College Employees Give Millions to Federal Campaigns, Especially to Democrats

September 22, 2010

Employees of colleges and other educational entities have donated a total of about $13.5-million to candidates for federal offices this election cycle, with most of that money going to Democrats, says a report released on Wednesday by the Center for Responsive Politics.

The center, a Washington-based research group that compiles and analyzes federal campaign contributions, explored the donations made by employees of educational institutions through July 31. While nonprofit colleges cannot contribute directly to political campaigns, administrators, faculty members, and other employees are allowed to make individual contributions.

The University of California, which employs more than 180,000 faculty and staff members, topped the list of colleges whose employees contributed the most. They gave a total of $483,981 to various campaigns, 86 percent of which went to Democrats.

The list of the top-10 college contributors, based on employee donations, includes other large and selective universities, including Harvard University in second place, Stanford University in third, and the University of Texas in sixth. Some for-profit education companies and groups also ranked in the top 10, including the Apollo Group, which owns the University of Phoenix and ranked fourth, and the Association of Private-Sector Colleges and Universities, formerly the Career College Association, which represents for-profit colleges and ranked fifth.

Royall & Company, a marketing company for for-profit universities, topped the list of education entities whose employees gave the most to Republican candidates, but it was not ranked among the top 20 institutions for overall contributions. Company employees gave $80,367 to Republican campaigns.

The report also mentions individual employees who made large contributions to political campaigns. Carol H. Winograd, an associate professor emerita of medicine and human biology at Stanford, topped the list, contributing $136,300 to various Democratic campaigns this election cycle.

The top three recipients in the Senate were all Democrats. Barbara Boxer of California, who received $175,019, Charles E. Schumer of New York, who took in $170,175, and Harry M. Reid of Nevada, who took in $143,700. In the House, the top three recipients were also Democrats. Bill Foster of Illinois took in $126,945, George Miller of California took in $115,961, and Paul W. Hodes of New Hampshire received $93,700.