When I was in college, I and my friends were a rather conservative bunch. That’s not surprising, given that I attended a Christian college in Northeast Tennessee. What is surprising, though, is that our professors were much more liberal. (How liberal were they?) They were so liberal that, in 1992, we jokingly referred to the Faculty Office Building as Clinton/Gore headquarters. I’m sure not all of the faculty members voted Democrat, but enough of them did (and displayed signs accordingly) to make us feel their presence.
Such things lead most people to declare that left-leaning professors are the reason many college students graduate with more more liberal views on almost all major social and political issues. That just might not be the case, though. This review of Professors and Their Politics shows that more engagement with faculty actually leads to more moderate views, while involvement in student activities leads students to become more extreme in their views (liberal students become more liberal, while conservatives become more conservative).
The review admits that the study is not perfect, but it certainly doesn’t support the idea that professors are to blame when students become more liberal in their time at college. I suppose I’ll have to work harder when 2016 rolls around.