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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Piling on Horowitz and Light

David Horowitz and Joseph Light ("H&L") recently released a new law professor political slant survey.   H&L had claimed to create a data set consisting of only "full-time faculty, excluding adjuncts and clinical faculty . . . [and also excluding] graduate students with teaching responsibilities and visiting faculty."  But, as the Chicago faculty blog noted:

Uh, yeah. My strong reaction is where the heck did all these Chicago law professors come from?  The study claims to exclude clinical faculty and adjunct faculty, but still manages to find 100 full-time law professors at the University Chicago, or 67 more professors than our own web site indicates we have (show "full-time faculty")

Brian Leiter (and Larry Solum and others) have now picked up the story.  Got me to wondering (since I have now, apparently, appointed myself the nitpicker to the stars): any other miscounts in the survey?  Lets see.

H&L measure the full-time faculties of the following schools: Columbia (72); Harvard (80); NYU (97); NWU (101); Stanford (57); Berkeley (110); Chicago (100); Penn (51); S.Cal (65); Yale (75).  The parenthetical numbers are the simple sums of the totals in their data table, adding up registered democrats, republicans, others, non-partisan and not registered faculty members.

So we know Chicago is off.  (By a large margin.)

But these other numbers don't look quite right either.  Berkeley has 110 professors? Not according to this page, which lists 86 full-time non-visiting, non-administrator, members of the faculty.  (Yes, I counted acting professors, because I know that they are Berkeley's assistant professors, and yes I counted emeritus professors, and yes I counted clinicians  the school labeled as professors).   Penn has 51?  I only count 46.  Southern Cal?  58, not 65.  And Yale also has mysteriously added some faculty members, because I can only find 67 here.  On the other hand, Stanford (the only other faculty page I checked) was right on target.

What is going on with H&L's data?  Is it possible that we have all been misreading the chart?  Or the "researchers" who H&L say did the collection somehow erred?  Is this a case of garbage in, garbage out?

Posted by Dave Hoffman on October 19, 2005 at 10:24 PM | Permalink


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Hurray! I'm an "other"!

It's a start, I guess. Next stop: two nameless references!

I'm just kidding. It's an honor to be grouped in--even namelessly, with folks such as Leiter and Solum.

Posted by: David Schraub | Oct 20, 2005 1:49:54 AM

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