In order to address society’s most intractable problems, learners must weave together the best ideas from a range of perspectives. The HxA Annual Conference and Open Inquiry Awards convened over 430 HxA members, community leaders, administrators, philanthropists, and students to discuss key issues at the core of HxA’s mission: open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement in the academy.
Taking place June 20-21, 2019 at the Sheraton Times Square New York, the program focused on advancing discourse, providing tools, offering solutions, and fostering heterodox-positive cultures on campuses and in disciplines. The Open Inquiry Awards honored the institutions and individuals doing the complex work of improving classrooms, campuses, and scholarship.
For those unable to attend the 2019 HxA Annual Conference and Open Inquiry Awards, videos from the conference are available here. Just click on the panel you want to watch!
Next Steps: The HxA 2019 conference is over. Now what?
Welcome by Debra Mashek, Executive Director, Heterodox Academy
Keynote Address by Lynn Pasquerella: The Role of Liberal Education in Discerning the Truth in a Post-Truth Era
Association of American Colleges and Universities
Amidst a rapid decline in confidence in American colleges and universities, leaders in the academy must engage in a collective call to action to restore public trust in the promise of liberal education and inclusive excellence. For those of us who believe that higher education is inextricably linked to our nation’s historic mission of educating for democracy, the work seems more urgent than ever. This urgency is enhanced by the reality we are living in an ostensibly post-truth era, characterized by the denial of authoritative knowledge and the disdain of experts, and in which rational inquiry built on evidence has all but been abandoned. If we are to contest accusation of irrelevancy and illegitimacy leveled against higher education, we must reassert the role that liberal education plays in discerning the truth and preparing students for work, citizenship, and life, using the most vibrant vectors available to us.
Talkback host: Jennifer Senior
The New York Times
Keynote Address by David Brooks: How a University Shaped My Soul
The New York Times, Aspen Institute
The New York Times columnist David Brooks speaks about the role universities have played, and can play, in moral, intellectual, and spiritual development. He discusses the growing mismatch between the culture of many campuses and the challenges students will face when they enter into realms of politics, business, and the messy life of a democracy.
Talkback host: Andrew Marantz
The New Yorker
Keynote Address by Steven Pinker: Why Heterodoxy Matters in the World
Department of Psychology
Best-selling author Steven Pinker considers why open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement matter beyond the academy. He makes the case that healthy colleges and universities equip citizens, scientists, policymakers, parents, and others with the habits of heart and mind necessary to advance the human condition.
Talkback host: Nick Gillespie
Editor at Large
Plenary Panel: Critical Questions about the Relationships among Viewpoint Diversity and Other Aspects of Diversity
While many students, faculty, and administrators share a commitment to creating diverse and equitable campuses, views diverge about whether viewpoint diversity on campus undermines or supports other diversity-related goals. Some say that advancing viewpoint diversity puts students from historically marginalized backgrounds directly in harm’s way, ensuring they will be exposed to hateful speech and ideas. Others argue that a commitment to viewpoint diversity is especially important for people from traditionally less privileged groups. Panelists will explore a range of perspectives and critical questions about the relationship between viewpoint diversity and other aspects of diversity.
Senior Vice President
Interfaith Youth Core
Jennifer Collins Bloomquist
Associate Provost for Faculty Development and Dean of Social Sciences
Taffye Benson Clayton
Vice President and Associate Provost, Office of Inclusion & Diversity
CEO & Founder
F.R.A.M.E. Foster Russell Alliance for Meaningful Expression
Moderator: Jamal Watson
Diverse: Issues in Higher Education
Plenary Panel: Which Ideas Gain Entry into the Academy? Who Decides? How?
To claim that the academy would benefit from a wider range of viewpoints is not equivalent to claiming that all viewpoints should be represented within the academy. What views should be allowed in? What theoretical and practical considerations are at play? Who decides which viewpoints to bring into a classroom, a department, a discipline, or to a campus? How should those decisions be made?
Coleman Cruz Hughes
Assistant Vice Chancellor
President and Professor of Anthropology Emerita
Keith E. Whittington
William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Politics
Moderator: Evan Goldstein
Chronicle of higher Education
Plenary Panel: Successes, Strains, and Stories to Inspire
Panelists examined the efficacy of efforts to advance open inquiry within their local campus contexts. What problem were they looking to solve? What steps were needed to develop and implement a solution? What aspects of campus culture supported versus impeded change? This “heterodoxy in hindsight” conversation offers a retrospective understanding of what worked and why and highlights on-campus successes, strains, and stories to inspire.
Samuel J. Abrams
Professor of Politics, Sarah Lawrence College
Visiting Scholar, The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
Maria Dixon Hall
Senior Advisor to the Provost
Southern Methodist University
Department of Psychology, Associate Professor
Director, American University Project on Civil Discourse
Moderator: Megan McArdle
The Washington Post
Open Inquiry Awards
Heterodox Academy is delighted to announce the recipients of the HxA Open Inquiry Awards, which honor the individuals and institutions doing the complex work of improving classrooms, campuses, and scholarship by fostering open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement in the academy.
Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership
Claremont McKenna College