Bias in Academia? Say it ain’t so, Joe!

I have had the pleasure of late to read a blog written by a Dean at a community college on the east coast. He has requested his readers to provide inputs on what the ideal, or “Utopian” community college would be like. I found much of the discussion interesting, often for what it did not include (expectations of performance of faculty, for instance–but I have a comment there about that…).

I also found a discussion about bias in academia to be interesting as well. It seems that academics do not believe that there is a liberal bias in academia. Now, one could comment about fish not perceiving water, pigs and mud, etc (the implication being, you do not notice that which surrounds you as being somehow “different.”) I, though, was struck by the similarity between the liberal argument, and the conservatives they argue about.

So, without any further ado, here is my comment and the others, regarding stereotyping by liberals.


Do you not notice the stereotyping and bias you yourself introduce? By writing “the conservative movement as a whole has a very strong “know-nothing” component which is inimical to the very concept of education.” you judge a whole group based on a pre-conception (and I doubt you can show research to support your view–besides anecdote.) Given this, you dismiss as “the exception” the few conservatives who point out they are in favor of critical thinking.

This really does sound as offensive to me as “well, you may be a smart woman, but most women…” or perhaps some other stereotype.

It is perhaps in our desire to descriminate, (sic) and stereotype, based on differences, that conservatives and liberals, pin-heads and enlightened, find their true common ground.

This is why my preference for “diversity” in education is not race or gender, or even age based–it’s *idea* based. I want to encourage a diverse idea base, so that ideas can be freely exchanged, and debate encouraged, without stereotyping and dismissing from any group.

Just a thought.