What is CIVIC (Council for Intellectual Values and Inclusive Community)? 


  1. to preserve a climate on campus favorable to open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement.
  2. to create forums for discussion of issues that cross-cut the traditional intellectual aims of the university and movements for social change.
  3. to provide collegial support for those interested in the topics we intend to pursue.  

Activities we propose to undertake are consistent with these objectives and include the following: 

  1. Monthly or quarterly meetings on programmed topics related to CIVIC’s mission.
  2. At least one annual event, open to the campus community, on topics related to open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and/or constructive disagreement. 
  3. Dialogues with campus administrators about matters that bear on these values. 
  4. Support for colleagues and students who can provide evidence that they have been unfairly labeled, harassed, or sanctioned for expressing non-conforming views consistent with the protections provided by academic freedom.

Through these means, we aim to have an influence on the culture of the campus.  We will do so by asking questions and by holding discussions rather than by promoting any pre-given set of answers.  We plan to make changes in a convivial environment open to all who want to see a university anchored in intellectual values and an inclusive community. 

We share a set of fundamental commitments.  We are committed to preserving a climate of discourse based on evidence, logic, insightful connections, and reasoned argumentation.  Such a climate of discourse includes sincere efforts to understand divergent viewpoints.   

We also support the values of non-conformism and independent thinking.  We believe these should be central to the constitution of any university worthy of the name.   

We recognize that racial bias and social injustices continue to plague American society, including in some universities and some academic departments.  We support those who advocate for solutions to these continuing problems in so far as they do not require the university to reorient itself as an agent of social justice.   

Accordingly, we do not support or condone those who deploy the language of academic freedom to create a hostile climate for any individuals or groups on campus.  An inclusive climate is essential for the work of teaching and research.  

But those who engage in constitutionally-protected speech in support of intellectual values, including those who speak out against threats to academic freedom, deserve and will have our support.  

We believe dialogue is essential.  Issues involving the relation of intellectual values and movements for social change have embroiled campuses throughout the country.  Instead of the tensions and mutual avoidance we currently observe, we support discussion in forums where divergent views can gain a respectful hearing.  

CIVIC is a part of the Heterodox Academy Campus Community Network, which aims to change campus culture and institutional practices by empowering members to promote HxA values of viewpoint diversity, open inquiry, and constructive disagreement. Each Campus Community is led by several HxA member co-chairs who are faculty, staff, or graduate students at the institution. With the support of HxA, the co-chairs are building a community of academics to organize events, host monthly gatherings, and collaborate with leaders on their campuses.

Scroll to Top