One hundred percent of the donations made by Bowdoin faculty and staff in November’s presidential election benefitted President Obama’s campaign, according to data collected by the Federal Election Committee (FEC).
According to public records published by the FEC, donations to the president’s campaign from Bowdoin College employees totaled $5,300, with ten Bowdoin College employees donating to the president’s campaign. No donations were made to the campaign of Republican Mitt Romney.
Seven Bowdoin staff members donated a total of $29,404 to Angus King’s successful senate campaign. King, an independent, taught as a distinguished lecturer at the College from spring 2004 through spring 2012.
“Members of the faculty are free, as individuals on their own time and with their own resources, to support whomever they choose,” said Cristle Collins Judd, dean of academic affairs.
Though no Bowdoin employees donated to the Republican presidential candidate’s campaign, several College employees to the campaigns of Republicans running for lower offices. President Barry Mills donated $500 to Kevin Raye, a Bates College alumnus and Republican, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives.
The FEC data available to the public only covers official campaign organizations. It does not include unaffiliated groups, including super PACs.
Other NESCAC schools showed similar one-sided support for Democratic campaigns. All campaign donations from Bates employees were in support of Obama, and at Colby, 78 percent of donations went to Obama’s campaign.
According to Fox News, 96 percent of Ivy League professors donated to Obama’s campaign, giving ten times more money to the president than to Romney. Donations from Ivy League professors to Obama totaled over $1.2 million.
“American higher education is far to the left of the country in political outlook, and in partisan contexts such as campaign donations, it acts out its one-sided perspective,” Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars, told Fox News. “Anyone who thinks this partisanship is sealed off from the classroom is engaged in wishful thinking.”
Despite the lack of political diversity demonstrated by political donations from the faculty, the College’s administration remains confident in educators’ abilities to foster inclusive, nonpartisan classroom environments.
“We expect that individual political opinions do not stifle the education in the classroom and that all viewpoints are welcome and respected,” said Judd.