Measuring ideological diversity in higher ed

Does the growing clamor from university administrators for “diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice” include intellectual or ideological diversity? Should it? Either way, we may soon be able to measure the level of “viewpoint diversity” at major public universities in Florida. According to this report in Inside Higher Ed (IHE), a few days ago the Florida Legislature enacted a bill calling for a survey of the political beliefs of public college and university professors in Florida. (More details about this bill are available here.) This bill, which still needs to be signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis, would require the Florida State Board of Education to ask professors annually about their political beliefs in order to “assess the status of intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity.” Hat tip: Brian Leiter.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice graphic
Image credit: University of Florida

About F. E. Guerra-Pujol

When I’m not blogging, I am a business law professor at the University of Central Florida.
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17 Responses to Measuring ideological diversity in higher ed

  1. Interesting premise. However, I could easily see how individual educators or even entire institutions could potentially “game” this new policy. I find it to be interesting that all of a sudden now intellectual diversity is a talking point, after centuries of ideological domination within the universities.

    Ironically, while college professors are overwhelmingly left-leaning, I still have seen some organic examples of intellectual diversity. For example, I had a political science professor who subverted the right-left continuum through an amoral pragmatist with an unwavering adherence to the data (some of his policy prescriptions were abhorrent, but at least it was a break from the status quo of academia). Just recently I found out that Aeon Skoble (https://www.learnliberty.org/speakers/aeon-j-skoble/) teaches at my alma mater. He was there when I was a student, but I wasn’t a libertarian back then nor did I take any classes in the philosophy department.

    Then again there are some libertarian and conservative pockets throughout academia. Auburn, George Mason, Hilsdale, Grove City College, etc.

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