The Campus Human Rights Index: Ranking university commitments to human rights
To what extent do universities support human rights? For decades, university campuses have been the front line of struggles for human rights and social justice. This legacy fuels the perception that universities are bastions of progressive ideas with a bias for rights protection, making them one of the primary targets of authoritarian leaders intent on suppressing dissent. In reality, however, we have reasons to believe that universities diverge significantly in their commitment to promote and protect human rights, even within the U.S. Despite evidence to suggest this, no systematic, objective measure of human rights practices on college campuses yet exists. In this paper, we introduce the first such measure - the Campus Human Rights Index (CHRI). First, we describe the measure and introduce our ranking of universities. Second, we formally assess the construct validity of our measure by comparing it to other plausibly related university characteristics. We show that our measure is not simply capturing differences in university politics, resources, or context. Third, we conclude by presenting a new research agenda aimed at understanding the determinants and consequences of university human rights practices.