Conservatives in the Academy

CONSERVATIVES IN THE ACADEMY….I happened onto a new blog today run by the pseudonymous John Lemon, “a conservative academic working at a major university west of the Mississippi.” Why the pseudonym? He explains here:

Although I am tenured, well-published and an outstanding teacher, I still choose life in a closet as I have more goals that I wish to accomplish in the academy.

Still not clear? Here’s why:

I was once warned that no Republican would ever get tenure in this department — I assume that can be generalized to all sorts of other unpleasantries.

I have heard this kind of thing vaguely before, and I’d like to know if it’s true. Note that I’m not interested in whether certain corners of the academy are predominantly liberal. I’m sure they are, but you could say the same thing in the opposite direction about, say, the upper ranks of the military or the executive suites of Fortune 500 companies. What I’m interested in is whether it’s really true that there are cases of conservatives/Republicans who have been denied tenure solely because they are conservatives/Republicans.

As contrary evidence, I note that John Lemon himself “slipped under the radar,” and I also note that my own blogroll has several conservative/libertarian academics, including Sjostrom, Drezner, Reynolds, and the entire Volokh crew. All of them seem to be doing fine.

Anecdotal evidence doesn’t prove anything of course, but I’m not sure how to go about finding out if there’s any systematic evidence to back up this contention. If there is, it’s disgraceful and it should stop, but if there’s not, then conservative academics should stop retelling urban legends about how they are victimized by their radical leftist peers.

Any ideas out there from the legions of academe who read this blog?

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