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.

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]


More 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


North Dakota Interested In Playing Against Penn State Hockey In Nashville

North Dakota is working towards an agreement that will see its hockey team play against Penn State in Nashville during the 2020-21 season.

Former Cal Swimmer Says She Emailed Sandy Barbour About Sexual Harassment Claims

Max Sauve Commits To Penn State Hockey

Penn State Women’s Volleyball Releases 2018 Schedule

Penn State Hoops Alumnus Joonas Suotamo’s Journey To Becoming Chewbacca Featured On ESPN’s ‘E:60’

Student Life

Penn State Love Stories: A Chance Meeting On A Service Trip

When Abby Wilt went on a service trip to Nassau, Bahamas, she had no idea she’d meet the love of her life.

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Career Services To Launch Integrated Career Management & Recruiting Platform

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

State Theatre Recognized As A State College Historic Site

As it approaches the 80th anniversary of its opening, the State Theatre has been recognized as a State College historic site.

Penn State Love Stories: A Chance Meeting On A Service Trip

When Abby Wilt went on a service trip to Nassau, Bahamas, she had no idea she’d meet the love of her life.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Tom Beeby will serve as the 2019 Class Gift Executive Director.

Send this to a friend