PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Penn State Professors’ Political Donations Lean Left

People who complain that higher education is infested with leftists and (dum, dum, dum) liberal Democrats just got some more ammunition. The Daily Collegian ran a cool story today about Penn State professors’ political donations for the 2012 election cycle, and to no surprise, it showed heavy favoritism from professors toward President Obama. According to the Collegian’s numbers, of the 82 professors who made individual donations to candidates, Barack Obama received 75 of them, and Mitt Romney the other 7.

That all adds up to $66,201 for President Obama and $6,000 for Governor Romney. These numbers only include donations made over the reporting-threshold of $200.

The 91 percent donation level to Democrats is in line — or even higher — with most universities in America. In 2010, Harvard employees gave 77 percent to Democrats according to Politico. It’s interesting to note that a recent survey from Inside Higher Ed says that only 55.9% of professors claim to be either liberal or far left on the political scale. Of course, people who donate to political campaigns tend to be activists in their respective ideologies, so it’s unclear how strong of a correlation exists between the small sample size of donations to actual votes.

“Political expression is at the heart of the fundamental rights on which this Republic was established and a core duty of citizenship since the founding in the 18th century,” wrote Faculty Senate Chair Larry Backer to The Daily Collegian. “This is an obligation we should all take seriously. Employment status should not disbar a citizen from exercising her basic political rights.”

Somewhere, Rick Santorum is smiling.

To see if your professor got involved in the race, check out the complete list of donations put together by The Daily Collegian.

Your ad blocker is on.

Please choose an option below.

Sign up for our e-mail newsletter:
Support quality journalism:
Purchase a Subscription!

About the Author

Kevin Horne

Kevin Horne was the editor of Onward State from 2012-2014 and currently holds the position of Managing Editor Emeritus, which is a fake title he made up. He graduated from Penn State with degrees journalism and political science in 2014 and is currently seeking his J.D. at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law. A third generation Penn Stater from Williamsport, Pa., Kevin is also the president of the graduate student government. Email: [email protected]


Other posts by Kevin

Hometown Brewery Releases Beer Honoring Evan Pugh

Penn State’s first president Evan Pugh was born in 1828 at Jordan Bank Farm, three miles south of the city center of Oxford, Pennsylvania, an hour west of Philadelphia in Chester County. One-hundred eighty-nine years later, an Oxford brewery is honoring one of the preeminent champions of “liberal and practical” higher education in the form of a delicious Porter.

Penn State Basketball Downs Colgate 72-59 In Front of Thanksgiving Eve Crowd

Why Honoring Paterno Still Matters

Join Onward State: Spring 2019 Application

Want to be a part of the nation’s premier student-run media outlet? Want to have your words read or your pictures seen by hundreds of thousands of readers and social media followers? More importantly –do ya like having fun? Believe it or not, it’s that time again. Onward State is hiring for the spring semester and we’d […]

Your Guide To Finding Last-Minute Graduation Housing

If you and your family are entering your last spring semester with a lot less coordination, there are some still some limited but available options for graduation day accommodations.

Send this to a friend