Heterodox Academy


Heterodox Academy

Jacob Kriss, Web Production Manager

Michele Dennis, Chair of the Math Department, recently announced the forming of a conservative/centrist affinity group at Masters in a speech which introduced Heterodox Academy. Heterodox Academy, which counts over 2,500 graduate students, administrators and professors amongst its members, is committed to improving education through the promotion of viewpoint diversity and constructive disagreement primarily in institutions of higher learning, according to their mission statement.  

Dennis Said, “The mission of Heterodox Academy should be implemented into high schools where we have seen there is a need for it.” Recently there has been evidence of discomfort among members of the Masters community who feel that their voices and opinions are being oppressed by a student body with majority liberal opinions. In response to the concerns, Karen Brown, Director of Equity and Inclusion,  recognized the need for an affinity group so  these individuals and others who felt they could not voice their opinions could freely develop their ideas in a safe environment.

While the creation of the group is a step in the right direction towards embodying the mission of Heterodox Academy, it may seem that the isolation of affinity groups at Masters, as a result of their ability to deny admission based on identity, conflicts with the Academy’s opinion on establishing open inquiry.

However, the usefulness of affinity groups in embodying their mission at our school can be seen in the Academy’s dedication to viewpoint diversity. In accordance with Heterodox Academy’s mission, in order for Masters to fully achieve an environment of constructive disagreement in the pursuit of learning, all perspectives present must be honestly considered. The evidence presented by Dennis, which resulted in the conservative/centrist affinity group’s formation, suggests that this truly diverse environment has not yet been realized in our community. In order to be successful in establishing this environment, according to the Heterodox ideals, it is essential that we realize the advantages of attempting to understand views that conflict with our own. As Dennis puts it, “You don’t know your viewpoint well if you have never had it challenged.”