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Conservatives Make up a Tiny Minority of the Faculty at Harvard

Conservatives Make up a Tiny Minority of the Faculty at Harvard

“There are many more conservatives among the students than there are among either the faculty or the administration”

You probably could have guessed this, but it’s nice to get some confirmation.

The Harvard Crimson reports:

‘An Endangered Species’: The Scarcity of Harvard’s Conservative Faculty

Government professor Harvey C. Mansfield Jr. ’53 is widely known on campus as the default example of a conservative faculty member at Harvard.

According to Mansfield, this is not because his views possess any sort of “superiority” to others’ perspectives, but simply because a professor with his political stance is “rare” on Harvard’s campus.

“Every class you enter, you have to work out your position vis-à-vis what the professor is saying,” Mansfield said. “Because a professor is going to be a liberal, and he’s not going to be bashful about it.”

“There are many more conservatives among the students than there are among either the faculty or the administration,” he said, adding that those students tend to seek him out as one of the few vocal conservative voices in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

It is no surprise that Harvard’s faculty skews heavily toward the left side of the political aisle. Out of 236 members of the FAS who responded to a question on political leanings in The Crimson’s 2021 Faculty Survey, just seven — 3 percent — identified as “somewhat” or “very conservative,” compared to 183 who identified as “somewhat” or “very liberal.”

Political donations by FAS members show a similar leftward bent. Contributions by FAS faculty to Democrats recorded in the publicly available Federal Election Commission filings for 2017-2020 totaled $744,143, while donations to Republican campaigns and candidates amounted to just $3,010, less than the $5,600 that FAS faculty contributed to independent candidates.


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Any data on the breakdown of the Harvard Board of Overseers? It would be great if someone could take Harvard’s major donor list and check it against the FEC donor data. I bet that Harvard’s big donors (as well as Ivy League donors generally) tilt Republican and conservative.

    henrybowman in reply to lawgrad. | April 11, 2021 at 8:55 pm

    I’d take that bet. Though I don’t understand the mechanism, its operation is clear: Entrepreneurs exploit the capitalist system to make vast fortunes, then (here a miracle occurs) they turn squish and squander it all on unicorn causes.
    Bill Gates. Warren Buffet. Jeff Bezos. Richard Branson. Rupert Murdoch. Ted Turner. Tom Steyer.
    You can crank out the names like a Chinese ballot factory.

George_Kaplan | April 11, 2021 at 10:08 pm

So 7/236 faculty identify as some form of conservative. Of that, how many actually subscribe to conservative values or voted Trump?

A study of … members of psychology departments across America (if I recall correctly – way too long ago) found very few identified as conservative, and as soon as you started asking them their views on conservative issues – abortion, gun rights, I forget what, many of those ‘conservatives’ actually subscribed to liberal positions.

It is interesting that minority rights are not championed in higher ed. – at least not when it refers to diversity of thought.

Who’s going to admit they’re conservative in the current atmosphere, anonymous or not?