Looking for something more illuminating than U.S. News & World Report for college rankings? Something that will warn you if you are sending your child into a bastion of left-wing intolerance?
Consider the new “Guide to Colleges” released by Heterodox Academy, the organization co-founded by “Coddling of the American Mind” co-author Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist at New York University.
It has ranked the top 150 universities in U.S. News rankings by their commitment to viewpoint diversity, as evidenced by four metrics:
whether they have adopted the so-called Chicago Principles on freedom of expression
their rating in the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s Spotlight database on speech codes
their rating in the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s “Choosing the Right College” guide, which measures how “reasonably welcoming” a school is for conservative and libertarian students
“relevant events since 2014”
Unsurprisingly the top school is the University of Chicago, the namesake of the Chicago Principles, which is also credited for the letter it sent incoming students this fall warning that they will not be given safe spaces or trigger warnings. (The backlash the letter generated, from some students and faculty, apparently doesn’t count against it.)
Purdue University is No. 2, in part because President Mitch Daniels (a former Republican governor of Indiana) reiterated to the community a year ago that it remained “steadfast in preserving academic freedom and individual liberty” in contrast to Yale and the University of Missouri (yes, he dissed them by name). Purdue’s student orientation this term also included free speech training.
Also unsurprisingly, the University of Missouri got a zero on its Heterodox Academy rating – but so did the University of Oregon, with notations on its bias response team’s micromanagement, campus police silencing an anti-abortion preacher and its Jefferson Center Muzzle award this year.
The list is so new that it also includes a faux pas from Haidt’s own NYU, which last week blocked gay conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos from speaking on campus, citing security concerns. NYU is in a five-way tie for second-to-last place on the list, with Northwestern, Rutgers, Harvard and Brown.
Only one Ivy League school made the top 25: Princeton. Three more made the top 50: Columbia, Penn and Dartmouth.