Academic Membership in Heterodox Academy

Heterodox Academy is an association of professors and graduate student affiliates who have come together to express their support for increasing viewpoint diversity—particularly political and ideological diversity—in universities.

Professors (including adjuncts) and post-docs who meet these four criteria are encouraged to apply for membership:

  1. Has earned a Ph.D. (or J.D., or M.D., for faculty in law and medicine, or M.F.A. for faculty in the arts)
  2. Listed as a professor or instructor on the university website
  3. Is engaged in the main practices of academic life — teaching, research/scholarship, and publication. (Retired and emeritus faculty are welcome; adjuncts need only show some evidence of past research and publication.)
  4. Endorses 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.”

Items of Note

International Applicants: Our current focus is on universities in the United States, though we are slowly branching out to address viewpoint diversity in other countries. We recognize that political homogeneity and the suppression of dissenting views is a problem in many countries, and we welcome applications from professors in other English speaking countries.We also welcome professors in other countries who publish primarily in English-language journals; we need to be able to evaluate each applicant’s scholarship.

Membership Process: Membership decisions are made by the membership committee, who evaluate the work of the candidate and whether they conduct research and engage the public in a civil and scholarly manner, and can be revoked at any time. Members may withdraw at any time too. There is no work required and we do not collect dues or fees.

What It Means to be a Member:

  1. Members are listed on the “members” page.
  2. Members receive one, sometimes two, emails per week with updates and discussion of current events and projects.
  3. Members are encouraged to submit essays for publication on our blog, subject to approval and editing from the blog committee.
  4. Members receive access to specific discussion groups (if they choose to participate) according to their discipline/concentration. <coming soon>

Public Statements: Our membership is politically diverse and each member speaks for him or herself. Views expressed by any member cannot be taken to imply endorsement by other members. We rarely take positions as an organization. Rather, we provide a platform on which many views and ideas can be expressed- along with dissenting opinions. We strive to maintain a tone of civility among both writers and commenters.


Please invite your friends to join! Here is some sample text that you can modify:

Dear ____

I would like to invite you to join an organization that I belong to: Heterodox Academy. We are a collaboration among professors who think that viewpoint diversity is a good thing, and that there’s not enough of it in many universities and academic fields. We’re really diverse politically — we have a fairly even split among progressives, moderates, libertarians and conservatives. In the wake of Trump’s unexpected victory, many more people are beginning to recognize how essential it is, for universities and scholarly communities, to safeguard political diversity and dissent. Many prominent progressives have endorsed our general mission, including President Obama, Nick Kristof, and Van Jones. And all of that was before the Middlebury affair, which is encouraging many more professors to stand up and say that the climate on campus is now stifling free inquiry and damaging the education we give to students. If professors don’t stand up now for the rights of political minorities and the value of reasoned debate, then we can expect to see more violence and intimidation on campus–and less public support of universities.

If you join you’ll be in very good company, so there is little risk that anyone will see your name and wonder about your politics or your virtue. We have over 700 members now, including a former president of the ACLU (Nadine Strossen) and a Nobel Prize winner (Vernon Smith). We are mostly Americans, but as restrictions on speech are spreading in Britain, Australia, and elsewhere, we are drawing more faculty from abroad. In September we opened up membership to any professor who is either tenured or has a tenure-track appointment. We are constructive insiders. We love the academy and are trying to improve it, not attack it. You can see our general plans for the year here.
Membership does not require a commitment to advocate or publish— it’s enough just to add your name to our roster to show your support. You’ll get one email per week, with news and updates, sometimes two emails in a week when there is big news. But you can ask at any time to be taken off the email list entirely. And if you DO want to be more active, we’d welcome your contributions on the blog, which sometimes gets more than 20,000 readers on a post.
What do you say? You can see all the current members here, and if you want to join us, you can find the signup page here. There are no dues, and you can quit at any time.
With best wishes,
[your name here]