Harvard Faculty Donate to Democrats by Wide Margin

Karl Aspelund and Meg Bernhard, Harvard Crimson, May 1, 2015

Eighty-four percent of campaign contributions made by a group of 614 Harvard faculty, instructors, and researchers between 2011 and the third quarter of 2014 went to federal Democratic campaigns and political action committees, according to a Crimson analysis of Federal Election Commission filings.

During the three years, the Harvard affiliates represented in analyzed public filings gave nearly $3 million to federal campaigns and candidates. Each of Harvard’s schools leaned to the left in the contributions made by their affiliates, many by wide margins. Ninety-six percent of donations in the data set from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, which includes Harvard College, supported Democratic efforts. That figure was even higher–nearly 98 percent–at Harvard Law School. Harvard Business School was the most Republican, with 37 percent of its contributions supporting Republicans and 62 percent going to Democrats.

For this story, The Crimson analyzed the federal donations of contributors who reported Harvard University as their employer and were listed in Harvard directories and websites as professors, lecturers, fellows, associates, researchers, and scientists, as well as visiting fellows and professors. The data set does not include people who only work as administrators.


The data supports the commonly held belief that Harvard’s professoriate is largely liberal, raising questions about the ideological diversity of the faculty and what impact that may have on teaching and research.

Blue Ivy

Harvard’s flagship faculty, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, manages instruction at the undergraduate College and in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. FAS is also one of Harvard’s most left-leaning faculties or schools, according to the data set. From 2011 through October of 2014, the 183 FAS affiliates included in the Crimson analysis contributed $486,452 to federal campaigns and candidates, representing 17 percent of the University’s total.


The top 10 donors in the data set within FAS together donated $217,708, or 45 percent of all contributions by faculty with primary appointments at the school. The largest FAS donors in the data set include Chemistry professor emeritus and Nobel laureate Martin Karplus ’51, University professor and former University President Lawrence H. Summers, and Psychology professor Steven Pinker.


The Business School’s 75 donors in the data set were the most generous. Seventy-five individuals in the data set with primary Business School appointments gave $913,015 collectively, accounting for 31 percent of contributions from faculty, instructors, and researchers across all schools.

The Business School was also the kindest to Republicans, with surveyed affiliates giving $334,850 to GOP  candidates and campaigns. That figure was 83 percent of all University contributions to GOP campaigns, but it still was not a majority at the Business School, where surveyed faculty, researchers, and instructors sent 62 percent of their contributions to Democrats.

Among its Harvard colleagues in the analysis, the Business School was an outlier. Faculty from the Law School in the data set gave the second-largest amount of money to political campaigns and committees at $692,792. Almost all–98 percent–of these contributions went to Democratic campaigns.


The University’s top donor in the data set was Business School professor Arthur I. Segel, whose $165,175 in donations went overwhelmingly to Democratic campaigns and organizations.


University President Drew G. Faust is not listed as a donor in the data set.


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  • WR_the_realist

    There’s nothing surprising here. The two most left wing components of American society are blacks and college professors. Of course the Republicans do their part by being the absolutely useless opposition to the Democrats.

    • Chip Carver

      It really isn’t news. Ivy League schools are for the most part propaganda centers for the puppet masters.

      • redpill99

        who are these puppet masters

    • ricpic

      Though not surprising it is the greatest roadblock to a change of course for America, either domestically or in foreign policy. The reason is quite simple. The surest career path to high leverage positions in the federal government is by way of the Ivies. It’s the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard (and similar leftist factories at Yale, Princeton, Columbia and Brown) that stocks leadership positions at State, Treasury, Justice, Defense, Interior, you name it. And this continues, this is permanent through Democratic and Republican administrations alike. So the bias is entrenched and will not diminish. Frankly, barring a huge economic implosion I see no way of upending the entrenched established Left.

      • JohnEngelman

        “A huge economic implosion” is likely to benefit the Democrats, like it did during the 1930’s.

        • WR_the_realist

          Says the man who thinks the Democratic Party is still what it was in the 1930s.

          • Lexonaut

            No, he’s right. If you destroy capitalism and then ask why the economy imploded, the Democrats will be able to give you a glib, meaningless but easy to understand answer that will have broad appeal now, just as it did then.

          • JohnEngelman

            The Republican Party exists to make the rich richer. How will that help it during “a huge economic implosion?”

          • WR_the_realist

            The Democratic Party exists to make the billionaires richer (providing cheap labor and government grants to rich Democratic insiders). And they want to make sure that all middle class jobs go to non-whites. Yes, the Republicans also help out the rich. What is odd is your inability to see that the Democrats do the same thing.

    • John Smith

      I think you’re forgetting a third major group.

      • Lexonaut

        Would that third major group happen to be the people whose IQs are higher than those of Asians and whites? You know, the most intelligent people on earth?

        • JohnEngelman

          Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are making an issue of the growing income gap. This is the best issue for the Democrats. I hope they learn to exploit it.

          • Lexonaut

            I hope they learn to fix it because the Republicans sure aren’t going to be elected — probably not ever again.

          • JohnEngelman

            If there are lots of black ghetto riots this summer that will enable the Republican Party to sweep the next election.

          • Lexonaut

            I wonder. Obama articulated what I think will be the main Democrat talking point on this stuff. It’s this …

            These kids are rioting because the evil racist Republicans refuse to fund inner city schools.

            The Democrat party will say, If Republicans had any shred of human decency they would expand funding for blah blah blah removal of lead paint from the home yada yada yada school lunches blah blah smaller teacher student ratios yada yada charter schools take money out of the public school system blah blah war on women has turned into war on black men blah blah blah yada yada yada on and on and on.

            That kind of message was working well before the riots, why wouldn’t it continue to work well after them? What message do the Republicans have to counter this kind of deceitful propaganda?

          • JohnEngelman

            What message do the Republicans have to counter this kind of deceitful propaganda?

            – Lexonaut

            Tax cuts for the rich will make you rich. It has worked for the GOP in the past.

          • Lexonaut

            Let’s have that argument some other time Right now we’re in an existential fight, locked in mortal combat with the black people on our left and the anti-semiten on our right. Until this riot thing clarifies, I don’t have the emotional energy for the next skirmish in the economics war of discussion.

          • JohnEngelman

            You asked a question. I answered it.

          • Lexonaut

            You’re right and I’m tired.

          • Lexonaut

            Hate facts, QD. Therefore they may not be used in discussions with liberals or anyone else. Certainly they must never be allowed to influence policy decision making.

          • Michael Robert Ryan

            And it serves them right. They aren’t called “the stupid party” for nothing.

          • Lexonaut

            These days they’re simply the right wing of the Statist Party. I would vote for a true conservative candidate but I can’t because Palin isn’t running.

        • John Smith

          Could be.

          • Lexonaut

            Is, which is why I posted what I did.

            John Englemann and I often disagree violently about economics, but we’re in agreement (and so is Jared Taylor) that it’s hypocritical to use certain criteria to say that whites are superior to blacks and Hispanics, but when those same criteria show Asians and Jews to be superior to whites, suddenly the rules of the game change.

            Where are you on that issue?

          • John Smith

            Asians and Jews beat us for intelligence, while we beat Asians for creativity and we beat both for ethics.

          • Lexonaut

            ” … we beat Asians for creativity.”

            I speculate that this is because the white IQ distribution is much broader than that of Asians. Asians are smarter on average, but the smartest 1% of whites are smarter than the smartest 1% of Asians.

            ” … we beat both for ethics.”

            If you mean that whites are better at understanding white ethical values than are Asians and Jews, who could disagree? However, if you’re referring to criminality, the statistics say otherwise.


            What whites seem to excel at that does not appear to be directly IQ-linked is entrepreneurship — a willingness to take financial risks in order to make something very new happen. This is especially true of whites whose genetic stock comes from the countries surrounding the North Sea.

  • Harvard Business School was the most Republican, with 37 percent of its
    contributions supporting Republicans and 62 percent going to Democrats.

    The B-School was the only reason why the University-wide percentage of 84% to Democrats wasn’t higher. But even then, you have to remember that the kind of “Republican” that gets checks from B-School faculty is no Jeff Sessions. Remember, Mitt Romney is an alumni of Harvard Business School.

  • JackKrak

    These same people will tell you that a good mix of people on campus is essential to being exposed to various viewpoints, etc.

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    • JohnEngelman

      Do you want an affirmative action policy for Republican professors? Should standards be lowered to hire more of them?

      • JackKrak

        No, John, it’s only Democrats who create, defend and need affirmative action of any kind.

      • WR_the_realist

        There would automatically be more Republicans in the faculty (but still nowhere near a majority) if they would merely stop discriminating against white applicants and in favor of the diversity.

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  • LHathaway

    The other 16% went to groups that want to legalize dope smoking . . .

  • MekongDelta69

    I’m shocked!…

    No I’m not. This has been going on for 50 years in 99% of the colleges.

  • JohnEngelman

    The Republican Party is the old stupid party. The Democratic Party gets most of the best intellects.

  • So? Come to think of it, are we really suffering for a lack of the Republican Party winning elections because 84% of Harvard faculty money goes to Democrats? No. Republicans win plenty of elections. What we’re lacking is that actually amounting to anything substantively positive for us.

  • Weisheit77

    I’m much more interested in what percentage has an Israeli passport, or any dual passport for that matter.

  • Johann Wald

    I’m guessing each individual’s discretionary “contributions and allocations fund” has the Democrats down the list behind the ADL, AIPAC and the SPLC.

  • Samuel Hathaway

    Harvard was founded by the Puritans in 1636. The only mention of the Puritans at the AR conference this year that I could tell is that they were “benighted about sex”, in a speech by Richard Spencer. However, due to a balanced sex ratio among the Puritans, this led to rapid population growth, as colonial towns flourished throughout New England in the 17th and 18th centuries, not exactly evidence that the Puritans were unenlightened about sex and morality, and the role it played in underpinning the societies where they put down roots.

    Maybe at the next AR conference, there will be a more serious and dignified treatment of the Puritans, whose influence over the drafting of colonial charters, the founding of Harvard and ideas of “separation of church and state” will warrant a more enlightened view of this group of wonderful colonial era Americans.

    • John Smith

      Puritan women could be granted a divorce if their husband couldn’t “deliver the goods.”

    • JohnEngelman

      among those who were virgins until around the time they married, the ten-year divorce rate is tiny, less than 15%.

      – The Hidden Agenda of the Political Mind, by Jason Weeden & Robert Kurzban

  • John Smith

    Karplus, Summers (Samuelson), Pinker and Segal all strike me as having something in common other than being professors at Harvard, but I just can’t seem to put my finger on it.

  • De Doc

    It hasn’t always been this way. There was a time when both Republicans and Democrats saw the value of basic and applied scientific research. Now the Republicans want to slash the budget (except military) and Democrats want to piss money away on wasteful social programs. Many have said this before, but it bears repeating: ruinous spending policies end all the great parties and the U.S. is surely no exception.

  • John Smith

    Isn’t that a chicken or the egg proposition? I think I’m seeing cause and effect in that statement in favor of the GOP.

  • JohnEngelman

    According to “The Hidden Agenda of the Political Mind,” which was reviewed on American Renaissance October 24, 2014, the Harvard Radcliffe Class of 1977 “skew about six to one Democrat versus Republican.” page 145.

    It should surprise no one that Harvard professors, students, and alumni are overwhelmingly Democrat. The only thing the Republican Party really stands for is tax cuts for the rich. It should not require the IQ power to get into Harvard to realize that tax cuts for the rich harm the United States. Unfortunately, it often does.

  • Would you care to elaborate on precisely who is being so hostile and indifferent? Before you start, let me help you out a little bit by eliminating a few possibilities:

    1. Do not say “religious right”

    2. Do not say “climate deniers,” i.e. people who can mostly see through junk science.

    Okay, go.

  • jayvbellis

    Here’s where we need to display flaming red capes in front of charging Islamic Bulls.

    Let’s make Alan Dershowitz the face of Harvard Law, invite the worst Muslims to the Boston Marathon where it goes through Cambridge Mass.

    Puerto Rican government is currently sending the worst heroin addicts to my Chicago, we should do the same with Cambridge Mass Harvard.

    Get Left liberals to DEMAND that all Black convicts on Death Row in Alabama are political prisoners and must be set free and, go where?

    To Harvard, Cambridge Mass!

  • jayvbellis

    Global warming, Climate change ain’t real science.

    Nor are things like:

    White Priviledge
    Race is a social construct

  • jayvbellis

    Understand, virtually all GOP Presidential nominees with the exception of Reagan (Eureeka college) have had to go to either Harvard or Yale or both.

    Even dumb arse George Dubya Bush went to Yale undergrad, Harvard grad… He still comes off as Jethro from the Beverley Hillbillies show.

  • Light from the East

    Education is important. I hope some of us start our own league of universities, re-correcting the broken education system of ours. As for the courses we want to teach, SPLC Extremist Files will give us a clear guide to design our curriculum.

  • “Slash” spending usually means lowering the rate of increase. If someone thinks that a given program will have a 10% budget increase next FY and it only gets a 7% increase, that’s called a “cut.”

    Climate change is real, almost all of it is due to natural circumstances. My car is not causing the Earth to warm, actually, cool.