The most common advice conservative students get is to keep their views in the closet. Will Inboden was working on a master's degree in U.S. history at Yale when a liberal professor pulled him aside after class and said: "You're one of the best students I've got, and you could have an outstanding career. But I have to caution you: hiring committees are loath to hire political conservatives. You've got to be really quiet."
As a result, faculties skew overwhelmingly to the left.
Hundreds of conservatives with Ph.D.'s end up working in Republican administrations, in think tanks and at magazines, often with some regrets. "Teaching is this really splendid thing. It would be great to teach Plato's `Republic,' " says Gary Rosen, a Harvard Ph.D. who works at Commentary magazine.
I've got to smile at that line, not from laughing at Rosen, but in glad satisfaction. After all, I'm a conservative physics professor, and I am actually getting to teach my students Plato's Republic this term! This isn't in physics class, but in a scientific reasoning course. I'm approaching the material in my own way, treating it as a philosophy class and looking at the history of cosmology. Plato's Republic is great for this--the "Allegory of the Cave" provides an excellent discussion over how we know what we think we know. I think I should feel very happy that I get to do this.
I'd enjoy being a writer for Commentary, but he's right--teaching really is "a splendid thing."