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Do the Rhodes and Truman Scholarships Have Any Room for the Right??
AEI
2024.05.07
The taxpayer-funded Truman Scholarship and the private Rhodes Scholarship work closely with public colleges and universities to cultivate future civic leaders. While this role suggests these programs should include scholars who reflect a breadth of views, values, and interests, their participants instead display a stark ideological tilt.
Over the past five years, just one of 157 American Rhodes Scholars expressed interest in a right-leaning issue in their program biography. Over the past three years, just six of 182 Truman Scholars did so. Moreover, the nature of their interest suggests that even these seven scholars aren’t especially conservative.
Among Truman and American Rhodes Scholars, interest in prominent progressive issues dwarfs that in conservative ones - by a factor of 20 to one. While 98 scholars cited an interest in immigrant rights or diversity, equity, and inclusion and racial justice, just four mentioned an interest in religious freedom or pro-life advocacy.
Given taxpayer funding for the Truman Scholarship and the participation of public institutions in both programs, public officials should take appropriate steps to ensure that public participation or support is contingent on these programs taking their pledge to cultivate a diverse community of scholars and future leaders seriously.