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Intercollegiate Studies Institute

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Inc. (or ISI), is a nonprofit educational organization that promotes conservative thought on college campuses.[1][2] It lists the following six as its core beliefs: limited government, individual liberty, personal responsibility, the rule of law, free-market economics, and traditional Judeo-Christian values.[3]

Intercollegiate Studies Institute
Intercollegiate Studies Institute logo.png
Abbreviation ISI
Formation 22 June 1953
Type Nonprofit Educational Organization
Headquarters Wilmington, Delaware
Christopher G. Long
Board Chairman
Alfred S. Regnery

ISI was founded in 1953 by Frank Chodorov with William F. Buckley, Jr. as its first president.[3] The organization sponsors lectures and debates on college campuses, publishes books and journals, provides funding and editorial assistance to a network of conservative and libertarian college newspapers, and finances graduate fellowships.[4]



In 1953, Frank Chodorov founded ISI as the Intercollegiate Society of Individualists, with a young Yale University graduate William F. Buckley, Jr. as president.[5] E. Victor Milione, ISI's next and longest-serving president, established publications, a membership network, a lecture and conference program, and a graduate fellowship program.

ISI helped to fuel a campus conservative movement in the 1980s.[6] President Reagan said about ISI at the time:

By the time the Reagan Revolution marched into Washington, I had the troops I needed—thanks in no small measure to the work with American youth ISI had been doing since 1953. I am proud to count many ISI products among the workhorses of my two terms as President.[7]

Past ISI president and former Reagan administration official T. Kenneth Cribb led the institute from 1989 until 2011, when current president Christopher G. Long took over. Cribb is credited with expanding ISI's revenue from one million dollars that year to $13,636,005 in 2005.[8]

Programs and activitiesEdit

ISI runs a number of programs on collegiate campuses. First, it organizes campus conservative groups under ISI and maintains contact with the groups. Second, it holds the yearly "Polly Awards" which sheds media scrutiny on questionable campus events across the nation.[9][10]

In providing what ISI calls a classically liberal education to its member students, ISI runs other programs as well. It publishes a number of "Student's Guide to..." books, for example A Student's Guide to Liberal Learning, providing a classical introduction into several disciplines.[11][third-party source needed] It also holds other events, such as conferences, that feature prominent conservative speakers and academics, and provides funding for students to attend these conferences. In this funding capacity ISI is affiliated with the Liberty Fund.

In the summer of 2005, ISI Books, the imprint of ISI, published It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good, by Pennsylvania Republican Senator Rick Santorum, which premiered at #13 on the New York Times Best Seller list. Passages from the book generated controversy during Santorum's 2006 reelection campaign, as well as during his 2012 presidential campaign.[12]

ISI administers the Collegiate Network, which provides editorial and financial outreach to conservative and libertarian student journalists.[13]

In the fall of 2006, ISI published the findings of its survey of the teaching of America's history and institutions in higher education. The Institute reported, as the title suggests, that there is a "coming crisis in citizenship."[14][15][verification needed]

ISI BooksEdit

Intercollegiate Studies Institute operates ISI Books, which publishes books on conservative issues and distributes a number of books from other publishers.[16] The rate of publication is about 20 books per year. Focus is largely on the humanities and the foundations of Western culture and its challenge by political correctness.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Honan, William H. (September 6, 1998). "A Right-Wing Slant on Choosing the Right College". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ Clymer, Adam (November 9, 2014). "Philip M. Crane, Former Illinois Congressman and Conservative Leader, Dies at 84". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ a b "Why We're Here". Intercollegiate Studies Institute. 
  4. ^ Wood, Kate; Binder, Amy (2013). Becoming Right: How Campuses Shape Young Conservatives. Princeton University Press. pp. 104–111. ISBN 0691145377. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  5. ^ Gillian Peele, 'American Conservatism in Historical Perspective', in Crisis of Conservatism? The Republican Party, the Conservative Movement, & American Politics After Bush, Gillian Peele, Joel D. Aberbach (eds.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011, p. 29
  6. ^ New York Times, ARMIES OF THE RIGHT; The Young Hipublicans
  7. ^ "Funding the Future". 
  8. ^ Intercollegiate Institute, Inc. Archived October 11, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Campus outrage awards Intercollegiate Studies Institute.
  10. ^ "The 2001 Polly Award Winners". CNS News. 
  11. ^ Student's Guide to the major disciplines Intercollegiate Studies Institute.
  12. ^ Falcone, Michael (March 17, 2012). "Rick Santorum Was Warned That 2005 Book Could Become Fodder For Political Attacks". ABC News. 
  13. ^ Beer, Jeremy; Jeffrey, Nelson; Frohnen, Bruce (May 20, 2014). American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia. Open Road Media. ISBN 1497651573. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  14. ^ "Most College Graduates Flunk 'Civic Literacy,' Group Says". The Chronicle of Higher Education. 
  15. ^ "College Makes Students More Liberal, but Not Smarter About Civics". The Chronicle of Higher Education. 
  16. ^ "ISI Books". Intercollegiate Studies Institute. 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-17. 

External linksEdit