I love college football. I also love studying lobbying in higher education. So, I thought, why not combine those two loves and see what happens? So, I present to you the first annual College Lobby Bowl.
I’m pleased to finally showcase a project I’ve been working on for about a week or so. After the events of Charlottesville, a number of colleges and universities have begun to reexamine their Confederate pasts. The University of Texas at Austin and Duke University both removed statues of Robert E. Lee from places of prominence, while the President of Texas A & M university announced that the university would not take down its statue of Sul Ross, a Confederate General who led the university after the Civil War. In part to flex my data visualization muscles, and also because I think it is important that students, faculty, staff, and alumni know if there is a monument to the Confederacy on their campuses, I’ve cataloged all of the college campus-based Confederate memorials I could find on the map below.
I recently stumbled on to this article at Times Higher Education about the incredible dominance of Oxford University as the alma mater of almost every single U.K. Prime Minister since the end of World War II. That got me thinking… what about U.S. Presidents? Were they all educated at Harvard and Yale? I knew the answer was no – Gerald Ford was quite the football star at Michigan – but I wanted to know just how much the Ivy League and like institutions dominate US Presidential politics. The answer is something along the lines of “quite a bit, but not as much as you might think.”
One of President Trump’s many campaign promises was to “Drain the Swamp” – eliminate corruption in Washington by limiting the influence of professional “hired gun” lobbyists and special interests. The funny thing about that promise is that it may have been achieved by the GOP Congress way back in 2011… at least as it relates to universities. Continue reading