Of the nearly $600,000 Cornell’s faculty donated to political candidates or parties in the past four years, over 96 percent has gone to fund Democratic campaigns, while only 15 of the 323 donors gave to conservative causes.
The Sun’s analysis of Federal Election Committee data reveals that from 2011 to 2014, Cornell’s faculty donated $573,659 to Democrats, $16,360 to Republicans and $2,950 to Independents. Each of Cornell’s 13 schools — both graduate and undergraduate — slanted heavily to the left. In the College of Arts and Sciences, 99 percent of the $183,644 donated went to liberal campaigns. The law school demonstrated the strongest conservative showing, with nearly 26 percent of its approximately $20,000 worth of donations going to Republicans.
Almost one-third of donations made over the past four years went to 2012 presidential campaigns. More than 94 percent of the $200,000 Cornellians contributed to the presidential race went to the Obama Victory Fund, while the Romney Victory Fund received under four percent of these funds…
…Jacobson said he believes this lack of diversity is actually most damaging to liberal students, who leave college without having to defend their views and enter a world where “Republicans control both houses of Congress and most state legislatures and governorships.”
“Such homogeneity in thought process at the professorial level is not conducive to intellectual rigor. That harms liberal students more than anyone, because they have a comfort zone of political acceptance which does not exist in a real world,” he said. “Over the years, I have observed that openly conservative students have to be better prepared for argument than their liberal counterparts and that process prepares them for life better than being intellectually coddled.”
Thompson agreed, saying that he, as a conservative student in the College of Arts and Sciences, has a chance almost every day to hone and defend his own beliefs, while many liberal students never experience a “trial by fire” test of their own values.
“I actually think that students on campus on the right-end of the political spectrum are stronger and more able to confront challenges to their viewpoints after they leave here, so I think Cornell is actually failing students in that way as well, they’re not providing students with an alternative point of view,” he said.
Jacobson called on the administration to recognize the value and necessity of diversity of thought in Cornell’s faculty.
“Diversity at Cornell focuses on gender, race and ethnicity as a proxy for intellectual diversity. That is inadequate as an objective matter because it has not resulted in a diversity of political thought,” Jacobson said. “If Cornell truly believes that diversity of thought fosters the educational experience, then it should include political diversity in its mandated diversity goals.”