Heterodox Academy Releases “Guide to Colleges”

Last week Heterodox Academy, a cohort of diverse faculty working together to improve the academy by enhancing viewpoint diversity and open inquiry, released the Heterodox Academy Guide to Colleges: Top 150 Universities in the United States.

The aim of this guide is to evaluate the America’s top 150 colleges and universities, as ranked by US News and World Reports, based on this question: Is it a place where you are likely to encounter a variety of views on politically controversial topics?

In order to answer this question, Heterodox evaluates schools based on four sources of information.

  1. Has the University endorsed the Chicago Principles on free expression
  2. Whether the school’s speech codes foster or infringe upon free speech as rated by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
  3. Is the school a reasonably welcoming place for conservative and libertarian students? This data is obtained from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) guide to Choosing the Right College.
  4. Relevant events since 2014: these are events which indicate a commitment by faculty, administrators, and/or students to protect or restrict open inquiry and viewpoint discrimination.

A value between 0 and 1 is assigned for each of these categories per school. They then multiply each score by 25 and add up the values to create a “Heterodoxy Score” ranging from 0 to 100. Of those schools which were ranked the University of Chicago received the highest overall score, 93.75, while both the University of Missouri- Columbia and the University of Oregon-Eugene share the lowest overall score of 0.

This guide is only the first step in Heterodox Academy’s plan to help educate individuals on the issues of viewpoint diversity and open inquiry. They will soon release a similar guide ranking the top 50 Liberal Arts colleges, and they also plan to revise this edition of the guide and release a more detailed version in December. To that end they welcome corrections to the guide via: collegeguide@heterodoxacademy.org.

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