<p>I am interested in applying to Furman. I wanted to see if I could get some feedback from students on how much of the typical liberal agenda I can expect. If so, in what areas of study?</p>
<p>I don't know for sure, but have little reason to think that Furman is significantly different from those institutions it seeks to mimic, virturally all of which are laden with Algore democrats and lemming libs. Tenure has its way of refining these bastions of one-way thinking. Sadly, it's usually far left of center.</p>
<p>Let's see ... D hasn't encountered any far left thinking in calc ... left FIELD, maybe! :) Psych is psych ... no particular "leaning" there. Her Engaged Living is Vocations, and that has a lot of spiritual focus. She hasn't encountered any particular left/right there, but it definitely is religious in nature.</p>
<p>If you are worried about avoiding a "liberal agenda," I would guess you might feel comfortable at Furman. You will find people with many different idealogies, but I think that "conservative" would be the overall feel of the school. D is moderate, perhaps a bit left of center, and she has not felt uncomfortable for her views. Of course, she was a passionate Methodist at a conservative Catholic high school, so it's nothing new for her. I get the feeling some of the profs challenge students to think beyond their own narrow viewpoints ... but that can be a very good thing! Considering other viewpoints does not mean you have to give up your own.</p>
<p>Good insights, kelsmom. Thanks.</p>
<p>This question being asked though is not so much about avoiding the liberal agenda as it is seeking an environment that determines to inform, share ideas and even ideologues, but avoid indoctrination being presented as enlightenment and education. Challenge is good. Unfortunately the notion of tenure and how it tends to be awarded increasingly to those who "think like we do because it's equivalent to a lifetime contract like ours which means we have to work together", well it is ever-pervasive among too many professoriates who deem themselves accountable principally to their discipline and thus their local colleagues vs. their administrative overseers.</p>
<p>I'm sure there are places that are conscious about providing political balance or at least benigness, and it sounds like Furman is one of those. And we all know there are places of extremity on both sides, neither of which is intellectually appealing, imho.</p>
<p>I understand what you are saying, Whistle Pig. While the buzz about Furman profs seems to be that they tend to be more liberal than the average conservative student, I don't get the feeling that they are the kind of liberal you indicate. Just my opinion, but I think the alumni/parent/student community are too involved in what is going on at Furman to allow things to be that far out of balance.</p>
<p>As a professor at my "liberal bastion" undergrad of UCLA once said: "any professor who is teaching ideology instead of facts is just an idiot."</p>
<p>Unfortunately, however, a lot of what is construed as a "liberal agenda" may simply be truth that is contrary to the popular discourse. I remember a student in a class of mine being so upset because a paper we read showed a positive correlation between race-based campaigning and vote share. Now, it may not be "nice" to hear, but it doesn't make it any less true either way.</p>
<p>In other words, I would be less concerned with the "agenda" at a good school like Furman and more concerned with "what can I get out of this?"</p>
<p>You'll always have some sort of bias in a classroom, no matter what the subject is. It's all a matter of sifting through the crud and getting the pearls of wisdom at the end.</p>
<p>Of course you'll have bias. As one of my profs said so well, "you have to stand somewhere to look at anything." The problem is again the refinement of departments via the tenuring process over the past decades. There is little room for scholars who disagree, even when they're not disagreeable. One would have to be deaf, dumb, and blind and in severe denial to know what the pervasive political posture is on so many campuses. It's easy to suggest "that's ok as long as they don't preach or teach their POVs" but the reality that you and I agree fully on UCLAri is that EVERYONE has a POV and has to stand somewhere to teach from. I am of the belief that overt or subtle way too often that POV is very crowded and very liberal. </p>
<p>To suggest though that doesn't matter smacks of the old '60s notion of being "value free" or neutral, which of course along with "I'm OK, You're OK" has shown itself to be the mickey mouse intellectualism it was and is. College classrooms are so burdened with stuff that is anything but facts. It's allegedly teaching people how to think, but very often it's not to be open minded though. Think MY way, because I am in the position of power as the prof. There's a great deal of this indoctination going on, some subtle, some otherwise, imo.</p>
<p>I attended Furman for two years and it's just like most all mainstream "liberal arts" universities. The Sociology, Arts & Drama, and humanities departments tend to have more "liberal" profs. In Poly Sci. there's usually a mix. Economics and Business will have more "conservative" profs. Usually the equation is irrelevant in Math and Sciences.<br>
If one is offended by having a prof w/ an ideology different than theirs, they will soon know what courses to take or avoid.
The irony of this chain is that I started at Furman as a sheltered conservative Republican and the only negative experiences I had were/w 2 courses; an English prof that always managed to get her religious beliefs into the discourse, and a Physics prof that felt compelled to reconcile Creationism w/ the Big Bang Theory. By no means did I transfer because of those 2 classes, but I find it ironic given the topic of this thread.<br>
I'm sure I had some teachers with a liberal agenda, but none that were overbearing.
If you are worried about "liberal" dogma, you'll see it wherever you want(and vise versa). If it is threatening to you personally, avoid those profs. But if you are sincere about your beliefs use such a course as a challenge. Most teachers respect intelligent contarian views--liberal or conservative.
There are many colleges available that tend to have more "conservative" profs in all fields(a colleague always mentions Hillsdale and Grove City), but not many with the national acclaim of Furman. And I can assure you that, compared to most universities of similar esteem, Furman would not even rank as a hotbed of "liberal indoctrination". Not even close.
All things are relative-I completed by degree at Vanderbilt, which has a more diverse but generally conservative student body, and encountered several profs that were full-fledged Socialists along with some hardcore U. of Chicago-school Economics profs and hardcore Republican politicos. Very few students complained of any "agenda".
I guess I'm a "moderate" Independent now, but appreciate all the views I was exposed to at both schools. For those less curious, just learn the departments and profs you think will give you a problem. And don't worry so much!</p>