The yawning gap between political views at Harvard and America as a whole – illustrated by Republican Donald Trump’s election – shows that the Ivy League campus is failing its obligation to foster ideological diversity, according to a Harvard Crimson staff editorial.
Indeed, as evidenced by a pre-election survey of Harvard students’ ideological affiliations (13 percent conservative, 70 percent liberal, with 6 percent supporting Trump), Harvard is marked by ideological uniformity – and “that should concern faculty, administrators, and students alike, especially at this moment in our history”:
The pursuit of “Veritas” which undergirds our intellectual life demands not only that each member of our community be able to debate politics freely, but also that we attend to the multitude of political views that exist in our nation. Stifling this discussion on campus is a disservice to our peers in the campus political minority, and to our own educational growth.
In the same vein, administrators and faculty should take active steps to ensure that students of all political stripes feel comfortable voicing their ideas, especially in the classroom. Concretely, this effort will likely involve actively encouraging the airing of different views, and curtailing unnecessary or inappropriate expressions of political favor by professors. Guaranteeing that more conservative professors teach in subject areas that clearly lean liberal, like the humanities, is also crucial.
Don’t expect Harvard hiring committees to stop dragging along self-identified or conservative-sounding candidates before coming up with neutral excuses for dumping them from consideration, though.
The best solution, for now, is staying in the closet.