Santa Barbara

98.6 percent

U. Colorado at Boulder

95.9 percent

U. of Houston

76.3 percent

U. of Maryland

85.5 percent

 

University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV)

 

91.0 percent

 

U. Texas at Austin

86.2 percent

 

CONCLUSION

 

This study establishes that the faculty of the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) closely tracks faculties at other American colleges and universities in terms of its lack of political and ideological diversity.  Fully 91 percent of UNLV professors who are registered with any political party are registered Democrats or Greens.  Students seeking diverse or dissenting political ideas have little chance of finding them represented among UNLV professors.     

 

The leftist bias among professors at contemporary American colleges and universities poses a serious problem in higher education.  At best, this pervasive one-party environment threatens fundamental principles of social and ideological diversity.  It promotes intellectual laziness that stymies advances in the social sciences and the humanities in ways that few professors are able to measure.  At worst, this bias impends increasing dictatorial totalitarianism within the academy, accompanied by restrictive limits on speech and writing (Roche 1994, 205).  According to David Horowitz, “[s]ystematic intellectual intimidation [has] virtually driven conservative thought from the halls of academe” (Horowitz 1999: 153).  “There is not a conservative faculty member lacking tenure at an American university who does not live in fear of possible termination for politically incorrect views” (Horowitz 1999: 153). 

 

REFERENCES

 

American Enterprise Institute. 2002. The Shame of America’s One-Party Campuses. American Enterprise, September.

 

Horowitz, David. 1999. Hating Whitey and Other Progressive Causes.  Dallas: Spence Publishing Co. 

 

Kingston, Jack and Walter Jones. 2003. “The Academic Bill of Rights Goes to Washington.” FrontPageMagazine.com, Oct. 22.

 

Roche, George. 1994. The Fall of the Ivory Tower: Government Funding, Corruption, and the Bankrupting of American Higher Education.  Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc.

 

Data: D=Democrat; R=Republican; G=Green Party; L=Libertarian; O=Independent American Party; NP=Nonpartisan registered; N=Not registered; TM=Too many similar names to determine.

Last Name

First Name

Party

Department

Assane

Djeto

N

Economics

Bold

Frederick

D

Economics

Carroll

Thomas

D

Economics

Chen

Lein-Lein

NP

Economics

Cronovich

Ronald

NP

Economics

Daneshvary

Nasser

NP

Economics

Hoppe

Hans-Hermann

N

Economics

Karstensson

Lewis

D

Economics

Malamud

Bernard

D

Economics

Miller

Stephen

TM

Economics

Riddel

Mary

D

Economics

Robinson

William

TM

Economics

Schlottmann

Alan

N

Economics

Schwer

Raymond K

NP

Economics

Waddoups

Jeffrey

N

Economics

Wimmer

Bradley

NP

Economics

Yamashita

Takashi

N

Economics

Adams

Charles L

R

English

Barnstone

Aliki

D

English

Becker-Leckrone

Megan

D

English

Bowers

John M

D

English

Brown

Stephen G

TM

English

Campbell

Felicia F

D

English

Coburn

W Leon

D

English

Dodge

Robert K

D

English

Engberg

Norma J

N

English

Erwin

D Timothy

D

English

Gajowski

Evelyn J

D

English

Hafen

P Jane

D

English

Harp

Richard L

R

English

Hudgins

Christopher C

D

English

Irsfeld

John H

D

English

Jablonski

Jeffrey A

O

English

Keelan

Claudia A

D

English

LoLordo

Vincent N

NP

English

Mays

Kelly

D

English

McCullough

Joseph B

D

English

Moore

Sharon L

TM

English

Perez

Vincent

D

English

Rosenberg

Beth C

D

English

Rusche

Philip G

D

English

Stitt

J Michael

D

English

Unger

Douglas A

D

English

Unrue

Darlene H

D

English

Unrue

John C

D

English

Weinstein

Mark A

NP

English

Whitney

Charles C

D

English

Wiley

Richard M

D

English

Bell

Andrew

N

History

Brown

Gregory

TM

History

Casas

Raquel

N

History

Chung

Sue Fawn

D

History

Coughtry

Jay

D

History

Fry

Joseph A

D

History

Goodwin

Joanne

D

History

Kirk

Andrew

D

History

Loader

Colin

D

History

Mattson

Vernon

D

History

Moehring

Eugene

D

History

Rollings

Willard

D

History

Rothman

Hal

NP

History

Tanenhaus

David

D

History

Tusan

Michelle

D

History

Wallace

Barbara

D

History

Ward

Janet

D

History

Werth

Paul

NP

History

White

Elizabeth

TM

History

Whitney

Elspeth

D

History

Wright

Thomas

D

History

Wrobel

David

D

History

Beisecker

David

R

Philosophy

Dove

Ian

N

Philosophy

Finocchiaro

Maurice

NP

Philosophy

Jones

Todd

D

Philosophy

Nyden-Bullock

Tammy

NP

Philosophy

Phelps

Mary

TM

Philosophy

Schollmeier

Paul

D

Philosophy

Wilburn

Ron

D

Philosophy

Bennett

Anne

NP

Poli Science

Bowers

Michael

D

Poli Science

Damore

David

D

Poli Science

Fott

David

R

Poli Science

Itoh

Mayumi

D

Poli Science

Jelen

Ted G

D

Poli Science

Lamatsch

Thomas

N

Poli Science

Parker

Steven

TM

Poli Science

Simich

Jerry L

D

Poli Science

Strand

Jonathan R

G

Poli Science

Tamadonfar

Mehran

NP

Poli Science

Titus

Dina

D

Poli Science

Tuman

John P

D

Poli Science

Walton

Craig

N

Poli Science

Ward

Ann

N

Poli Science

Zundel

Alan

D

Poli Science

Bernhard

Bo

D

Sociology

Brents

Barb

D

Sociology

Carns

Donald

D

Sociology

Dickens

David

D

Sociology

Fontana

Andrea

D

Sociology

Futrell

Robert K

N

Sociology

Gottschalk

Simon

N

Sociology

Hausbeck

Kate

D

Sociology

Hirschorn

Barbara

N

Sociology

Keene

Jennifer

NP

Sociology

Osborne

Lynn

D

Sociology

Parker

Robert K

N

Sociology

Preston

Frederick

D

Sociology

Prokos

Anastasia

G

Sociology

Shalin

Dmitri

NP

Sociology

Smith

Ron

TM

Sociology

Wray

Matt

NP

Sociology

Batista

Jacimaria

N

Civ/Env Engin

Cardle

James

R

Civ/Env Engin

Frederick

Gerald

NP

Civ/Env Engin

Ghafoori

Nader

N

Civ/Env Engin

James

David E

D

Civ/Env Engin

Karakouzian

Moses

NP

Civ/Env Engin

Kaseko

Mohamed

N

Civ/Env Engin

Ladkany

Samaan

R

Civ/Env Engin

Luke

Barbara

D

Civ/Env Engin

Nambisan

Shashi

D

Civ/Env Engin

Neumann

Edward S

D

Civ/Env Engin

Piechota

Thomas

D

Civ/Env Engin

Sack

Ron

D

Civ/Env Engin

Vodrazka

Walter

NP

Civ/Env Engin

Press Release:

UNLV Faculty Overwhelmingly Liberal, Study Finds

A study conducted by members of the UNLV chapter of Students for Academic Freedom (SAF) and the UNLV College Libertarians shows that UNLV’s faculty is overwhelmingly liberal, as indicated by voter registrations of UNLV professors. Although UNLV professors and administrators sometimes proclaim that the UNLV campus is a place for the free exchange of diverse ideas, the voter registrations of the University’s faculty indicates that ideological diversity is sorely lacking among instructors. UNLV’s faculty is statistically more liberal than even many well-known liberal universities, such as Stanford and Berkeley.

The study involved a systematic search through Clark County Voter Registration rolls for the names of 125 UNLV professors from the Departments of Civil Engineering, Civil Engineering, Economics, English, History, Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology. UNLV political science student Adriana Jawel, who is chapter president of the Students for Academic Freedom (SAF), along with fellow SAF member Amanda Moran, College-Libertarian President Brandon Robison, and Sociology Instructor Roger Roots conducted the study using Clark County’s on-line database of registered voters. They found that of 78 professors who were registered with any party, there were 69 registered Democrats, 6 registered Republicans, 2 registered Greens, 1 registered Independent American, and 0 registered Libertarians. This compares to overall Clark County voter registration which is 43.7 % Democrat and 37.2 % Republican.

The study also found that there are several large departments at UNLV where not a single registered Republican teaches. In the History Department, for example, the study identified 16 Democrats and zero Republicans. In Sociology, there are eight Democrats, one Green, and zero Republicans. In Economics, there are 5 Democrats and no Republicans.

SAF President Adriana Jawel, a political science major and coauthor of the study, said the findings support her own observations of political one-sidedness at UNLV. "Instead of a broad base of ideas, we are given only one side of every issue." "As a college student, I expected to be able to speak my mind freely, but I was wrong," she said. Amanda Moran, a freshman political science major who also worked on the study, feels "cheated out of a proper college experience." "In some cases," Moran states, "liberal professors push their political agendas openly." She has never known a conservative professor to do so.

College Libertarian President Brandon Robison, an economics major who conducted most of the computer research for the study, commented, "I was amazed at the lack of diversity at UNLV, especially among traditionally conservative disciplines like economics." Roger Roots, a Ph.D. student and instructor of Sociology at the University who supervised the study, charged that the lack of diversity among UNLV faculty is the product of many years of systematic discrimination against conservative and libertarian job applicants. "Despite claims that UNLV provides a diverse atmosphere for learning, its faculty selection committees rarely even consider a conservative or libertarian for any faculty position." "If the University discriminated in the same way on the basis of race or gender, it would be in court constantly."

Among the most interesting findings of the study is that UNLV is even more biased toward the Left than many notoriously left-leaning campuses such as U.C. Berkeley and Stanford University.

Adriana Jawell states that students at UNLV who experience grade discrimination or other abuse on account of their political or ideological views should contact SAF and write a complaint that will be made available for other potential students. "Students for Academic Freedom is dedicated to ending the tyranny of liberal academic elite viewpoints." "SAF chapters are working hard to restore the diversity that has been absent on college campuses for more than 40 years."


The authors are Adriana Jawel, Amanda Moran, Brandon Robison, and Roger Roots.


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