Yale Professor Criticizes Survey of University Faculties
Serge Lang, a Yale mathematics professor, yesterday criticized a wide-ranging survey of university faculty opinion conducted by Seymour M. Lipset, former professor of Government and Social Relations, saying it is "intellectually at the level of a T.V. panel."
The survey, which deals with such issues as premarital sex, political radicalism and "cheating in science," was sent last spring to over 9000 faculty members across the nation.
"Lipset's survey prejudices many questions to the point where respondents may reasonably object to dealing with the issues on the surveyor's terms," Lang said yesterday.
He cited examples of multiple-choice questions about "political radicalism" which he said classify professors in a right-left continuum.
"It all started out as a very political thing," Lipset said yesterday, referring to the controversy with Lang. "I've found that academics tend to be radical, and Lang feels threatened."
"I resent such choices being imposed on me, and ultimately used and manipulated toward the formation of education policy which cannot be sound," Lang said yesterday.
The results of Lipset's survey have been widely quoted in the media and used to create a very distorted and superficial picture of American professors, John T. Tate '46, professor of Mathematics, said yesterday.
"I've read healines like 'Survey Shows Academics Support Premarital Sex,' and it just isn't true," he added.