Passing on the Right: Conservative Professors in the Progressive University

Hardcover | March 30, 2016

byJon A. Shields, Joshua M. Dunn Sr.

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Few seem to think conservatives should become professors. While the left fears an invasion of their citadel by conservatives marching to orders from the Koch brothers, the right steers young conservatives away from a professorial vocation by lampooning its leftism. Shields and Dunn quiet thesefears by shedding light on the hidden world of conservative professors through 153 interviews. Most conservative professors told them that the university is a far more tolerant place than its right-wing critics imagine. Many, in fact, first turned right in the university itself, while others saythey feel more at home in academia than in the Republican Party. Even so, being a conservative in the progressive university can be challenging. Many professors admit to closeting themselves prior to tenure by passing as liberals. Some openly conservative professors even say they were badlymistreated on account of their politics, especially those who ventured into politicized disciplines or expressed culturally conservative views. Despite real challenges, the many successful professors interviewed by Shields and Dunn show that conservatives can survive and sometimes thrive in one of America's most progressive professions. And this means that liberals and conservatives need to rethink the place of conservatives in academia.Liberals should take the high road by becoming more principled advocates of diversity, especially since conservative professors are rarely close-minded or combatants in a right-wing war against the university. Movement conservatives, meanwhile, should de-escalate its polemical war against theuniversity, especially since it inadvertently helps cement progressives' troubled rule over academia.

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Few seem to think conservatives should become professors. While the left fears an invasion of their citadel by conservatives marching to orders from the Koch brothers, the right steers young conservatives away from a professorial vocation by lampooning its leftism. Shields and Dunn quiet thesefears by shedding light on the hidden world...

Jon A. Shields is Associate Professor in the Department of Government at Claremont McKenna College. Joshua M. Dunn Sr. is Associate Professor of Political Science and Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Government and the Individual at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.

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Paperback|Sep 1 1989

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:March 30, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199863059

ISBN - 13:9780199863051

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I: The Politics of Conservative Professors1. The Conservative Minority2. The Republican Party and its DiscontentsPart II: Life In the Progressive University3. The Bias Debate4. Closeted Conservatives5. Open Conservatism and its Challenges6. The Limits of LiberalismPart III: Should We Care?7. The Consequences of a Progressive ProfessoriateEpilogue: Affirmative Action for Conservatives?

Editorial Reviews

"Robust and uninhibited intellectual inquiry should be at the center of the American Academy. As a revolutionary Christian I welcome more intense dialogue with my conservative brothers and sisters. This brave book helps us move toward this Socratic condition!" --Cornel West