CHAPEL HILL — A recent study by the conservative site The College Fix found that UNC Chapel Hill professors were 16 times more likely to be registered as Democrats than as Republicans.
The study looked at 14 humanities and STEM departments, cross referencing the first, middle, and last names of the professors with those on the State Board of Elections.
According to The College Fix, they analyzed “405 professors in UNC’s philosophy, American Studies, religious studies, women’s and gender studies, art & art history, classics, communications, dramatic arts, English and comparative literature, Germanic and Slavic languages and literatures, exercise and sports science, physics and astronomy, mathematics and chemistry departments.”
Among these professors, they found that 204 were registered as Democrats and 13 as Republicans. A smaller number, 67, were registered as unaffiliated. Another 121 were marked as unknown because of an inability to definitively match the middle names from resumes and academic papers to N.C. voter rolls.
The College Fix said this was the third study they performed of this kind on major American universities in recent weeks. The UNC Chapel Hill data showing a 16-1 ratio was far more slanted than the others, however, with Ohio State University only having a 7-to-1 ratio and University of Nebraska at Omaha having a 5-1 ratio.
Jenna Robinson, president of the Raleigh-based James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, told Carolina Journal that “These numbers aren’t really surprising. Most universities lean heavily to the left.”
But Robinson added that “Given the one-sided politics among faculty, it’s important for UNC to protect and promote viewpoint diversity in other ways, including bringing speakers to campus and supporting student groups. UNC’s recent campus climate surveys and resolutions to protect free speech will also contribute to a culture where no viewpoints are silenced, even when they are in the minority.”
Terry Stoops, director of the John Locke Foundation’s Center for Effective Education, however, suggested that these lopsided numbers should not be the expectation at public universities.
“Taxpayers reasonably expect that their multi-billion-dollar investments in North Carolina’s public universities will support institutions that reflect the state’s marvelous political and ideological diversity,” Stoops said. “Instead, the UNC System has become a safe haven for progressive educators and activists who too often blur the lines between instruction and indoctrination.”
Stoops added that “Parents, alumni, and taxpayers should demand that the UNC System hire qualified faculty committed to exposing students to more than just variations of left-wing social and political thought. Otherwise, the system will perpetuate a grotesque ideological conformity that is unique among tax-supported institutions.”
In some UNC Chapel Hill departments, there was not a single Republican. These included the American Studies Department, the Women and Gender Studies Department, the Classics Department, the Religious Studies Department, the Art and Art History Department, and the Germanic and Slavic Languages Department.
Some large departments did have Republicans but with unusually large disparities. Examples were the English Department, which had a 23-1 ratio of Democrats over Republicans; and the Chemistry Department, which had a 28-1 ratio.
The Math Department was the only that had a near parity, with five Democrats, four Republicans, 13 unaffiliateds, and 20 unknowns.
The College Fix said they reached out to UNC Chapel Hill’s media relations team about the disparity and was referred to a message by the school’s chancellor, Kevin Guskiewicz.
“Our university is a big and diverse place, making room for an array of different viewpoints, and that calls for thoughtful restraint on the part of leadership when it comes to weighing in on controversial issues,” said Guskiewicz in the statement. “When university leaders commit the institution to a political position, it can chill dissent and silence alternative views.”
A full breakdown of the political registration of UNC Chapel Hill’s professors, as reported by The College Fix, can be seen below:
Department of Philosophy:
Department of American Studies:
Department of Religious Studies:
Department of Women’s and Gender Studies:
Department of Art & Art History:
Department of Classics:
Department of Physics and Astronomy:
Department of Communications:
Department of Dramatic Art:
Department of Math:
Department of English and Comparative Literature:
Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures:
Department of Exercise & Sports Science:
Department of Chemistry: