Well, here's another merge. Shortly after I posted, I found a link to this essay by Mark Bauerlein of Emory University on another blog. Here's a snippet:
Yet while the lack of conservative minds on college campuses is increasingly indisputable, the question remains: Why?Now, I don't think of myself as a "conservative mind," and I certainly wasn't one when I was in grad school in the early to mid-90's. At the same time, I never did fit the "leftist" mode of thinking that was so predominant among the humanities faculty (and many of my fellow grad students). So I ended up being one of those bright young intellectual-types that were "filtered out" in what Bauerlein calls the "filtering process" that begins in graduate school (see my previous post for more on that).
The obvious answer, at least in the humanities and social sciences, is that academics shun conservative values and traditions, so their curricula and hiring practices discourage non-leftists from pursuing academic careers. What allows them to do that, while at the same time they deny it, is that the bias takes a subtle form. Although I've met several conservative intellectuals in the last year who would love an academic post but have given up after years of trying, outright blackballing is rare. The disparate outcome emerges through an indirect filtering process that runs from graduate school to tenure and beyond.
Very interesting essay. But now I must turn away from the interesting and return to the mundane hydra of software documentation. I've already chopped off seven heads and nearly 20 have grown back.