The Daily Princetonian reports that when the disclosure forms were tallied, 99% of Princeton’s staff or faculty who gave money to a Presidential campaign donated to the campaign to re-elect President Barack Obama. According to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington D.C, Princeton accounted for nearly 160 donors, yet only two of them gave money to the campaign of Republican Mitt Romney. In total, the Obama campaign collected $169,000 in donations from the employees of the Ivy League school, while Mitt Romney’s campaign drew just $1,901.
Mitt Romney’s campaign received a donation from James Shinn, who was a visiting lecturer at the Kelley Center and who was the only faculty member to donate to the Republican presidential candidate. The other donor proved to be Mark Oresic, who works as a custodian for the 1903 Hall.
Sociology professor Douglas Massey GS ’78 led the faculty in presidential donations this year, donating $5,169 to Obama. University Provost Christopher Eisgruber ’83, politics professor Melissa Lane and humanities professor emeritus Toni Morrison all contributed $5,000 to Obama. Other top donors include psychology professor Susan Fiske, chemistry professor Roberto Car, Associate Dean of the Faculty Mary Baum GS ’89 and astrophysical sciences professor Robert Goldston ’77.
Both the former Dean of the College Nancy Malkiel and her successor Valerie Smith donated to the Obama campaign. University President Shirley Tilghman, however, did not donate money to any presidential candidate.
Wilson School professor Anne-Marie Slaughter ’80, a former top official in Obama’s State Department, donated $2,000 to her old boss, and former U.S. Ambassador to Yemen under Bill Clinton Barbara Bodine, who is now a visiting lecturer in the Wilson School, donated $2,500 to Obama. Economics professor and last year’s Nobel Prize winner Christopher Sims contributed $2,000 to Obama. Mitch Henderson ’98, the men’s basketball coach, gave $2,500 to Obama. Some employees said their contributions were inspired by their professions, while others were influenced by their personal political beliefs.
Goldston said that the large slant toward the Democratic President wasn’t surprising in light of the widespread belief that during his tenure in office, President Obama has done much to promote higher education in the United States. Still, even though the school’s staff and faculty donated overwhelmingly to the Democrats in the presidential race, some split the ticket and had also donated money to Republican politicians. Goldston himself also supported the campaign of Republican Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen.
Oresic cited both his religious convictions and the fact that, like the candidate, he is himself strongly pro-life. However, he also believed that people should be allowed to donate to any candidate they prefer.
“I accept the political climate that is here at Princeton University, and I feel that people ought to have a right to vote with their dollars,” he said.