Communicating Political Bias in the College Classroom

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Publication Date


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Communication Currents


National Communication Association


The concern that academia is a liberal ivory tower with faculty endeavoring to brainwash undergraduates into holding liberal views is a perennial issue for American higher education. A recent survey indicated that nearly 70% of Americans felt academia favors professors with liberal social and political views and nearly 40% believed political bias in the college classroom is a serious problem. Organizations and pundits critical of the current status quo have published repeated scathing critiques of the role ideology plays in academia, and in communication studies classrooms in particular. Various solutions to the perceived problem have also been recommended, many of which involve the need for significant structural reform. In a particularly interesting flipping of the scripts, Bill O’Reilly recently called for affirmative action in the hiring of conservative academics in higher education. Our research, however, suggests a solution to the issue that, while longer term, may be simpler and rooted in a shared educational mission.