Faculty Conservative on Campus Issues

A nation-wide survey of university faculty members has shown that while they are more liberal than the general population on national and international issues, "there is a striking and clear shift toward a more conservative attitude where the faculty's immediate self-interest is concerned."

Of the 60,447 who participated in the survey, 51.4 per cent disapproved-unreservedly or with reservations-of the emergence of radical student activism in recent years, and 80.1 per cent agreed-strongly or with reservations-that "campus disruptions are a threat to academic freedom."

One Hundred Thousand

The survey is part of a project on campus political beliefs sponsored by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education. Questionnaires were mailed last spring to 100.000 faculty members at more than 300 colleges, junior colleges, and universities-including Harvard-selected by a system of stratified random sampling.

Seymour Martin Lipset, professor of Government and Social Relations, is a member of the three-man team which is analyzing the survey results. Lipset said yesterday that the project would probably result in two books to be published in the summer of 1971.

Not So Liberal

Politically, 11.5 per cent of the faculty members classified themselves as "liberal," and 3.5 per cent as "loft." About 30 per cent said they were "middle of the road." 22 per cent were "moderately conservative" and 2.2 per cent were "strongly conservative."


Nineteen per cent favored immediate withdrawal from Vietnam, and 42.1 per cent favored the creation of a coalition government there. Six per cent favorol "defeating the Communist at any cost" and 29.1 per cent favored "reducing commitment but preventing a Communist takeover."

In general, the most liberal faculty members are in the social sciences, followed in descending order by the humanities, the natural sciences, and the professions.

The respondents rejected any suggestion that students should have control of faculty appointments and promotion, undergraduate admissions policy, or content of courses. The majority also disagreed-either strongly or with reservations-that "education would be improved if institutions were run by faculty and students."

No Shift

"A lot of the attitudes of faculty with regard to equality or power outside the university do not apply inside," Lipset said yesterday. "This is not a basic shift." he added, "it has always been there."

He went on to suggest one possible cause for the adverse reaction of faculty towards student protest: "The constant wear and tear of political turmoil has a negative effect on the faculty. The long-term effect of a politically divided campus is psychologically quite wearing. People get fed up with it,"

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