Two prestigious academics from Portland, USA, dissatisfied with the traditional educational system, which they claim has been permeated by indoctrinating and authoritarian discourses, took the initiative to create a university based on the principles of freedom of expression, the pursuit of truth, and free inquiry.
Peter Boghossian and Heather Heying opted to leave their teaching positions at two of the most progressive universities in the country. Together with a group of academics, intellectuals, and businessmen, also unhappy with the political climate at universities, they formed their own institution in Austin, Texas.
According to the institution’s website, the newly founded University of Austin is committed to “freedom of inquiry, freedom of conscience and civil discourse,” Its principal founders are staunch critics of the direction traditional academic institutions have taken.
In dialogue with Fox News, Boghossian assured that hundreds of faculty members have contacted them and shown interest in joining their university.
“They can’t stand the censoriousness, they can’t stand the diversity statements,” Boghossian said, “they can’t stand pretending to believe something that not only do they not believe, they just know it is false, but they can’t do anything about it lest they receive accusations of bigotry or discrimination.”
Boghossian, a former professor of philosophy at Portland State University, has played a significant role over the past several years in confronting liberal policies and thinking within the education system that aims to impose a single, tradition-confrontational, radical left-wing narrative.
On September 8, Boghossian published his letter of resignation from the University of Portland, asserting that the institution “sacrificed ideas for ideology.” He also charged that Portland students are not being taught to think but instead are being trained to “imitate the moral certainty of ideologues,” while the authorities and faculty push intolerance of diverse beliefs and opinions.
Heather Heying, an evolutionary biologist and former tenured professor at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, and her husband and colleague Bret Weinstein have been in the news for her skepticism about COVID-19 vaccines. As a result, she has received criticism, censure, and accusations.
Both Boghossian and Heying drew the ire of many of their colleagues and students for rejecting progressive beliefs about race, religion, and gender until they found a more conservative audience that accepted their ideals of freedom and pushed them to create the new university.
In keeping with its stated principles, the school targets academics and students who feel excluded from most college campuses, where they claim an exclusively leftist atmosphere prevails.
According to its website, the University of Austin is a private, non-profit institution sponsored by Cicero Research, a non-profit organization. The university will begin offering master’s degree programs in the fall of 2022 and plans to launch an undergraduate college in 2024.