Monday, August 29, 2005

No Bias Here

The study, to be published this fall in The Georgetown Law Journal, analyzes 11 years of records reflecting federal campaign contributions by professors at the top 21 law schools as ranked by U.S. News & World Report. Almost a third of these law professors contribute to campaigns, but of them, the study finds, 81 percent who contributed $200 or more gave wholly or mostly to Democrats; 15 percent gave wholly or mostly to Republicans.

The percentages of professors contributing to Democrats were even more lopsided at some of the most prestigious schools: 91 percent at Harvard, 92 at Yale, 94 at Stanford. At the University of Virginia, on the other hand, contributions were about evenly divided between the parties. The sample sizes at some schools may be too small to allow for comparisons, though it bears noting that by this measure the University of Chicago is slightly more liberal than Berkeley.

Still think they is no bias in our education system?

The article goes on to try to down play the implications of this study by citing the examples of Justice Scalia, Justice Thomas & Judge Roberts. However it does concede that:
Law schools are sort of organized in a club structure, where current members of the club pick future members of the club.

This is true not only for law profession, but others as well, as the experineces of David French show.
During my second interview with the director of the program I was applying to join, she asked the following question: “I note from your CV that you seem to be involved in religious right issues. Do you think you can teach gay students?” How many gay applicants at Cornell have been asked: “Do you think you can teach Christian students?”....

Nor was my experience with ignorance and prejudice limited to faculty hiring. One of the most disturbing aspects of my experience at Cornell Law School was the year I spent on the school’s admissions committee. I saw a Christian student once almost get rejected despite tremendous academic qualification because members of the committee were wary of his “God-squadding” and “Bible-thumping.” He was admitted only after I raised strong objections to the committee’s obvious anti-religious prejudice. I also saw some Latino and African-American candidates receive less affirmative action assistance because their perceived politics or career interests (such as an interest in finance) were deemed “less diverse” than other applicants with an obvious interest in “social justice.” Moreover, some applicants of color who indicated interest in the world of commerce were said not to have “taken ownership of their racial identity.”

It's high time for the Ivory Tower to stop hiding behind the facade of objectivity & come to terms with the fact that they are biased. If academia is to persist in tolerating ideological bias, they will find them-selves trusted less & less.

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