Mizzou Ranked As Worst School In The Country For Ideological Diversity

Blake Neff | Reporter

The University of Missouri (MU) and University of Oregon have been dubiously honored as the worst major colleges in the country when it comes to respecting diverse viewpoints.

The “honor” comes from a new ranking by Heterodox Academy, a non-profit founded earlier this year by several academics concerned with the overwhelming ideological homogeneity of American colleges.

In its newly-released Guide to Colleges, Heterodox scores the top 150 schools in the U.S. (according to U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of national universities) on four factors indicating their overall openness to minority political viewpoints.

The four factors in the rankings are:

  • Whether a school has endorsed the Chicago Principles, a robust set of free expression principles adopted by the University of Chicago.
  • A university’s rating from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a campus free-speech group
  • A school’s rating from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI), which assesses how open schools are to conservative and libertarian political beliefs.
  • Major news events at the school which revealed particularly strong institutional support or opposition towards free expression.

In the initial version of the list, MU and Oregon finished in dead last with a big fat 0 out of 100 for their scores. Besides having a Red rating from both FIRE and ISI, each school also had several “relevant events” since 2014 that Heterodox flagged as harmful to free expression. MU’s events included a school warning against “disruptive” protests and an announcement last fall telling students to report “hurtful” speech to the police. Oregon, meanwhile, was blasted for producing “bias incident” reports suggesting that student actions are “micromanaged” by administrators.

Several elite schools performed very badly in the new ranking, with Harvard University, Yale University, Brown University, and Georgetown University all finishing in the bottom ten. On the other hand, the top spot was occupied by the University of Chicago, which famously sent a letter to all incoming students this fall bluntly telling them that if they wanted ideological “safe spaces” they should look elsewhere.

Heterodox notes that the current rankings are only a first edition. A forthcoming version of the list due to release in December will score schools based on whether they have a “bias response team,” which Heterodox describes as “a bureaucratic innovation that generally promotes orthodoxy by allowing anyone to file an anonymous report against anyone else for speech crimes, even ones that occur in private conversations off-campus.”

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Tags : brown university georgetown university harvard university university of chicago university of missouri university of oregon yale university
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