Heterodox Academy began in September 2015 as a politically diverse group of 24 professors and one graduate student who were studying and writing about issues related to viewpoint diversity at American universities. But as political tensions grew over the following year – both on campus and nationally – more and more people realized the need for universities to be vigilant about the problem of political homogeneity. In response, in the summer of 2016, Heterodox Academy opened up the collaboration, first to all tenured professors, and then to all tenure-track (assistant) professors. Our membership quickly grew from 25 to more than 700 today, including growing numbers of professors from other countries.

In the current academic year, however, the problems of the academy have grown far more serious as more and more speakers are being shouted down and in some cases physically attacked. An increasing number of leading voices on the left as well as the right are beginning to say that universities must change course. An increasing number of professors at all ranks are now willing to stand up and be counted, as witnessed by the thousands who signed a statement by two Princeton professors, Robert George and Cornel West, in the wake of the violence at Middlebury.

The time is right, therefore, to open up our membership to all members of the academy – that is, everyone who has earned a Ph.D. and is engaged in teaching and/or research at a university. This includes post-docs and adjunct and part-time professors, as long as they have earned a doctorate and are listed on a university web page. (We accept other degrees when that is the standard for professors, as with a JD for law professors or an MD for medical school professors). HxA is and has always been a collaboration of insiders – members of the academy who love the guild and want to improve it from the inside.

We are also creating a new membership category for graduate students, who are apprentices in our guild. We now welcome anyone enrolled in a Ph.D. program to join us as an affiliate member.

The membership process is the same. All Heterodox Academy members still endorse the following statement:

“I believe that university life requires that people with diverse viewpoints and perspectives encounter each other in an environment where they feel free to speak up and challenge each other. I am concerned that many academic fields and universities currently lack sufficient viewpoint diversity—particularly political diversity. I will support viewpoint diversity in my academic field, my university, my department, and my classroom.”

If you are an adjunct professor, post-doc, or graduate student in a Ph.D. program and you endorse that statement, please join us on or after May 8. Learn more about membership here.


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