UNH third best nationally for college free speech according to new study

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Thompson Hall at UNH. File photo

DURHAM, NH – This week the University of New Hampshire (UNH) was ranked third in the U.S. in a national study of free speech climates on university campuses.

The study, conducted by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) as well as College Pulse, put UNH only behind Auburn University and Michigan Technological University.

“Free speech is one of the most fundamental American constitutional rights,” said UNH President James W. Dean Jr. “As a public university, UNH protects and promotes this value by ensuring our students can be exposed to new and different ideas that will hopefully inspire growth and intellectual curiosity. This new report from FIRE validates the work we have done and will continue to do to foster an environment where free speech can flourish.”

A total of 248 colleges and universities were part of the study. The only other school in New Hampshire featured was Dartmouth College, which finished 240th. According to the study, the worst college for free speech is Harvard University.

“We are very pleased to see that a number of university presidents are taking the issue of freedom of speech and academic freedom seriously by signing on to free speech initiatives,” said FIRE President and CEO Greg Lukianoff. “However, they have a long way to go toward restoring public trust. After all, an environment in which you can actually get in trouble for the ‘wrong’ academic opinion is not one that can be depended upon to produce reliable knowledge. It’s especially disturbing that some of the worst performing institutions are among America’s most influential schools, including Harvard, Georgetown, Northwestern and Dartmouth.”

A full list of the rankings can be found here.


About this Author

Andrew Sylvia

Assistant EditorManchester Ink Link

Born and raised in the Granite State, Andrew Sylvia has written approximately 10,000 pieces over his career for outlets across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. On top of that, he's a licensed notary and licensed to sell property, casualty and life insurance, he's been a USSF trained youth soccer and futsal referee for the past six years and he can name over 60 national flags in under 60 seconds according to that flag game app he has on his phone, which makes sense because he also has a bachelor's degree in geography (like Michael Jordan). He can also type over 100 words a minute on a good day.