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  Is Harvard the most conservative university of the US coasts?
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Author Topic: Is Harvard the most conservative university of the US coasts?  (Read 691 times)
buritobr
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« on: January 06, 2020, 08:03:31 pm »

Comparing to other famous universities located in the states in the Atlantic or Pacific coasts like MIT, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Cornell, Stanford and UC Berkley, is Harvard more conservative than these other ones?
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« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2020, 08:40:31 pm »

Absolutely not. Historically, Princeton has been more conservative, but it's hard to call it conservative still. Penn almost certainly is more conservative thanks to the business school. And then, in a certain sense of the word, there is the Duke student body of yesteryear, but that has quickly changed too. My vote goes to Penn of those three, but even that is hardly conservative.
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Tulsibot
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« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2020, 08:42:25 pm »
« Edited: January 06, 2020, 08:51:21 pm by Santander »

lol. Harvard refers to Columbus Day as "Indigenous Persons Day". Even if this absurdity was worth discussing further, William & Mary, Pepperdine, Annapolis, among others, would like to chat.

(also, SUNY Ithaca is like 4 hours from the coast. That's like calling Las Vegas or Fresno "coastal")
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Del Tachi
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« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2020, 03:47:18 pm »

USNA?  Pretty liberal for a service academy, but its probably way to the right of most selective, East Coast universities.

Oregon State is a great contender if consider Corvallis coastal.
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BRTD
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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2020, 11:27:16 pm »

lol. Harvard refers to Columbus Day as "Indigenous Persons Day".
So does the state of South Dakota.
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Antonio V
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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2020, 11:40:32 pm »

All Prestigious Universities(TM) are deeply conservative institutions at heart.
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TJ in Oregon
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« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2020, 02:26:32 am »

If you count Pepperdine as a prominent top-rated coastal school then it's your obvious answer.
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АverroŽs 🦉
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« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2020, 06:39:19 pm »

All of the Ivies are elitist, but they are not conservative in any sense deserving of the name and have not been for a long time.
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Antonio V
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« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2020, 08:26:09 pm »

All of the Ivies are elitist, but they are not conservative in any sense deserving of the name and have not been for a long time.

They have a core interest in preserving the existing social hierarchies and power structures, and employ their monetary and cultural resources in service of that interest. That's all conservatism has really been at any point in history.
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The Mikado
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« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2020, 11:49:51 pm »

Harvard has a history of hiring right wingers in certain disciplines out of pure "contrarianism" and a desire to stir up academic controversy. As someone with a background in history, I can specifically point to the late Richard Pipes and the currently alive Niall Ferguson as incredibly right wing people (extremely so in Pipes' case, who comes off as an unreconstructed believer in absolute monarchy in his books) who have used "taught at Harvard University" as basically a way to get everyone talking about how different their takes are.

That doesn't make the university as a whole "conservative."
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Bacon King
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« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2020, 12:22:36 am »

Harvard has a history of hiring right wingers in certain disciplines out of pure "contrarianism" and a desire to stir up academic controversy. As someone with a background in history, I can specifically point to the late Richard Pipes and the currently alive Niall Ferguson as incredibly right wing people (extremely so in Pipes' case, who comes off as an unreconstructed believer in absolute monarchy in his books) who have used "taught at Harvard University" as basically a way to get everyone talking about how different their takes are.

That doesn't make the university as a whole "conservative."

off the top of my head, two other prominent examples of this phenomenon are Alan Dershowitz and Sean Spicer
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The Denver Poster
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« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2020, 01:05:53 am »

Quote from: АverroŽs  link=topic=353417.msg7124870#msg7124870 date=1578785959 uid=4206
All of the Ivies are elitist, but they are not conservative in any sense deserving of the name and have not been for a long time.

They have a core interest in preserving the existing social hierarchies and power structures, and employ their monetary and cultural resources in service of that interest. That's all conservatism has really been at any point in history.

This post (and this thread) are treating universities like monoliths which is obviously oversimplistic.

Faculty, administration, student body, and supporting staff likely all have rather different interests and trying to portray them as having a single "core interest" will always be a doomed enterprise. Even this coarse grouping misses key differences, e.g., among a business school, engineering program, or humanities department within arts and sciences, or between students on work study and student athletes, or between a Dean and an adjunct, etc.

If your point is to more narrowly say that Harvard's governing board has a "core interest" in preserving power structures, then this statement is a little meaningless, as it's going to be true of many more four-year universities than just the self-styled "elite" schools.
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« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2020, 09:57:22 pm »

Noting here that both Liberty and Bob Jones are in states located along the Atlantic coast. But yeah, for "prestigious schools," I'd think Penn is inarguably to the right of Harvard.
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Tulsibot
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« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2020, 08:10:55 am »

Noting here that both Liberty and Bob Jones are in states located along the Atlantic coast. But yeah, for "prestigious schools," I'd think Penn is inarguably to the right of Harvard.

You might as well call Buffalo as on the east coast, then.
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Antonio V
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« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2020, 12:59:17 pm »

All of the Ivies are elitist, but they are not conservative in any sense deserving of the name and have not been for a long time.

They have a core interest in preserving the existing social hierarchies and power structures, and employ their monetary and cultural resources in service of that interest. That's all conservatism has really been at any point in history.

This post (and this thread) are treating universities like monoliths which is obviously oversimplistic.

Faculty, administration, student body, and supporting staff likely all have rather different interests and trying to portray them as having a single "core interest" will always be a doomed enterprise. Even this coarse grouping misses key differences, e.g., among a business school, engineering program, or humanities department within arts and sciences, or between students on work study and student athletes, or between a Dean and an adjunct, etc.

If your point is to more narrowly say that Harvard's governing board has a "core interest" in preserving power structures, then this statement is a little meaningless, as it's going to be true of many more four-year universities than just the self-styled "elite" schools.

I mean, sure, but that IS particularly true of self-styled "elite" schools. These schools' entire model can only function under condition of extreme social inequality.
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Tintrlvr
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« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2020, 02:16:55 pm »
« Edited: January 13, 2020, 02:25:58 pm by Tintrlvr »

Politically, no, I don't think Harvard is materially more conservative/Republican in voting patterns or in, ultimately, the political beliefs of its faculty or student body compared to, say, Columbia, Yale or Princeton (though more conservative than those top schools with a distinctly liberal reputation, like Brown or UC Berkeley). Institutionally and structurally, I do think Harvard is somewhat more conservative than most, though less so than at least Princeton, but that's not the same as political conservatism.

The University of Chicago is the most politically conservative of the elite colleges (though it's still quite liberal on the whole). And then the University of Pennsylvania, although Penn is more for business-orientation rather than a politically conservative culture. After UChicago and Penn, I'd probably put MIT and the other engineering schools to the extent included (like CalTech) next, but it's a fairly big leap as only UChicago and to a lesser extent Penn has a politically relatively conservative reputation and a large conservative faculty presence.

(There's also the question of what an elite college is, but I think it's fair to include the Ivies, the near-Ivies, the would-have-been-Ivies, the elite liberal arts colleges and the top engineering schools. You're left with some corner cases like Johns Hopkins, Tufts, NYU, Duke, Georgia Tech and some of the most well-regarded state schools (UCLA, Michigan, Virginia -- not including Berkeley, which is clearly elite), but I don't think those really change things, and you still leave out schools like Pepperdine or George Mason that are actively conservative.)
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The Denver Poster
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« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2020, 08:44:43 pm »
« Edited: January 13, 2020, 08:48:50 pm by The Denver Poster »

Quote from: АverroŽs  link=topic=353417.msg7124870#msg7124870 date=1578785959 uid=4206
All of the Ivies are elitist, but they are not conservative in any sense deserving of the name and have not been for a long time.

They have a core interest in preserving the existing social hierarchies and power structures, and employ their monetary and cultural resources in service of that interest. That's all conservatism has really been at any point in history.

This post (and this thread) are treating universities like monoliths which is obviously oversimplistic.

Faculty, administration, student body, and supporting staff likely all have rather different interests and trying to portray them as having a single "core interest" will always be a doomed enterprise. Even this coarse grouping misses key differences, e.g., among a business school, engineering program, or humanities department within arts and sciences, or between students on work study and student athletes, or between a Dean and an adjunct, etc.

If your point is to more narrowly say that Harvard's governing board has a "core interest" in preserving power structures, then this statement is a little meaningless, as it's going to be true of many more four-year universities than just the self-styled "elite" schools.

I mean, sure, but that IS particularly true of self-styled "elite" schools. These schools' entire model can only function under condition of extreme social inequality.

I agree. The idea of elite higher education as a scarce resource is shameful and preserves a fig leaf around the rot of meritocracy (although there are certainly people in need who are lifted into prominence/security by going to these schools, it's not nearly enough and built on a ridiculous premise).

All I'm trying to say is that many state schools/flagship schools are undergoing the same thing. Rereading your post there is nothing contradictory about what you said. I think we are on the same page even if I found your expression a little clunky.

e: should say I know this from experience because I went to a so-called public ivy which spent a disgusting amount of time telling students they were much better than students at other schools simply because they were admitted. Disgusting, elitism-fostering attitudes are not limited to places like Harvard.
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« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2020, 07:59:53 pm »

Noting here that both Liberty and Bob Jones are in states located along the Atlantic coast.

You might as well call Buffalo as on the east coast, then.
OP did say Cornell...
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« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2020, 11:09:44 pm »

Politically, no, I don't think Harvard is materially more conservative/Republican in voting patterns or in, ultimately, the political beliefs of its faculty or student body compared to, say, Columbia, Yale or Princeton (though more conservative than those top schools with a distinctly liberal reputation, like Brown or UC Berkeley). Institutionally and structurally, I do think Harvard is somewhat more conservative than most, though less so than at least Princeton, but that's not the same as political conservatism.

The University of Chicago is the most politically conservative of the elite colleges (though it's still quite liberal on the whole). And then the University of Pennsylvania, although Penn is more for business-orientation rather than a politically conservative culture. After UChicago and Penn, I'd probably put MIT and the other engineering schools to the extent included (like CalTech) next, but it's a fairly big leap as only UChicago and to a lesser extent Penn has a politically relatively conservative reputation and a large conservative faculty presence.

(There's also the question of what an elite college is, but I think it's fair to include the Ivies, the near-Ivies, the would-have-been-Ivies, the elite liberal arts colleges and the top engineering schools. You're left with some corner cases like Johns Hopkins, Tufts, NYU, Duke, Georgia Tech and some of the most well-regarded state schools (UCLA, Michigan, Virginia -- not including Berkeley, which is clearly elite), but I don't think those really change things, and you still leave out schools like Pepperdine or George Mason that are actively conservative.)

Of the US News and World Report Top 20 in the college rankings, the most conservative is either Vanderbilt or Notre Dame.  Neither are really conservative (I'm a Vandy alum and it definitely isn't), but they aren't as liberal as the rest of the "elite" schools.
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