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Viewpoint diversity group for academics crosses 1,000 members

Heterodox Academy, co-founded by the social scientist who co-authored “The Coddling of the American Mind” and its recent sequel essay, has crossed 1,000 members two months after opening its ranks beyond full-time faculty.

The group that promotes viewpoint diversity in the academy also released an ideological breakdown of its members’ self-identified views, with a plurality neither liberal nor conservative.

The two largest categories are “centrist/moderate” and “libertarian/classical liberal,” together counting for just under half of all members. Conservatives and liberals each count for just over 17 percent of members. More than one in 10 are “unclassifiable” or “prefer not to say.”

According to the group: “The distribution of members across the major political categories is among the most even to be found anywhere in the American university system.”

Heterodox Academy, which started with 25 members nearly two years ago, said its membership has more than doubled since January.

In May it opened membership to adjuncts and post-docs and created a new category for PhD students, but the membership spike followed “several widely reported incidents where invited guests were shouted down and violently interrupted at UC-Berkeley, Middlebury, Claremont-McKenna and other universities.”

Membership in the U.K. – where high-profile incidents include a student union president saying she wants to “oppress white people” – is particularly strong among non-American faculty, it said.

All members pledge their concern that “many academic fields and universities currently lack sufficient viewpoint diversity” and that they will support such diversity in all facets of their academic life.

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