Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Yale Prof Estimates Faculty Political Diversity At 0%

Wall Street Journal op-ed:  Yale Prof Estimates Faculty Political Diversity at ‘0%’, by James Freeman:

Yale University LogoNobody looks to the Ivy League for balanced political discourse. But a new report suggests that on at least one campus, the stifling of conservative views among faculty members is nearly complete.

Valerie Pavilonis and Matt Kristoffersen report in the Yale Daily News:

According to computer science professor David Gelernter ‘76, faculty political diversity at Yale is low: “0%,” he wrote in an email. He added that while there are a “few conservatives, including prominent ones,” their numbers are not high enough to have a significant impact on campus culture.

Readers might assume that Mr. Gelernter, an occasional contributor to the Journal, is poking fun at the school’s overwhelming leftism rather than expressing mathematical precision. But via email, another Yale faculty member who chooses to remain anonymous tells this column, “I agree with the calculation.”

A third Yale faculty member, a self-described liberal, says the faculty is “moving further to the left” and has become increasingly intolerant of conservative viewpoints. This faculty member, who also requests anonymity, says that some faculty bias is subconscious: “They think people who agree with them are smarter than people who disagree with them.” This professor adds: “Universities are moving away from the search for truth” in favor of a search for “social justice.” ...

Ms. Pavilonis and Mr. Kristoffersen of the Yale Daily News also interviewed history professor Carlos Eire, another occasional contributor to the Journal. According to their report:

Yale talks a lot of diversity, but basically all that diversity means here is skin color,” Eire said. “There’s definitely no diversity here when it comes to politics. The liberal point of view is taken to be objective — not an opinion, not a set of beliefs... There’s an assumption that goes unquestioned that if you’re not part of the herd groupthink there’s something wrong with you,” he said.

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Unemployed Northeastern - Yes, you've proven you aren't a computer science professor. In mathematics, it's called rounding. It all depends upon how many significant digits one wants to report.

Posted by: ruralcounsel | Dec 13, 2019 3:34:10 AM

It's always amusing how many commenters on a site for tax law and legal education take hearsay as unimpeachable fact when it corresponds to their preexisting beliefs. Also I'm certainly not a computer science professor at Yale but I'm fairly certain that 0% and "a few" are not mathematically synonymous.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Dec 12, 2019 8:24:55 AM

Particularly weird, since Yale (Buckley) essentially invented modern intellectual conservatism. Maybe need to look harder?

Posted by: Mike Livingston | Dec 12, 2019 4:12:57 AM

David Gelernter provides a vivid example of how brilliance in one arena (computer science in his case) does not translate into brilliance in another arena. He doesn't believe in evolution. So take what he says with a grain of salt. The usual sniping of the right wing against the liberal takeover of the academy.

Posted by: Oliver Buckley | Dec 11, 2019 3:23:17 PM

I am shocked—shocked—to find that gambling is going on in here!

Posted by: Anon | Dec 11, 2019 2:55:12 PM

*clutches pearls*

Shocking. So stunning and so brave.

Posted by: Anon | Dec 11, 2019 2:51:54 PM