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Viewpoint diversity concerns continue after report shows 98% of Yale faculty donations went to Democrats

Student: Academics being replaced by ‘indoctrination’

New research about Yale University faculty’s political donations is adding to growing concerns about a lack of ideological diversity on the Ivy League campus.

The analysis by the Yale Daily News student newspaper found that faculty political donations almost exclusively went to Democrat groups in 2023. The report has prompted questions from conservative students and organizations about Yale prioritizing ideology over merit and academics in its hiring practices.

In 2023, 98 percent of Yale faculty members’ political donations went to Democrat groups, the Daily News found. Between faculty and staff, about 93 percent of political donations went to Democrats, according to the analysis.

The top recipient was the Biden Victory Fund at approximately $25,000, with the Democratic National Committee in second at about $23,000, according to the report. Other major recipients included funds for politicians Chris Murphy, Nancy Pelosi, Cory Booker, and the pro-abortion group Emily’s List.

Notably, “the last time more than 10 percent of total faculty contributions went to Republicans was over 20 years ago, in 2002,” the Daily News found.

A spokesman for the National Association of Scholars, an organization that works to uphold the values of a liberal arts education, told The College Fix via email that the findings are evidence that Yale is lacking in viewpoint diversity.

“And with such a lack the general public will become suspicious of the research and purpose of these institutions. This is because those conducting the research and giving expert advice all come from one political persuasion,” NAS Director of Communications Chance Layton said.

Layton told The Fix there is nothing wrong with professors donating to political parties in and of itself, but the data indicates the university prefers to hire politically left professors.

At the same time, many universities are “actively pursuing to end the careers of potential candidates and existing professors aligning with America’s right,” he said.

Yale is not alone. A series of College Fix analyses in 2022 found similar skews in faculty political donations to Democrats at universities across the country.

For conservative students especially, these findings are concerning.

“Students who want to receive a liberal arts education at an elite institution instead find themselves receiving an indoctrination in Democratic politics,” Yale senior Gabriel Diamond wrote in a column last week at The Hill.

Diamond, a political science major, said professors teach their leftist beliefs through publications, lectures, and the guidance of students’ minds and often “disparage conservative ideas.”

Then, “students absorb the ideas through coursework and extracurricular activism which they will carry forward into their own work,” Diamond wrote. “… [U]ntil the faculty roster gets more intellectually and politically diverse and course offerings start to change, Yale’s liberal arts education, like that available at many other ‘elite’ universities across America, will remain a pedagogy in illiberalism.”

Despite the overwhelming problem across higher education, Layton with the National Association of Scholars said there are concrete solutions.

“One of the easiest solutions to encouraging more viewpoint diversity would be for schools to follow through with the viewpoint neutrality principle they magically rediscovered in the wake of October 7th,” he said, referring to the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel.

The association is adamant that schools should not get involved in politics. Layton told The Fix there should be “no official statements on political matters. Keep silent. Their job is to educate paying students, not bloviate to the public about issues that taxpayers may differ in opinion about.”

This would allow students and professors to engage in free discussion without fear of being on “the wrong side of their university’s official statements,” Layton said.

Although no easy solution exists, Layton said there are glimmers of hope.

“It’s time for state legislatures to take up the issue and begin putting the screws to these institutions to maintain institutional neutrality and promote viewpoint diversity,” he stated.

The Yale communications office did not respond to two requests for comment from The Fix within the past week asking for its reaction to the political donations report and its actions regarding viewpoint diversity.

Yale recently did take one step toward broadening ideological perspectives among its faculty.

Keith Whittington, a right-of-center professor who taught political science at Princeton, is transitioning to Yale to establish an academic freedom center there later this year, The Fix reported.

Whittington told The Fix in November that the new center should open by fall 2024, and it likely will host public programs, conferences, and workshops for scholars, administrators, and policymakers.

The Fix also contacted Students for Life at Yale to ask about the significant number of faculty donations made to the pro-abortion advocacy group Emily’s List, but did not receive a response.

MORE: Yale is a ‘campus without care’ after hosting ‘anti-Israel’ event: Jewish students

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About the Author
College Fix contributor Will Caldwell is a student at Wisconsin Lutheran College studying political science and history. He is involved with College Republicans and interned for Senator Ron Johnson.