Shocking because it comes from the editors of the Harvard Crimson, and because the diversity they call for is ideological. The context is the release of a report by Harvard’s Presidential Task Force on Inclusion and Belonging. The report, predictably, was all about race and gender. The Crimson’s editors write:
[M]uch more work is needed in expanding the conversation and prioritizing ideological diversity on campus. Startlingly, just around 1.5 percent of respondents to The Crimson news staff’s survey of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences identify as conservative or very conservative, compared to 83.2 percent who identify as liberal or very liberal.
These statistics do not reflect America: 35 percent of Americans identify as conservative, 23 times the fraction of the faculty survey’s respondents, and 26 percent identify as liberal. This stark divide has harmful effects on the University’s ability to train our nation’s leaders, and it risks alienating current and potential conservative students. It has also likely contributed to the declining trust of Americans in higher education, which has deleterious effects.
Those points are all well taken. In particular, the notorious leftism of most campuses has badly damaged academia in the eyes of most Americans.
Much more work is needed to make this important element of diversity a priority. We believe the University must emphasize hiring professors with diverse beliefs and backgrounds who can challenge prevailing campus ideas through tough ideological conversations.
Increasing ideological diversity—and making students who may disagree with mainstream campus ideas more welcome—should be worked toward beyond merely hiring intellectually diverse faculty, however. Initiatives to promote campus conversations in which beliefs are questioned should be encouraged, as should giving students the resources they need to feel comfortable but not unchallenged in their identities. By doing so, we expand the diversity conversation to make as many students feel as welcome as we can.
I did not realize until recently that leftism doesn’t start in college. Many public high schools–most, I fear–are now dominated by the wacky left. Thus, a student may easily arrive at an institution like Harvard without ever having encountered conservative ideas. If Harvard really wants to stand out from the crowd, it should give Western civilization, classical liberalism, social conservatism, and the free markets that have done more for humanity than anything else in history a fair shake.
Via The College Fix.