Political Bias

From the President: Button Up

I was using my standard syllabus for my seminar in the poetry of Langston Hughes and Claude McKay during the fall 2008 election season. As serendipity would have it, the night Barack Obama won the presidency the poems my students were assigned to read included Hughes’s “Children’s Rhymes.” Here is the second stanza:

By what sends

the white kids

I ain’t sent:

I know I can’t

be President.

Academic Freedom and Me

The complications of politics, culture, and academic freedom in one career.

Only Moderately Ideological

Closed Minds? Politics and Ideology in American Universities. Bruce L. R. Smith, Jeremy D. Mayer, and A. Lee Fritschler. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2008.

Skim This Book

One-Party Classroom: How Radical Professors at America’s Top Colleges Indoctrinate Students and Undermine Our Democracy. David Horowitz and Jacob Laksin. New York: Crown Forum Publishing Group, 2009.

Politically Controversial Academic Personnel Decisions

A new AAUP report issued for comment states that political or religious beliefs should not be grounds to hire, fire, or discipline faculty. 

The Climate-Change Wars

Global Warming and Political Intimidation: How Politicians Cracked Down on Scientists as the Earth Heated Up. Raymond S. Bradley. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2011.

The Bias Fallacy

Critics of the politicization of higher education claim that political partisanship in the classroom is pervasive and that it affects student learning. Although the existence of such partisanship has not been empirically proven, allegations of bias are perennial and have made headlines several times over the past year. Claims of liberal bias in higher education were even incorporated into the party platform ratified at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa. The platform states, “Ideological bias is deeply entrenched within the current university system. . . .

Berkeley, the American Police State, and the Making of a Governor

Subversives: The FBI’s War on Student Radicals, and Reagan’s Rise to Power. Seth Rosenfeld. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2012.

Small Fish, Big Pond

Why Are Professors Liberal and Why Do Conservatives Care? By Neil Gross. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013.


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