It is assumed by most conservatives that big name universities are, for the most part, institutions run and staffed by leftists. This assumption is also, for the most part, true. Thanks mostly to the work of the DePaul Conservative Alliance, DePaul University has been shown to be a hotbed of liberal activism. . Perhaps, as a new report to be published by the Alliance will show, the "Largest Catholic University in America" acts as a foe to alternative ideas because of who makes up the university itself.
Leftists are found everywhere in DePaul's ivory tower––from the highest levels of university administration to the bustling cubicles of staffers. But as with most universities, the most amount of leftists reside in the classrooms. The usual culprits are not only in the political science, sociology, and philosophy departments, but also surprisingly in the mathematics, nursing, and computer departments. Leftist professors have managed to seep into every corner of DePaul's campus.
Let's take a closer look.
Beginning with the marketing department, both the directors of advertising and of enrollment communications have given hundreds of dollars to Barack Obama. These are the individuals most responsible for promoting the university to future students and potential donors. DePaul's interim treasurer also has contributed to the Obama campaign. Moving higher up into the administration, the vice president for community, government, and international affairs, responsible for fostering relationships with local, state, federal, and international governments, has contributed a thousand dollars to Democratic candidates including Barack Obama. Another vice president and head of the general counsel's office contributed over $3,000 to Democratic candidates including Illinois' own, Dick Durbin. Even the wife of DePaul's provost, also a professor of Mathematics, has given over a thousand dollars to Democrats and the radical-liberal attack-machine, MoveOn.org.
DePaul's community and academic centers are also run by leftists. The Cultural Center's director, famous for inviting disgraced University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill to campus in 2005, contributed a measly two-hundred dollars to Barack Obama in 2007. The director of DePaul's real estate center, also a professor of finance, has floated almost $2,300 to Democrats, including Barack Obama. And the executive director of DePaul's Egan Urban Center forked over $250 , also to Obama.
The Obama trend certainly continues into the classrooms. Since 2003, DePaul faculty members have given an aggregate of $27,700 to Obama. A few professors even maxed out with their first and last contribution of $2,300. DePaul's two biggest Democratic donors come from the mathematics department and the college of law, each giving over $17,000 since 1999.
Leftist professors aren't ones to write a check to Obama and then forget about their political views upon stepping into the classroom. They operate blogs, participate in student demonstrations, and assign biased readings in the classroom. Professor Matthew Abraham from the English department frequently encouraged his students to support Norman Finkelstein, a Hamas and Hezbollah apologist who was denied tenure last year at DePaul. Abraham seems disappointed that more of his colleagues weren't supporting Finkelstein because they were "too busy with the usual duties that attend preparing for the beginning of the academic year…" Perhaps, too busy fulfilling obligations in their job description? Perhaps, Professor Abraham, some of your colleagues have grown up and left their Haight-Ashbury days behind them.
Abraham wasn't the only professor to join his students in protest; Professor Peg Birmingham from the philosophy department was proud to march aimlessly through DePaul's Lincoln Park campus chanting leftist ditties with her students. Even Professor Azza Layton of Political Science, who also was suspect of leaking confidential documents to the New York Times during the tenure controversy, was spotted crying at Finkelstein's farewell ceremony.
Other professors are more public and vitriolic in confronting conservatives on campus. Take Law professor Sumi Cho, for example. Cho serves on the teaching, learning, and negotiating diversity committee and once claimed in a university forum that in holding an affirmative action bake sale the DePaul Conservative Alliance members were engaging in "racial pornography." Apparently the conservative students were sexually gratified by putting on an event designed to expose the hypocrisy of proposing racial preferences as a civil rights measure.
All of this should be shocking to those who haven't been on a university campus since before 1968. But for those who have, and especially for those young conservatives on campus, this all comes as no surprise. This is not to say that young conservatives have no allies on campus. Four professors at DePaul have contributed at least $200 each to Republicans; three of them hail from the college of commerce. It is important to note, however, the comparative influence of leftist professors versus conservative ones. Leftists are staffers and administrators. Leftists are professors who also lend their time to university-wide committees, centers, and are thereby actively promoting their agenda throughout the campus.
Conservatives at DePaul exist, but they are relatively hard to find; because for the most part, they come to campus with the best interest of students in mind, regardless of political affiliation.
The DePaul Conservative Alliance report will be published on its website, http://www.depaulca.org/, in its entirety at the beginning of the 2008–2009 academic year.
Nicholas G. Hahn III is the President of the DePaul Conservative Alliance and a student of Political Science and Catholic Studies at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. Nicholas is a Phillips Foundation Ronald Reagan College Leaders Scholar and has been named among the 2006–2007 rising young conservatives on campuses throughout the U.S. He is a regular columnist for The Chicago Daily Observer.