NOT SO FAST.

My rebuttal to "The absent professors," in the U.S. News & World Report, 23 Sep 2002.

In a free society, it is tempting to criticize lopsided education and social engineering; however, the newly-released research on the lopsided political bent of our university professors may not be as freedom-threatening as one might presume. Here is why:

First of all, the stated ratios of there being only one republican-registered professor to every 10-15 (and up to 50) democrats are skewed. These ratios represent only a reported "eight" departments within each university. If Karl Zinsmeister, in his TAE national survey of university faculties' party affiliations, One-Party Campus (2002), had reported on the departments who train aspiring business leaders, as does the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins, he should have found the ratios to be in reverse. Two friends who are faculty at Rollins assured me that this was the case at Crummer and presumed it to be the same in similar graduate schools . . . as well it should be.

Yes, I believe that a respective lopsided ratio is an asset rather than a threat to the quality of education. Why would we want liberal-minded scholars teach hard-nosed business practices or, worse still, insist that conservative professors teach the liberal arts. That role reversal might be worth a study but it should not be presumed to be the better choice.

The way I view the world, and especially America, is as follows:

With only one exception (the hydrogen atom and its human counterpart, the mom-and-pop operation), the world is comprised of trinity-based work units that function within the same laws of balanced attraction that govern atoms. Some are stable, some are not . . . based on the ratio of each unit's protons : electrons : neutrons . . . which is usually 1/3 : 1/3 : 1/3.

This trinity aspect of the stable atoms is similar to what we find in all democratic aggregates of humans. Two thirds of a group¾the protons and neutrons¾are the unit's potential leaders and managers; they are the nucleons. The other third¾the electrons¾are the building blocks of the hierarchy to which they are attracted or born. They are the ones who need to be educated to perform the various and varied skills of their unique workgroup¾their atom.

For those not familiar with the energy characteristics of the two-thirds who form the atom's dense nucleus, it is comprised of an almost equal number of heavyweight protons and neutrons. The positively charged entrepreneurial protons set the pace and the equally heavy bipolar neutrons are in charge of (1) keeping the protons from destroying one another and (2) training electrons to do what needs to be done in the hierarchy. Human neutrons are the ones who teach, coach, and supervise production both in and out of colleges. (Electrons, by definition, are the ones who do most of the work.)

Knowing these ratios, let's do the math: (We have three thirds.)

One third of all Americans are proton personalities who either learn on the run, go to conventions, or attend a good business college. We donít need to worry about these self-motivated go-getters; they take care of themselves. In fact, their forays are what the rest of the world needs to endure or learn to guard against. Their success, charismatic or primitive, is measured by who they are.

One third of the population are electron personalities who need to learn useful skills so that they can succeed by virtue of what they know. Human electrons need primarily technical and vocational training. The political mindset of their professors is almost irrelevant, even at graduate level.

The remaining souls have neutron personalities whose success is measured by what they do. They are the "coaches" to both the inner sanctum of the boardroom and the hierarchy to which it dictates. A neutron's peacekeeping skills are honed best at liberal colleges by liberal professors . . . which is what we have. Therefore, frankly, I don't see the problem. We have what we need¾a reasonably utilitarian balance of energies. The only wasted energies I see, are those expended in bickering about imbalances that are out of balance for a good reason.

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NOT SO FAST was triggered by John Leo's article, "The absent professors," in the U.S. News & World Report, September 23, 2002. The data about this lopsided ratio in U.S. universities was compiled by Karl Zinsmeister during a TAE national survey. Input was also considered from Kenneth Lee in "Time to Fight Back", a paper addressing the question, "Are America's politically homogenous campuses a lawsuit waiting to happen?" (both from American Enterprise, New York)

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"Some men succeed by what they know, some by what they do, and a few by what they are," was borrowed from Elbert C. Hubbard.