FIRE publishes an annual report that condenses the considerable research in our Spotlight database into an accessible picture of the state of free speech, free expression, and freedom of conscience on our nation’s campuses. The report surveys speech codes at more than 400 of the largest and most prestigious American colleges and universities, providing readers with key data on individual schools, national trends, and regional ratings.
FIRE’s newest speech code report, Spotlight on Speech Codes 2014: The State of Free Speech on Our Nation’s Campuses, reveals that nearly 60% of the 427 colleges and universities analyzed maintain policies that seriously infringe upon the free speech rights of students. For the sixth consecutive year, however, this percentage has dropped. In another encouraging development, another school eliminated all of its restrictive speech codes in 2013, earning FIRE’s highest, “green light” rating. The report also discusses the confusing messages coming from the federal government about the relationship between harassment and free speech, and their potential impact on campus speech codes.