Sunday, October 2, 2016

Faculty Voter Registration in Economics, History, Journalism, Law, and Psychology

Daniel Klein, Anthony Quain, and my paper  "Faculty Voter Registration in Economics, History, Journalism, Law, and Psychology" appears in the recently released issue of Econ Journal Watch , and it can be downloaded at 


The executive summary of the paper is as follows:

We investigate the voter registration of faculty at 40 leading U.S. universities in the fields of Economics, History, Journalism/Communications, Law, and Psychology. We looked up 7,243 professors and found 3,623 to be registered Democratic and 314 Republican, for an overall D:R ratio of 11.5:1. The D:R ratios for the five fields were: Economics 4.5:1, History 33.5:1, Journalism/Communications 20.0:1, Law 8.6:1, and Psychology 17.4:1. The results indicate that D:R ratios have increased since 2004, and the age profile suggests that in the future they will be even higher. We provide a breakdown by department at each university. The data support the established finding that D:R ratios are highest at the apex of disciplinary pyramids, that is, at the most prestigious departments. We also examine how D:R ratios vary by gender and by region. People interested in ideological diversity or concerned about the errors of leftist outlooks—including students, parents, donors, and taxpayers—might find our results deeply troubling.

Since the article came out, a number of news sources have covered this article. (We forgot to include Florida, and I am working on correcting that, but that won't change the findings.) Some of the coverage is as follows:

Inside Higher Ed

Fox News

Washington Examiner

Minding the Campus

Washington Times

Friday, July 1, 2016

LERA Posts My Exchange with Bruce E. Kaufman

The Labor and Employment Relations Association is the world's leading academic learned society that focuses on industrial relations.  Earlier this year Daniel B. Klein's  Econ Journal Watch published my article "The Left Orientation of Industrial Relations," in which I document the field’s left-wing orientation.   The article reviews the political affiliations of the faculty and the ideological orientation of their publications. 

Professor Bruce E. Kaufman, a leading industrial relations scholar, wrote a response to my piece, and Econ Journal Watch published Professor Kaufman's response and my reply.  LERA's website has now republished the exchange.  As Dan Klein just emailed to Heterodox Academy, "LERA is a central player in the very field that Langbert treats. A nice example of a left-oriented outfit opening its attention to our point of view:

Friday, June 3, 2016

Seidemann Shows How CUNY Supports NYPIRG's Fraud

David Seidemann, who is in the geology department of Brooklyn College,  has written an excellent article in City Journal about how insiders at the City University of New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo, and the New York Times collude to enable NYPIRG to defraud New York State's students.

Seidemann says that NYPIRG raises more student funding than any other student group and uses student funding for purposes completely unrelated to CUNY.  When questioned, CUNY officials linked to NYPIRG have resisted investigating the corruption.  NYPIRG's funding at Brooklyn College is now double the student senate's. As well, NYPIRG suppresses dissent on campus.

Seidemann gives this example of NYPIRG-related fraud at CUNY:

When 58 CUNY scientists accused NYPIRG of committing research misconduct, the university appointed a founding member of NYPIRG—now a CUNY vice chancellor—to look into the matter. Predictably, CUNY declined to investigate further, falsely claiming that the research in question had not taken place on campus.

Seidemann outlines how similar abuses have occurred around the country.  

As I have argued, Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code prohibits education institutes from engaging in political lobbying or ideological advocacy, but here we have colleges funneling student activities money into direct political uses that are unrelated to student activities. Not only does this seem to warrant an IRS investigation, but the parties involved should be investigated for fraud.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

USD Should Establish a Gail Heriot Award

Peter Wood of the National Association of Scholars had sent a press release about a controversy concerning Professor Gail Heriot's testimony about transgender bathrooms.  I don't consider the issue to be a federal one, and I don't consider it to be particularly important. However, I do believe that a professor with an opinion should be allowed to testify before Congress without having her life threatened by authoritarian left wingers.   I wrote this email to the dean of the University of San Diego's law school and the university's president.  Peter Wood's email follows.

Dear Dean Ferruolo and President Harris:

I read about the recent abuse of Professor Gail Heriot.

Gail Heriot has performed a public service by testifying before the US House Taskforce on Executive Overreach.  In response, Representative Zoe Lofgren has attacked Professor Heriot, calling her a bigot. Several blogs have joined the attack, and activists who support Representative Lofgren’s views and tenor have sent Professor Heriot death threats.  As well, Dean Ferruolo has received demands that he fire Professor Heriot.

In a sense, this is a letter of congratulation. In hiring and supporting Professor Heriot, you are performing an important public service. Easy cases do not test academic freedom, and it is with respect to hard cases that public service like Heriot’s is signal.

We have seen this  intolerant tendency in and around universities  since the 1980s.  Representative Lundgren’s inability to disagree about a difficult moral and social question is inconsistent with the ability of a free society to function.  Her performance has been disgraceful.

It is time for universities  to encourage political speech that offends authoritarian sensibilities. I urge the University of San Diego to establish a Gail Heriot award to honor faculty who engage in difficult public debate.


Mitchell Langbert, Ph.D.

Peter Wood, the president of the National Association of Scholars, has responded with the following statement to the controversy over Professor Heriot’s May 24, 2016 testimony to the U.S. Taskforce on Executive Overreach.
On Tuesday Gail Heriot, a professor of law at the University of San Diego and a board member of the National Association of Scholars, gave testimony to the U.S. House Taskforce on Executive Overreach criticizing new guidance on restrooms and locker rooms for transgendered individuals. Professor Heriot testified that the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) had overstepped its legal authority in issuing its May 13 “Dear Colleague” letter, which requires all schools to allow students to use the restroom and locker room of their choice, regardless of biological sex.
In the questioning that followed Professor Heriot’s prepared statement, California Representative Zoe Lofgren attacked Professor Heriot’s testimony as “offensive.” Lofgren continued, "I think you’re a bigot, lady. I think you are an ignorant bigot."  Lofgren was particularly upset that Professor Heriot’s remarks would become part of the committee’s official record. The chairman of the Taskforce, Representative Steve King (Iowa), responded to Lofgren’s outburst by calling the meeting to order and asked Lofgren to refrain from “calling names.” Lofgren, however, persisted and announced she could “not allow that kind of bigotry to go unchallenged.”
Several left-wing blogs quickly reported on the event. Brad Reed, writing at Raw Story, characterized Lofgren’s remarks as an “epic smack-down.” The reports set off a cascade of hate mail to Professor Heriot, including death threats and a writer urging her to commit suicide. Stephen C. Ferruolo, the dean of the law school at the University of San Diego, has also received demands that he fire Professor Heriot.
The National Association of Scholars strongly supports Professor Heriot. Her invited testimony to the U.S. House Taskforce on Executive Overreach was well crafted and represents carefully considered views well within her professional expertise. In no way did Professor Heriot present “bigoted” statements on sexual identity. Rather, she gave a history of the OCR’s past disregard for legal limits to its authority and traced the history of the law regarding transgender individuals. She also noted that the concept of “transgender” did not enter the legal vocabulary until many years after the passage of Title IX, which OCR claims as the basis for its authority to issue its “Dear Colleague” letters.
Lofgren’s outburst was outrageous. It violated the standards of civility of the U.S. House of Representatives. And it was especially inappropriate in view of the temperate character of Professor Heriot’s remarks. It is perhaps too much to hope that Representative Lofgren will apologize for her antics as they seem to have served her purpose in exciting her progressive base. Other observers will take note of her abuse of her authority.
We expect the University of San Diego to disregard the calls to remove Professor Heriot from her position.
The National Association of Scholars recognizes Professor Heriot’s outstanding work on behalf of civil rights in America and her determination to uphold the rule of law during a period in which the executive has frequently abused it.