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Heterodox Academy

University of Washington, Tacoma


The Campus Community at the University of Washington, Tacoma⏤the UWT Freedom Forum⏤is a non-partisan group dedicated to preserving academic freedom as a foundational value of our university.

We formed this group to protect academic freedom and to resist what we see as a weakening commitment to free inquiry at UW Tacoma and the tri-campus UW as a whole.

UWT is a largely nonresidential, urban-serving, majority non-white university founded in 1990. Most of our students are nontraditional: more than half are first generation, more than 40% receive Pell grants, and 16% are affiliated with the military. Because many in our diverse student body are unfamiliar with certain longstanding foundations of higher learning that are now increasingly at risk, we want them to learn that a university keeps itself young and old at once if it follows a traditional mission: to pursue knowledge and truth by thinking openly, creatively, rigorously, and bravely; by challenging ideas in order to improve them; and by doing so with respect and gratitude for those with different views.

And we are optimistic. In our experience, UWT students arrive with open minds, showing minimal signs of orthodox thinking and even some ironic distance from it. By hosting events that model civil discourse about contentious topics, we hope to imbue in them a determination to preserve their openness as well as the courage to do so.

Campus Co-Chairs

Meet the leaders building the University of Washington, Tacoma Campus Community

Joe Sharkey headshot

E. Joe Sharkey

Associate Professor of Literature
Monika Sobolewska headshot

Monika Sobolewska

Associate Teaching Professor, School of Engineering and Technology
Campus cta
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Your generosity supports our non-partisan efforts to advance the principles of open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement to improve higher education and academic research.

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