In a recent essay for The Hill, HxA Executive Director Debra Mashek said three things are necessary for Heterodox Academy to realize its agenda:
- Academic stakeholders must value viewpoint diversity, open inquiry and constructive disagreement;
- Stakeholders must have access to, or be willing to create, effective strategies for enacting these values;
- Stakeholders must perceive social permission to act on these values.
We feel increasingly confident about the first element here: more than 2400 faculty, grad students and administrators have joined our ranks, endorsing their commitment to viewpoint diversity, constructive disagreement and open inquiry. And we are confident that many, many more support our cause.
However, a frequent question we get is: what now? How, specifically, can one realize these values in the classroom, in the administration, when conducting research or participating in committees, in interpersonal interactions, etc.?
Our efforts for the coming year will be intensely focused on providing an answer to this question – transitioning to the second step of Director Mashek’s roadmap.
To this end, we are in the process of launching a discipline-oriented set of working groups to help accelerate reforms and coordination for fields where these problems are particularly pronounced. More details coming soon.
Heterodox Academy also wants to serve as a clearing house for practical strategies, tools and resources that stakeholders can readily adapt and implement in their own institutions.
However, we are also excited to announce a new initiative:
HxA Resource Compendium
There are inspiring examples far and wide of initiatives, policies, programs, and other innovations academic stakeholders have developed to advance open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement in their classrooms, on their campuses, and in their disciplines. However, there is no single source to turn to access this array of good ideas.
Let’s see if we can do something about that.
Heterodox Academy seeks to create a compendium of initiatives, policies, programs, and other innovations that have been deployed in classrooms, on campuses, and in disciplines to support open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement. For instance:
- Statements of values (e.g., syllabus language about expectations of civility, adoption of Chicago Principles, Colgate Principles, etc. editorial letter describing a journal’s commitment to open inquiry)
- Policies (e.g., policy in the Student Handbook about freedom of expression, required language for faculty job ads)
- Programs (e.g., speaker series, orientation program, OpenMind Platform)
- Full Courses (e.g., SOC 396: Free Speech, Viewpoint Diversity, and Higher Education )
- Course Content (e.g., a module or unit about academic freedom)
- Practices (e.g., hiring committee guidelines, journal editor’s approach to selecting reviewers)
- Workshop or Training (e.g., new faculty development session, Center for Teaching and Learning workshop)
- Readings (e.g., a text or set of texts selected as a shared summer read or assigned in a course, All Minus One)
- Groups (e.g., a student group like Debate Club or BridgeUSA, a faculty learning community)
- Metrics (e.g., the Campus Expression Survey)
Team HxA will then curate the submissions, aiming to create a resource other faculty and administrators can turn to for inspiration and strategy as they seek to advance these values within their local contexts.
We need your help to gather these materials. Please tell us about the resources/strategies that exist on your campus or in your discipline by completing this submission form. Complete a separate submission for each resource/ strategy you would like to share.
Help us help others – together, we can turn things around!