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97% of faculty donations at Cornell Univ. to Democrats

97% of faculty donations at Cornell Univ. to Democrats

Gov’t Dept. Prof: “Ted Cruz … should not teach here.”

How politically diverse is the Cornell University faculty?

Not very, according to a study done by The Cornell Daily Sun, the student newspaper. By dollar volume, 96.62% of political donations during 2011-2014 went to Democratic candidates or related PACs, and just 2.76% to Republicans or related PACs.

By number of donors, rather than dollar amount, the contrast is equally stark.

There were only 15 faculty members who donated to Republicans, out of a total of 323 faculty donors, or 5 percent. There were a total of 1628 faculty at the university as of 2013, but there is not reason to suspect that the 323 donors are not representative of the total.

I was one of the 15, which might make me part of the smallest minority on campus.

The Daily Sun reports, Cornell Faculty Donations Flood Left, Filings Show:

Of the nearly $600,000 Cornell’s faculty donated to political candidates or parties in the past four years, over 96 percent has gone to fund Democratic campaigns, while only 15 of the 323 donors gave to conservative causes.

The Sun’s analysis of Federal Election Committee data reveals that from 2011 to 2014, Cornell’s faculty donated $573,659 to Democrats, $16,360 to Republicans and $2,950 to Independents. Each of Cornell’s 13 schools — both graduate and undergraduate — slanted heavily to the left. In the College of Arts and Sciences, 99 percent of the $183,644 donated went to liberal campaigns. The law school demonstrated the strongest conservative showing, with nearly 26 percent of its approximately $20,000 worth of donations going to Republicans.

I was quoted extensively in the article (my full written interview is at the bottom of this post):

Prof. William Jacobson, law, one of the 15 Republican donors, said that he found the statistics “completely predictable.”

“Academia in general leans heavily liberal, and that likely is compounded at Cornell because Ithaca itself is a progressive bubble, surrounded by reality, as the saying goes,” he said….

“If we value professors not just for their research and publications, but also for the role they serve in mentoring students, then the lack of political diversity among the faculty is a University failure,” he said….

Jacobson said he believes this lack of diversity is actually most damaging to liberal students, who leave college without having to defend their views and enter a world where “Republicans control both houses of Congress and most state legislatures and governorships.”

“Such homogeneity in thought process at the professorial level is not conducive to intellectual rigor. That harms liberal students more than anyone, because they have a comfort zone of political acceptance which does not exist in a real world,” he said. “Over the years, I have observed that openly conservative students have to be better prepared for argument than their liberal counterparts and that process prepares them for life better than being intellectually coddled.” …

Jacobson called on the administration to recognize the value and necessity of diversity of thought in Cornell’s faculty.

“Diversity at Cornell focuses on gender, race and ethnicity as a proxy for intellectual diversity. That is inadequate as an objective matter because it has not resulted in a diversity of political thought,” Jacobson said. “If Cornell truly believes that diversity of thought fosters the educational experience, then it should include political diversity in its mandated diversity goals.”

Cornell Campus Cayuga Lake

As fascinating and insightful as my comments were, I found much more interesting the comments of some liberal professors, who eschewed the need for diversity of political opinion among faculty, or even the need to present students with a balance of views in the classroom.

One professor in the English Department insisted that only Democrats believed in science:

Other professors asserted that Republicans often have ideas that are “anti-science” or “anti-intellectual,” which can make them an unpopular presence at elite universities.

“It is not surprising that faculty at Cornell find the anti-scientific rhetoric of many in the Republican Party to be troublesome,” Prof. Kenneth McClane, English, said. “Many of us here are scientists — we believe in global warming, since we believe what the research tells us.”

Another said Ted Cruz would not be permitted to teach at Cornell:

[Prof. Richard Bensel, government] echoed this claim, saying that recent Republican debates have illustrated the deviation of “mainstream conservatives” from views that are widely accepted by intellectuals at reputable universities.

“I think many mainstream Republicans have views that are anti-intellectual and anti-science,” he said. “There are candidates who are creationists, don’t believe in climate change and claim that Obama’s a Muslim. Ted Cruz, for example, should not teach here.”

The Cornell Government Department, according to the article, has zero conservative or moderate professors, with the only two having left:

Prof. Emeritus Isaac Kramnick, government, explained that there were one or two conservative professors in the government department in the 1960s and 1970s, but both had already left.

The lack of any moderate or conservative voices in the Government Department apparently is a good thing to some professors:

Bensel said that while he would support adding a conservative to the government department, he does not believe Cornell is obligated to supply students with all points of view.

“Our job is not to mold the minds of young students — they’ll go out into the world and do that for themselves,” he said. “Cornell does not have to be a banquet that offers every viewpoint.”

Prof. Andrew Little, government, said that while it would be “nice to have more balance,” he would not advocate compromising the quality of Cornell’s professors, which he suggests would be the effect of seeking out Republican faculty.

“Placing more emphasis on diversity of political beliefs when hiring [would] almost certainly require sacrificing on general quality or other dimensions of diversity,” he said.

None of this surprises me.

The rigidity and self-righteousness of the academic left is as present at Cornell as at many universities.

[Update – Per the comment section, the math has been corrected! That’s why I became a lawyer, not an accountant!]

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Comments

DINORightMarie | October 15, 2015 at 11:44 am

Looks like you’re in the 1% Professor.

What a good thing. Thank you! 🙂

    LukeHandCool in reply to DINORightMarie. | October 15, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    Awww … you beat me to it.

    For all his “I’m just a regular guy” false modesty, I knew Professor Jacobson was part of the evil 1%.

    Shouldn’t he be paying his fair share for the faculty lounge coffee?

By my cipherin’, Prof., you’re part of the 5% (rounding off).

Kenneth McClane, W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of Literature

“It is not surprising that faculty at Cornell find the anti-scientific rhetoric of many in the Republican Party to be troublesome,” Prof. Kenneth McClane, English, said. “Many of us here are scientists — we believe in global warming, since we believe what the research tells us.”

Who, incidentally, never appears to have left Cornell after high school!

How this idiot lays any claim to being a “scientist” is an exploration for “The Onion”!

And anyone actually TRAINED in any of the sciences…who had the method stick…does NOT “believe” in anything scientific. That is the realm of religion.

Prof. Andrew Little, government, said that while it would be “nice to have more balance,” he would not advocate compromising the quality of Cornell’s professors, which he suggests would be the effect of seeking out Republican faculty.

“Placing more emphasis on diversity of political beliefs when hiring [would] almost certainly require sacrificing on general quality or other dimensions of diversity,” he said.
————————————————-

What he really means is that he’s scarred spitless over the idea of having someone on campus who would show students how intellectually bankrupt his ideas are, and he knows he can’t defend them if confronted by conservative intellectuals (who are generally VERY smart people) give equal status and time.

Ahh, the discrimination of the supposedly inclusive and intolerance of the supposedly tolerant. Common in Madison, WI too. Nothing like being ignorantly lectured on science an by English and Government professors, who undoubtedly hold very unscientific views on when life begins in humans or how the minimum wage works.

I bet a lot of times you can recognize contribution and voting patterns by the vehicles they drive and their bumper stickers (more than three and you might be a loon)

    LukeHandCool in reply to EBL. | October 15, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    I was accepted into a master’s program in Geography a few years back. I spoke to the head of the department on the phone before meeting him, and he tried to talk me into going for a Ph.D., which, he assured me, pursuing part time (because of full-time job and kids, etc.) I could finish in perhaps 10 years! I politely declined. Two years would be enough.

    We met on campus and he led me to his office. His office entrance was on the far side of the old map room which was like a scene out of Indiana Jones. I was getting really excited and starting to rethink my polite decline over the phone to pursue a doctorate degree.

    Past all the antique maps and globes and various historical artifacts and knick knacks from the study of geography over the years we passed … I was thinking, “Yes, this is where I belong!” and we got to his office door …

    … which was plastered from top to bottom with anti-Republican, anti-conservative, anti-Christian, etc., stickers.

    My heart sank.

      rinardman in reply to LukeHandCool. | October 15, 2015 at 7:46 pm

      Well, what happened next, Luke? Don’t leave us hanging!

      Did you just bite your tongue, and put your education before your politics?

      Or, did you knee him in the nuts, grab your brown Fedora & whip, and head off in search of the Lost Continent?

        LukeHandCool in reply to rinardman. | October 16, 2015 at 12:51 pm

        Haha!

        He seemed like a very affable, reasonable person on the phone. He *seemed* that way in person, too, so I was completely shocked and disheartened when I saw his office door.

        After the initial shock faded a bit, I sat there and couldn’t help thinking, “What message does this send to a young 18 to twentysomething undergrad or grad student?”

        It would embolden leftist students, obviously, and it would tell conservative/Republican and/or religious students they were treading in very hostile territory and to keep their opinions stifled and their heads down.

        You know, the irony is thick that in homogeneous Japan there is a famous saying that,

        “The nail that sticks out gets hammered down.”

        It’s a reflection of the Japanese tradition to conform.

        In the case of Japan, the saying is a bit outdated. Times have changed in Japan, and younger generations of Japanese are much more individualistic than older generations.

        Where the saying is perfectly timely is the American university campus.

        Any openly conservative student is a nail sticking out to be hammered down.

          rinardman in reply to LukeHandCool. | October 16, 2015 at 8:55 pm

          Thanks for wrapping up the story.

          The sad thing is that college professors are allowed to plaster their political leanings all over their public space. They are getting paid to teach a subject, not propagandize.

Political congruences that are internally, externally, and mutually inconsistent are inherently unstable. It should come as no surprise that their defense requires application of a pro-choice doctrine.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | October 15, 2015 at 1:16 pm

Characterizing one major political party representing half the country as “anti-science” is the kind of lazy stereotyping language I would expect to read on a dopey third rate left wing blog. Maybe the professors holding those bigoted views should actually read something written in one of those science-y journals they seem to worship:

http://www.environment.ucla.edu/peter-kareiva/blog/back-to-school-unlearning-nine-environmental-myths

>> Myth 7: People who don’t think we should act strongly to stop climate change are just stupid/ill-informed/ignorant.

Reality: A sample of over 1,500 representative U.S. adults revealed that those who felt climate change was not much of a risk scored as well or better than those worried about climate change when given standardized tests of numeracy or scientific literacy. So if you really care about doing something about emissions and climate, do not make the mistake that those who disagree with you do not know the science or are in any sense not as well-informed or as smart as you are. Instead, think about why their positions make sense within the framework of their social values and how to talk about climate change in terms of those values.<<

Despite that, I've seen Michael Mann's hockey stick thoroughly discredited. When "climategate" emails were illegally hacked and made public, we learned that leading climate scientists used phrases like "hide the decline" and "Mike's nature trick" when discussing how to present data. We learned that Dr. Kevin Trenberth admitted in an email, "The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t." I've watched the researchers and scientists at NOAA and NASA adjust instrument temperature measurements that had stood for as long as 70 years to manufacture a warming trend.

I've also read what skeptical Ph.d level scientists who have often spent their entire lives studying climate have written. People like Richard Lindzen, Roy Spencer, John Christie, Judith Curry, Richard Tol, William Happer, Don Easterbrook, Bjorn Lomborg, Bill Gray, Freeman Dyson (sometimes referred to as the successor to Albert Einstein), and dozens of others who either believe that the risks of rising CO2 are grossly exaggerated or that rising CO2 levels will actually be a net benefit to humanity. None of whom are "anti-science" kooks or cranks. They all arrived at their position using the best available science. Maybe they are wrong. But that just shows how far from settled the science really is.

    Characterizing one major political party representing half the country as “anti-science” is the kind of lazy stereotyping language I would expect to read on a dopey third rate left wing blog.

    But it’s true. The Democratic Party really is anti-science.

      Ragspierre in reply to Milhouse. | October 15, 2015 at 2:07 pm

      If anybody thinks that Milhouse’s statement is too extreme, ask yourself which ideology HATES people and modernity, and deplores the Enlightenment.

      Science is just one facet of their animus toward the rational.

“See my name tag. “Science” is my middle name. “Science” is my pass key into the world of the populist intelligentsia! Off with you, little people!”

“Why, we believe in the Anthropic Principle, that life began only for us carbon-based creatures out of an infinity of quantum foam.”

“Why, even anthropogenic global warming revolves around our thoughts! Oh, the anthropocentrism of it all!”

“Why, we are the center of the “multi-universes!” The earth and its carbon-based life were designed solely for us. There are no gods only science and Caesar.”
~~~
Wow! Someone should tell Christian Francis Collins that only Atheist Liberals are scientists!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Collins

http://www.genome.gov/10001018

http://www.nih.gov/about/director/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wc9uI-fnb90

And, tell Biologos, too:
https://biologos.org/

~~~
As a Christian and a conservative Libertarian I believe in theistic evolution – a finely tuned theistic universe, a personal cause of the universe and a theistic objective morality.

I have studied quantum mechanics on my own, without one Democrat in sight.

    Check out two science books I read recently, ‘The Language of God’ by Francis Collins and ‘Our Mathematical Universe’ by Max Tegmark.
    Then read Proverbs 1:1-7 and 2:1-5. Understand that “fear of God” in the two passages means that “we must be in awe of, have ultimate respect for, and be realistic about the power of God.” (Promise Keepers Men’s Study Bible NIV, 1997)

      Thanks.

      I have read ‘The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence of Belief”’ by Francis Collins. It is an excellent look into the life of an extraordinary scientist truth-seeker.

      I’ve also listened to many of Collins’ university Veritas presentations on YouTube.

      Check out a recent book by Dr. Amir D. Aczel, PH.D: ‘Why Science Does Not Disprove God’. The author takes on The New Atheists.

      I am currently reading John Polkinghorne’s ‘Science and Religion in the Quest of Truth.’

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Polkinghorne

      Also, check out Mario Livio’s ‘The Golden Ratio’ and ‘Is God a ‘Mathematician?’

      I will check out ‘Our Mathematical Universe’ by Max Tegmark.

        Thanks Jennifer, more good reading.
        BTW Tegmark probably considers himself an agnostic but to this retired math teacher it sounds like he leans intelligent design.

      gibbie in reply to Hurricane. | October 16, 2015 at 8:53 am

      I’m adding these recommendations to my list. Thanks!

      I highly recommend RC Sproul’s series “Defending Your Faith”. It’s available from http://www.ligonier.org/ and from various other places online. Sproul presents the argument from reason for the existence of God.

“Absolutely. Understanding is the realm of science. Belief is the realm of religion. Not knowing the difference is the realm of a liberal arts professor.”

Oops. Let’s not go overboard.

Both science (a methodology by which certain very limited kinds of knowledge are obtainable) and religion (the methods we use to answer the Big Questions – Who are we? Why are we here? How should we live?) use logic and reason, neither of which are “scientific”.

Example: Two statements. Which of them are you more certain of?
1) The sun is at least twice as massive as the moon.
2) It is important to tell the truth.

And you discover that science is totally dependent on truth-telling – which is a “value” which cannot be discovered using science.

Additional point: Most environmental issues are religious rather than scientific. For example, you cannot determine the relative value of humans and animals using science.

Confusion about these things results from the elimination or corruption of the core curriculum in Western Civilization. It would improve intellectual diversity if universities would bring back Western Civ – but only if there were anyone competent to teach it.

“Placing more emphasis on diversity of political beliefs when hiring [would] almost certainly require sacrificing on general quality or other dimensions of diversity,” he said.

It’s pretty telling that this professor believes that “general quality” would suffer at the hands of conservatives. My question to him is what, specifically, would suffer? I used to teach Argument and Research at the college level. I used the U.S. Constitution as a lens through which the students learned to support their arguments. They never knew what my political views were because I wanted them to learn to argue on the merits, rather than just saying something they thought would garner them an A. So, pray tell me, how did this compromise quality?

“It is not surprising that faculty at Cornell find the anti-scientific rhetoric of many in the Republican Party to be troublesome,” Prof. Kenneth McClane, English, said. “Many of us here are scientists — we believe in global warming, since we believe what the research tells us.”

In other words, “It’s not surprising because we’re totally right and those other guys are totally stupid.” So nice to see such intellectual rigor from a university professor.

Outstanding, Professor!

Crack that comfort zone and spring leaks of reality.

Anyone who uses the oxymoron ‘settled science’ is a liar and/or a scientific illiterate. Progressive climate change science is to earth science/meteorology as astrology is to astrophysics/astronomy.

    Hurricane in reply to Hurricane. | October 15, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    Check out the scientific method (http://chemistry.about.com/od/lecturenotesl3/a/sciencemethod.htm) and see how far climate ‘settled science’ change gets.

    In support of your statement:
    One list of “scientists” who signed a letter supporting climate change, as a settled science, included some were not not in fact physical scientists. That list included economists, including Nobel Prize Laureates, who were not engaged in climate science study. Economists can be considered scientists, in a sense, yet their view of climate sciences has to be, of need, as like that of a lay person.

    MaggotAtBroadAndWall in reply to Hurricane. | October 16, 2015 at 8:33 am

    Your mention of astrology triggered me to remember this study:

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2395697

    According to the study, more Democrats than Republicans consider astrology as science.
    But what is even more funny to me is that respondents were asked two questions: 1) Does the Earth revolve around the
    sun or does the Sun revolve around the earth?

    For those who correctly answered that question, the follow up question was 2) How long does it take the Earth to revolve around the Sun: one day, one month or one year?

    The results were that the science worshipping Democrats are so scientifically illiterate that 51.4% did not know that the Earth travels around the Sun and that it takes a year to complete the orbit.

Not sure where Cornell is going to find “political diversity” amongst profesors. Study in 2012 found “96 % of Ivy League Professors’ donations went to Obama.” I can’t think of anything that enlightens one more than education.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/11/28/ivy-leaguers-overwhelmingly-supported-obama-in-campaign-contributions/

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