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A generational shift in Academic Faculty

Written By: Jason Shafrin - Jul• 04•08

The New York Times has an interesting report (“On Campus…“) discussing the fact that older, more liberal professors raised in the 1960s are slowly retiring.  They are being replaced by younger professors who are less ideologically driven then their senior faculty members.  Currently, over half of academic faculty is over 50 years old while only 10% of the faculty is under 35.

The shift away from liberal academic studies is caused by a number of reasons.  First, younger faculty are less ideologically driven.  Secondly, the most credible studies have been those which are data-driven, which leaves less room for ideological studies.  And finally, “[h]ealth sciences, computer science, engineering and business — fields that have tended to attract a somewhat greater proportion of moderates and conservatives — have grown in importance and size compared with the more liberal social sciences and humanities, where many of the bitterest fights over curriculum and theory occurred.”

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