Since 2015, HxA has connected professors, administrators, staff, and students who value open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement in higher education.
To advance that mission, HxA’s 5,800+ members have shared ideas, convened gatherings, developed tools, conducted research, and built communities organized by academic discipline and region.
Each Campus Community will start with a group of two to three founding co-chairs, who commit to lead and grow the group over an initial three-year period. This role will start with a one-day orientation and workshop with HxA staff, and continues with ongoing organizational and communications responsibilities.
As they attract initial members and participants, Campus Communities will establish their own organizational and leadership guidelines in keeping with the mission of HxA and the policies of the local institution.
Campus Communities’ activities may include:
- Monthly gatherings to plan, socialize, and share experiences and advice;
- Academic activities and practical workshops aligned with HxA values; and
- Dialogue with institutional leaders about the policies and practices that shape intellectual culture in the specific context of each local institution.
In the “founding period” of their first six months, Campus Communities will focus on laying the groundwork for long-term success by forming an organization; setting basic structures; recruiting members; holding regular meetings; and cultivating a sense of community within the group.
As Campus Communities grow, HxA will make other resources and programs available by application. These may include:
- “Heterodox Conversations”: large, campus-wide events featuring two speakers who model constructive disagreement
- Additional workshops and trainings for Campus Community leaders and members, in-person and online
- Local administration of Campus Expression Survey
- Intellectual retreats for members, with HxA partner organizations
- Additional grant opportunities
- Programs at future HxA conferences
Support from HxA
In the second cohort launching in Spring 2023, each Campus Community will receive a commitment of at least $1,000 in program expenses funded by HxA for the remainder of academic year 2022-23, and at least $3,000 for academic year 2023-24. These funds will support core activities during the founding period: outreach to prospective members and at least three events per semester (lunch meetings, receptions, and/or invitation-only events with guest speakers).
In addition to financial support, HxA staff will also provide:
- Resources, coaching, and technical supports for:
- Community building
- Event planning
- Member recruitment
- Formation of official faculty and/or student groups
- Communications with college/university administration and other faculty groups
- Communications and media relations
- A one-day, virtual orientation workshop for Campus Community leaders (mandatory)
- An online discussion portal for Campus Community members
- A public listing page on the HxA website with an opportunity to make an earmarked donation to HxA
- Connections to potential guest speakers and partner organizations
- Collaboration opportunities for Campus Community leaders across institutions
Clear expectations from the start will help HxA members decide if starting a Campus Community is the right choice. All participating groups are asked to affirm these key guidelines:
Live the mission. Campus Community messages and events should be crafted to elevate the discourse, in keeping with The HxA Way. Partisanship, single-issue campaigns, echo chambers, and provocation-for-its-own-sake may have their place, but an HxA Campus Community is not that place.
Build community. A new Campus Community can lay a strong foundation by recruiting members, developing relationships, and thinking deeply about campus-specific issues. That’s why Campus Communities will start with a founding period, making them better prepared for deep work and potential controversies ahead.
Speak up with courage and charity. There are many ways to influence campus culture and policy, and sometimes those include taking a public stand. Each Campus Community will consider when and how it will communicate as individuals and as a group, and how it will handle internal disagreements.
Share the learning. As part of a national (or international) network, each Campus Community can help all HxA members learn about what works, and what doesn’t, when it comes to changing the culture of colleges and universities.
Respect the process. To protect everyone involved, Campus Community co-chairs will agree to follow college/university policies; respect the nonprofit status and trademarks of Heterodox Academy; take care of the people and funding involved in this work; and keep the HxA team in the loop about events, controversies, and successes and challenges.