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The Vermont Connection

Abstract

Does displaying one’s political affiliation in the workplace present a moral dilemma for educators striving to be true pluralists? Two recent graduates of the Higher Education & Student Affairs Administration program at The University of Vermont pose challenging questions to practitioners regarding the intersection of pluralism and political affiliation, highlighting the oft-assumed understanding that to be pluralistic one must be liberal minded. Higher education faculty and administrators, who are overwhelmingly self-identified liberals, risk marginalizing conservative students and colleagues and thwarting opportunities for dialogue around the complexities of the political climate in the academy and beyond. This article examines the paradox of political pluralism and considers the role of advocacy in creating a safe environment for liberals and conservatives alike.