An editorial recently published in Harvard University’s main student newspaper calls on the Ivy League university to expand ideological diversity among its staff by hiring more conservatives.
The recent editorial in The Harvard Crimson implored university administrators to address the severe lack of conservative professors on campus, contending that the school’s current political makeup is severely out of touch with America.
“Startlingly, just around 1.5 percent of respondents to The Crimson news staff’s survey of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences identify as conservative or very conservative, compared to 83.2 percent who identify as liberal or very liberal,” the editorial read.
The editors asserted that such a lack of ideological diversity is ultimately detrimental to the university, and has the potential to negatively affect student enrollment.
“This stark divide has harmful effects on the University’s ability to train our nation’s leaders, and it risks alienating current and potential conservative students,” the editors wrote. “It has also likely contributed to the declining trust of Americans in higher education, which has deleterious effects.”
Although Harvard has historically been regarded as a beacon of liberal thought, since the 2016 elections, the university has prioritized addressing issues of ideological diversity.
In February, the National Campaign for Political and Civic Engagement at Harvard’s Institute of Politics hosted a town hall-style symposium among students of diverse political viewpoints from 29 universities across the nation. The purpose of the symposium was to garner a better understanding of political issues facing young Americans.
According to the editors at the Crimson, Harvard has a duty to prioritize hiring professors who represent all political viewpoints in order to protect free and open debate on campus.
“We believe the University must emphasize hiring professors with diverse beliefs and backgrounds who can challenge prevailing campus ideas through tough ideological conversations,” the editors wrote.