The University of New Hampshire earned the top free speech rating from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education this week.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) announced on Monday that the University of New Hampshire would receive its top rating for free speech as a result of its fearless commitment to ensuring the First Amendment rights of their students.
In an encouraging comment, University of New Hampshire President Mark Huddleston argued that universities should set the example for the rest of the country with regards to the free flow of information and ideas.
“Universities should be the first to embrace the free exchange of ideas and speech,” Huddleston said. “The only UNH policy on speech is that it is free and unfettered on our campuses, and we’re pleased that FIRE has recognized our efforts.”
Only 39 institutions of higher education have earned FIRE’s highest free speech rating. Just this year, Auburn University and Claremont McKenna College also received FIRE’s “green light” rating.
The University of New Hampshire’s promotion to “green light” status came as a result of a direct collaboration between university officials and FIRE Vice President of Policy Reform Azhar Majeed, who said in a comment that UNH students should be proud that their school has made a commitment to the free speech values that are enshrined in both the Constitution and American tradition.
“Students and faculty at the ‘Live Free or Die’ state’s flagship university should be proud to know that their school’s speech policies fall in line with their state’s motto,” Majeed said. “We are pleased to recognize UNH’s leaders for taking this important step not only to become the fortieth institution in the country to earn FIRE’s highest speech rating, but also to cultivate a campus climate of free inquiry.”