Too few conservatives teach at universities, USFSP professor emeritus writes
A conservative University of South Florida professor doubts he would have been hired at USF had officials known his ideological leanings.
“I believe I was hired because I had spent the prior year as a National Teaching Fellow at Florida A & M University,” USF St. Petersburg professor emeritus Darryl Paulson wrote in an op-ed published Friday. “Anyone who taught at a historically black university had to be a liberal.”
USF does not track or consider political ideologies for any of its 15,000 employees, USF spokeswoman Lara Wade wrote in an email.
In a column published on SaintPetersBlog, among other websites, Paulson argued that universities suffer from a lack of conservative voices.
“Welcome to the modern American university, where almost every type of diversity is encouraged, except for ideological diversity,” he wrote. “Try challenging liberal dogma as a student or professor, and you will likely find yourself facing counseling and academic discipline.”
Paulson teaches government, specializing in political parties, elections and southern politics, according to his bio on the USFSP website. He has won high-profile teaching awards and is a fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington D.C., a prominent conservative think tank.
Paulson said he found few fellow conservatives at USF, an experience reflected in several studies he cited. One, by the Georgetown Law Journal, found that 81 percent of law professors at the top 21 law schools donated money to Democrats. Republicans received money from 15 percent.
A 1999 study across nearly 200 institutions found that 72 percent of faculty were self-described liberals, and 15 percent conservatives.
“Clearly,” Paulson wrote, “academia does not mirror the nation.”
The Gradebook has reached out to Paulson for comment.