Campaign donations by Brown University faculty are running 10 to 1 in favor of Barack Obama, according to this admirably professional piece of reporting by The Brown Daily Herald, and higher than that if you count the donations of the school's non-faculty employees.
That's slightly higher than the national average of 8 to 1, but both numbers confirm what most of us already understand about the troubling conformity of thought in American universities, despite the mocking hosannas their faculty members sing to "diversity," "academic freedom" and "free inquiry."
Explanations for the lopsided support are predictably self-congratulatory: Academics are drawn to Obama, according to the story, because he's perceived as an intellectual, meaning he'll "reason through" his decisions, rather than "shoot from the hip," as academics fear with McCain. Whether Obama's alleged propensity for socialism (or worse) adds to his appeal wasn't mentioned in the story, oddly. But does anyone doubt it?
Without any apparent awareness of the ironies, a Brown prof told the reporter that Obama was popular "because he broadens the 'kind of diversity and inclusiveness' encouraged in university settings to society at large."
Inclusiveness? Diversity? In university settings? Stories like this one prove otherwise.