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The Forum

A Journal of Applied Research in Contemporary Politics

Ed. by Shafer, Byron / Disalvo, Daniel

4 Issues per year

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Politics and Professional Advancement Among College Faculty

Stanley Rothman1 / S. Robert Lichter2 / Neil Nevitte3

1Smith College

2Center of Media and Public Affairs

3University of Toronto

Citation Information: The Forum. Volume 3, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1540-8884, DOI: 10.2202/1540-8884.1067, March 2005

Publication History

Published Online:
2005-03-29

This article first examines the ideological composition of American university faculty and then tests whether ideological homogeneity has become self-reinforcing. A randomly based national survey of 1643 faculty members from 183 four-year colleges and universities finds that liberals and Democrats outnumber conservatives and Republicans by large margins, and the differences are not limited to elite universities or to the social sciences and humanities. A multivariate analysis finds that, even after taking into account the effects of professional accomplishment, along with many other individual characteristics, conservatives and Republicans teach at lower quality schools than do liberals and Democrats. This suggests that complaints of ideologically-based discrimination in academic advancement deserve serious consideration and further study. The analysis finds similar effects based on gender and religiosity, i.e., women and practicing Christians teach at lower quality schools than their professional accomplishments would predict.

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