Of those college instructors who expressed an opinion of affirmative action in college admissions, only a very slim majority--50.7 percent--support it. Moreover, that 50.7 percent figure was arrived at by adding to the 11 percent who strongly favor it another 39.7 percent who only favor it somewhat.
On the other side, 17.4 percent of the college instructors expressing a view on the matter said they strongly oppose affirmative action in admissions, while 31.9 percent said they oppose it somewhat.
Considering that only 9.2 percent of college instructors in the survey were classified by the researchers as conservative, and just 20.4 percent voted for George W. Bush in 2004, it appears that opposition to affirmative action in the professoriate transcends political party and stretches well into the ideological middle ground.
On other questions related to race, most faculty members leaned further left. Among some key findings of the study conducted by the sociologists Neil Gross of Harvard University and Solon Simmons of George Mason University :
- 84.6 percent agreed with the assertion that a lack of educational opportunities is a cause of racial inequality between blacks and whites.
- 53.6 percent cited ongoing racial discrimination as a cause of racial inequality
- 18 percent agreed with the assertion that "most African Americans just don't have the motivation or will power to pull themselves out of poverty."
- Excluding respondents who expressed no opinion on the matter, 28.2 percent strongly agreed that the racial and ethnic diversity of the nation should be more strongly represented in the undergraduate curriculum, while 43.5 percent agreed somewhat, 21.3 percent disagreed somewhat, and 7.1 percent strong disagreed.