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Only 3 Percent of Harvard Faculty Identify As Conservative, Survey Finds

April 11, 2021

A little less than 3 percent of faculty members at Harvard University identify as conservative, according to a survey performed by the student newspaper.

“There hasn’t been a conservative appointed as a Harvard faculty for the last 10 years, as far as I know,” Harvey Mansfield, 89, a conservative and a longtime professor of government at the school, told The Harvard Crimson.

That doesn’t appear to bother Harvard administrators.

The Harvard Crimson story notes:

“While the University has made a concerted effort across the past decade to promote gender and racial diversity among its faculty, Harvard has not made any explicit attempts to bolster representation from across the ideological spectrum.”

That’s a problem, according to a retired Harvard professor.

“Diversity is diversity of thought,” said Ruth Wisse, a professor emerita of Yiddish literature and comparative literature, according to The Harvard Crimson.

Another problem, say some right-of-center scholars at the school, is that administrators and professors do not seem as committed to freedom of speech as their predecessors did. That’s particularly true, one scholar said, among faculty members age 45 or younger.

Niall Ferguson, a historian who left Harvard in 2016, said Harvard could benefit from hosting a right-of-center think tank like the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, where Ferguson now teaches.

About 78 percent of Harvard faculty members say they are liberal or very liberal, according to the survey. About 19.5 percent identify as moderate.

The Harvard Crimson found that between 2017 and 2020 members of the Harvard faculty contributed $744,143 to Democrats, versus $3,010 to Republicans. The ratio is 240 to 1.

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