Diagnosis for Democracy
Insights into the State of Our Union
A Blog by Rob Tenery, MD


Many 'Ivory Towers' Have Become Bastions of Indoctrination

By Rob Tenery, MD on May 22, 2017

Many of the so-called Ivory Towers have become ‘bastions of indoctrination’--- a platform for their professors to extol on their liberal way of thinking.

Our youth are vulnerable. Not yet fully independent, they tend to rationalize more liberally, advocating for the downtrodden and the disadvantaged, because, in some ways, they see themselves in that same way.

Using statistics collected from the last 25 years by the Higher Education Research Institute, Samuel Abrams, a professor of politics at Sarah Lawrence College in New York released his findings in The New York Times on July 12, 2016. Adams reported, “In the South and throughout the Great Plains, the ratio of liberal to conservative professors hovered around 3 to 1. On the liberal left coast, the ratio was 6 to 1. And then there was New England standing at 28 to 1.” He claims his research revealed that conservative professors were being pushed to the edge of extinction. “Our region’s schools (New England) have always been suspected of putting the ‘liberal’ in liberal arts college. Until recently, though, no one had quantified just how far left higher ed (education) here had drifted,” quotes Chris Sweeney, Boston Magazine, January, 2017.

“The goal of college is to give you multiple viewpoints and to grow your mind, not to just be comfortable in your own bubble. The real world is not (just) full of progressives,” said Abrams, who describes himself as a centrist and earned a doctorate from Harvard.

These changes have been coming gradually over the last fifty-plus years. According to Abrams, this undercuts the mission of college and diminishes the value of six-figure educations. Tuition costs for these particular institutions back this premise. Harvard is 47,047/year, while another Boston based college, Bay State, is only 24,780. It isn’t just in New England. Houston’s Rice University’s tuition is 43,918, while the University of Texas in Austin is only 10,044 for instate residents.

“When the student and teacher activists of the 1960s marched across many of these same campuses, they were often fighting for freedom of expression,” continues Abrams.  “Today’s movements are widely aimed at preventing the established power structure from harming less-privileged groups. Consequently, student activists have banded together—sometimes alongside faculty—in support of safe spaces and protective speech. The result? Many conservatives on New England’s campuses are feeling more marginalized and alienated than ever before.”

Left-leaning academics confirm that they discriminate against conservatives, according to a study published in the September, 2012 edition of the Journal of Perspectives on Psychological Science. "In decisions ranging from paper reviews to hiring, many psychologists admit that they would discriminate against openly conservative colleagues," say psychologists Yoel Inbar and Joris Lammers.

Those who believe in open discourse, and exposure to conflicting lines of thought, are critical of the movement toward safe places, free of dissent. In an open letter to incoming students, University of Chicago dean of students John ‘Jay’ Ellison writes, “freedom of inquiry and expression will not give way to so-called safe spaces where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.”

Does a college degree make a difference in future opportunities and incomes? Researchers from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York noted that the bottom 25 percent of college degree holders basically earn no more than the median worker who ended his or her education after high school.*

Other results show that 10 years after getting their degree, graduates of the most competitive colleges earn 8 percent more than graduates of very selective colleges, 11 percent more than graduates of colleges that are competitive, and 19 percent more than graduates of colleges that are not competitive in admissions.**

A review, reported in The National Bureau of Economic Research, by Philip Oreopoulos and Uros Petronijevic point out that among Americans between the ages 30 and 50, the median college graduate earns less annually than the top 10 percent of high school grads.***

As parents, we want what’s best for our children. The attitude has been to help our children get into to the best college they can, even if that means making sacrifices and accumulating debt that could take years to pay off. That line of thinking might now be questioned. The tuition alone of many of most prestigious schools is exorbitant. Except in certain fields, there is little income difference between the top 10% of high school graduates and the median college graduates.

Just as important is many of these so-called Ivory Towers of higher learning, by not allowing room for open discourse, have become nothing more than venues for socialist leaning professors to impart their bias.  

 

*Money Box By Jordan Weissmann SEPT. 8 2014

** Inside Higher Education  By Scott Iaschik August 22, 2016.

*** Making College Worth It: A Review of Research on the Returns to Higher Education,  Philip Oreopoulos, Uros Petronijevic.





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