University of Arkansas Prof. Says There is Widespread Anti-Christian Bias in U.S. Academia

**FILE** A tablet of the Ten Commandments, which is located on the grounds of the Texas Capitol Building in Austin, Texas, is seen in a Tuesday Oct. 12, 2004 photo. On Wednesday, March 2, 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether the granite monument and two similar displays at Kentucky courthouses constitute unconstitutional government establishment of religion. (AP Photo/American Statesman, Larry Kolvoord, File)

Robert Maranto is the 21st Century Chair in Leadership in the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas, and serves on the Fayetteville, Ark., school board. 

Maranto has written several pieces for the blog. (Here is one.)

In this one, Maranto explores research on the inner workings of academia that suggests anti-Christian discrimination, saying the bias is akin to college racial discrimination in decades past. Such discrimination produces “like results: alienation and distrust of academic and media expertise, which can be exploited by demagogues like Mr. Trump,” says Maranto.

Maranto’s piece comes in the wake of a new survey by the Pew Research Center that found sharp divides in how Republicans and Democrats view higher education in America.

According to Pew results released last week:

A majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (58%) now say that colleges and universities have a negative effect on the country, up from 45% last year. By contrast, most Democrats and Democratic leaners (72%) say colleges and universities have a positive effect, which is little changed from recent years.

As recently as two years ago, most Republicans and Republican leaners held a positive view of the role of colleges and universities. In September 2015, 54% of Republicans said colleges and universities had a positive impact on the way things were going in the country; 37% rated their impact negatively.

By 2016, Republicans’ ratings of colleges and universities were mixed (43% positive, 45% negative). Today, for the first time on a question asked since 2010, a majority (58%) of Republicans say colleges and universities are having a negative effect on the way things are going in the country, while 36% say they have a positive effect.

With that background, here is Dr. Maranto’s piece.

By Robert Maranto

In “Inside Graduate Admissions,” her study of graduate admission decisions at elite universities, University of Southern California education professor Julie Posselt relates the case of “Maria,” a minority applicant from a historically black college. Posselt observed a committee of professors judging Maria and other applicants. Although Maria scored in the 99th percentile on the verbal section of the Graduate Record Exams and the 82nd percentile of the quantitative section, “her educational background clearly had induced skepticism, and they subjected her file to a more stringent review.”

In jocular fashion, the committee chair and other professors berated Maria’s college and questioned her intellectual fitness, discounting standardized test scores and other objective criteria. Not surprisingly, the faculty rejected Maria, and though reluctant to judge fellow academicians, Posselt lamented, “whether Maria had received a fair hearing was debatable.”

African-American conservatives like Thomas Sowell would urge Maria to apply to a number of universities, to adjust for discrimination from one or two. (In fact, Sowell offered exactly that advice to Asian American applicants in his classic “Choosing a College.”) African-American liberals like Lani Guinier would urge Maria to support affirmation action and sue for compensation.

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution