Campus Expression Survey
The HxA Guide to Colleges
OpenMind is a free, psychology-based educational platform designed to depolarize campuses and to foster mutual understanding across differences. OpenMind helps students cultivate intellectual humility, empathy, and trust, while equipping them with the essential skills to discuss the most sensitive and difficult topics. The platform is interactive, highly engaging, and can be assigned to students in a particular classroom, or used campus-wide.
Are students and/or professors afraid to speak openly at your school? How can you know? Everyone wants an open environment where all members of the academic community can express their ideas honestly. But increasingly, we hear reports that students and professors are heavily self-censoring. Many talk about needing to “walk on eggshells.” Is this going on in your classroom, or at your school? If so, then it is vital to know: which students are feeling intimidated, about which topics, and why? Are students primarily afraid of the professors, or of other students? Is it happening in all departments, or only in a few? Heterodox Academy has designed a tool to provide good data on these questions.
Our Campus Expression Survey is easy to administer, and it will give you a diagnosis, an X-ray, of what’s going on. Like all of our tools, we provide the Campus Expression Survey free of charge.
Which campuses are best for students seeking exposure to diverse perspectives? Our Guide to Colleges–the only resource of its kind–is designed to help college-bound students ﬁnd the right schools. But we think it will be of use to university administrators, too. To create cultures of free and open inquiry, where students and professors are not afraid to voice their views or challenge the views of others, schools must be aware of how they are doing with regard to maintaining and valuing viewpoint diversity on campus.
We work with administrators to identify institutional strategies to improve a campus’s viewpoint diversity and standing in the Guide. We have no way to directly measure the culture on campus — at least until many campuses start using our Campus Expression Survey to collect such data. Until then, our guide to colleges should be seen as a way to aggregate several imperfect predictors of openness to viewpoint diversity. Culture varies enormously within each university (e.g., humanities are most at risk of political orthodoxy; natural sciences much less so), and the undergraduate culture can change over the course of a few years. But we know of no alternative ranking or list to help high school seniors who want to be exposed to diverse political viewpoints while in college, so we created our own. A detailed description of our methods and analysis appears in the Guide.
Contact collegeguide@heterodoxacademy with questions or to request access to the full database of indicators.