HERNDON, VA – Young America’s Foundation’s 19th annual “Commencement Speakers Survey” reveals that 71 liberal speakers—and only ten conservatives—are scheduled to speak or have already spoken at the 2012 commencement ceremonies for the top 100 universities as listed by US News and World Report.
Among the top 35 universities, only one conservative is scheduled to speak, compared to 29 liberals.
Sixteen Obama administration officials and appointees will speak, more than all the conservatives combined. Young America’s Foundation’s previous research shows that Bush administration officials spoke at the top 100 universities a total of 14 times throughout his Presidency. In President Obama’s first three years, administration officials have spoken 29 times—more than double the total number of Bush administration speeches.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is among the controversial invitees. Georgetown University, the nation’s oldest Catholic and Jesuit University, will host the secretary despite her administration’s efforts to mandate that the Catholic Church pay for contraception.
Secretary of Energy Steven Chu will speak at Penn State University. Chu recently gave himself an “A” for the administration’s handling of gas prices, despite the national average hovering near four dollars.
Other notable Obama administration officials and appointees addressing the class of 2012 include: Michelle Obama, the first lady of the United States (Virginia Tech); Lisa Jackson, administrator of the EPA (University of Washington and Tulane University); Justice Sonia Sotomayor (New York University); Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to the White House (American University); and John Brennan, chief counterterrorism advisor to the President (Fordham University).
To qualify as “liberal” or “conservative” for the survey, speakers must have publicly supported ideological causes through speaking, writing, serving in public office, commentating, or financial contributions.
Earlier this year, Young America’s Foundation conducted a poll which revealed liberal professors outnumber conservative professors three-to-one. In 2008, professors supported incoming Obama administration at a nine-to-one ratio. An ongoing Foundation study shows that President Obama has spoken on campuses one out of every 12 days on his Presidency, and the Daily Caller reports administration officials have made 130 appearances at colleges and universities since spring 2011.
The Foundation’s research underscores the Left’s near monopoly in higher education.
Young America’s Foundation’s Ron Robinson said of the survey, “This administration wants to sell its failed policies to college students, and clearly, higher education is more than willing to help. As tuition and student loan debt grow at historic rates, what are students getting for the money? An education from leftist professors that—combined with the Obama administration’s policies—has left 53 percent of recent grads unemployed or underemployed. These commencement speakers are just the icing on higher education’s indoctrination cake.”
Download the full survey here (YAF.org). For more information on the survey or to request an interview, please email Ron Meyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s the ideological makeup of the top 35 schools–liberals highlighted in yellow, conservative in blue (click to zoom in):