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One-third of Hillsdale College faculty call them­selves Repub­licans, a quarter call them­selves Democrats, and a fifth call them­selves polit­i­cally inde­pendent, according to a survey con­ducted by The Col­legian.

“There is a con­sid­erable range of opinion amongst the faculty. There are plenty of lib­erals, ” said Paul Rahe, pro­fessor of history and a reg­is­tered Repub­lican since Jimmy Carter’s pres­i­dency.

The anonymous survey was con­ducted last week. Of the 77 faculty members who responded, 34.8 percent iden­tified them­selves as Repub­lican. Democrats accounted for 26 percent, inde­pen­dents made up 20.8 percent, and Lib­er­tarians were 9.1 percent.

“There are also con­sid­erable dif­fer­ences among those who aren’t liberal,” Rahe said. “There’s more division and debate here than you’ll find on any other college campus.”

On other cam­puses, 70.8 percent of pro­fessors identify them­selves as Democrats, according to a 2007 study by Neil Gross and Solon Simmons. The study also found that 20.8 percent of pro­fessors called them­selves Repub­licans and 8.5 percent regarded them­selves as inde­pen­dents.

Some Hillsdale pro­fessors expressed more apathy about their political ide­ologies. Pro­fessor of Biology Dan York iden­tifies as “totally non-political” and tends to vote on issues rather than political parties.

“I believe in the power of the free market and per­sonal respon­si­bility for one’s own life,” York said. “There are so many sim­i­lar­ities between the free market system and ecosystems: when things go wrong with either, I strongly feel it is best to just leave them alone to work out the problems without trying to over-manage them.”

A number of faculty members also declined to speak on the topic, stating that it was not their place to espouse their per­sonal political opinions. But several of the anonymous responses even included extra notes from the pro­fessors:

“All I want from a can­didate is envi­ron­mental and fiscal respon­si­bility,” said a Democrat. “Since this is not found any­where in today’s political climate, I am stuck with the party that causes the least damage.”

A Repub­lican was sim­i­larly unen­thu­si­astic about the choices: “I lean Repub­lican, and I intend to vote for Romney. But, in reality, I don’t like the ‘Stupid Party’ much better than the ‘Evil’ Party.”

Others expressed their passion. “Down with the Fed! Ron Paul Rev­o­lution!” a Lib­er­tarian wrote, cir­cling the back­wards “love” in “Rev­o­lution.”

Despite the range of responses, Pro­fessor of History and Kirk Chair Brad Birzer, who con­siders himself a Lib­er­tarian, said there is an overall unity.

“We have a great faculty, and I think we see each other for the best in that person,” he said. “I’ve never seen any demand to conform polit­i­cally.”