Conservatives in Academe

Megan McArdle, back from a long vacation that left her untanned but with a deformed blog template, has composed what she correctly entitles, “A hell of a long post on conservatives in academia.” She does a good job of outlining the debate, operationalizing its terms, sorting out the major arguments, and looking at the potential remedies.

She’s certainly right that conservatives are much less prominent among the faculties of selective universities than in society at large or even in comparison with other highly educated professions. I also share her libertarian instincts on the matter; there’s not much to be done about this phenomenon that wouldn’t be worse than the problem.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Mithras says:

    Hmmm, I didn’t notice a deficiency of conservative professors (of all stripes) at my elite law school.

    What does a liberal physics, biology, geology, medicine, accounting, business administration, or computer science professor look like? And why does it matter?

    I guess conservative victimology just needs to keep itself going somehow.

  2. McGehee says:

    Mithras, first of all, “data” is not the plural of “anecdote.”

    And I’m sure I would be wildly entertained by your definition of “conservative.”

  3. Mithras says:

    Well, McGehee, McArdle offers exactly the same amount of data that I do. Since we’re all pulling it out of our asses here, what’s the problem?

    And good point about the definition of “conservative.” Mine swings from “social reactionary” to “wealthy status-quoist” to “libertarian fantasist.” Let’s define “liberal” along the way, too – something else the people advancing this line of argument have neglected to do.