I remember a discussion with someone who taught at a public university. This individual stated that it was a rather difficult environment since he/she was practically the only politically conservative faculty member. Further, this person stated that it was a shame because so many of the parents sent their children to the school, not knowing that the overwhelming majority of the faculty were not in agreement with the parent’s views. It is with this context that I read the following:
The notion that students are induced to move leftward “is a fantasy,” said Jeremy D. Mayer, another of the book’s authors. (Bruce L. R. Smith is the third co-author of the book.) When it comes to shaping a young person’s political views, “it is really hard to change the mind of anyone over 15,” said Mr. Mayer, who did extensive research on faculty and students.
Mary Grabar thinks that some of this data, however, is more than slightly flawed:
So when students participate in the “studies” cited in the New York Times article and are asked on a questionnaire whether their teachers attempt to impose their ideology, they will probably say no. Asked whether they are vulnerable to persuasion by professors’ political views, today’s college student, steeped in self-esteem and flattery about his abilities as a “critical thinker,” is, of course, going to say that he came to his political views on his own, on the strength of the evidence before him and the critical powers of his own mind.
My own experience (in mingling with my peers during college years) would also tend to run counter the New York Time’s article quoted above with reference to indoctrination. I realize my own experience is but a single data point in the web of statistics, but it may be of some value. Let me pose the following question for further rumination: When was the last time you met someone who, immediately after graduating from a public university, was more conservative than when he/she had entered it?