Conservative critics of American universities?especially the East Coast Ivy League schools?have always claimed that liberal left-wing professors politically indoctrinate their students. However, three different studies show this is one of those ideas that is talked about a lot but actually isn’t true.

In the November 2nd edition of the New York Times, Patricia Cohen quotes political scientist Lee Fritschler as saying that if there has been a conspiracy among liberal faculty members to influence students, “they’ve done a pretty bad job.”

She quotes political scientist Jeremy D. Mayer as saying that the idea that students are induced to move leftward “is a fantasy,” and when it comes to shaping a young person’s political views, “it is really hard to change the mind of anyone over 15. Parents and family are the most important influence,” followed by the news media and peers. “Professors are among the least influential.”

But the allegations have led to one major change: political science is rarely taught on campuses anymore. Cohen quotes historian K.C. Johnson as saying, “Even students who want to learn don’t have the opportunity because there are no specialists on the faculty to take courses from. The conservative critics are inventing a straw man that doesn’t exist and are missing the real problem that does.”

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