Why so few conservative professors? The John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy asked conservative and libertarian professors to respond to a paper by Neil Gross, a University of British Columbia sociology professor, and Ethan Fosse, a doctoral student at Harvard, which argues that conservatives don’t seek jobs in academia because they see it as a liberal profession.
Duke’s Michael Munger, a economics and political science professor, scoffs:
In other words, conservatives aren’t interested in things like history, literature, and the classics. Presumably, the idea is that conservatives just want to play golf and wear plaid pants and sweater sets in alarming colors.
This idea is absurd on its face: history, literature, classical education, and constitutional government are at the very center of the conservative ideal.
. . . quite a few faculty have told me with straight faces, that expecting a history or English department to hire a conservative is like asking a biology department to hire a creationist. Being a conservative, in many places, is just not intellectually respectable.
Academia is a “hostile environment” for libertarians and conservatives, adds Jonathan Bean, a history professor at Southern Illinois University.