FIRE’s Naughty List: 89 colleges earn our lowest rating for free speech

She knows when you’re not speaking. She knows rights are at stake. She knows which schools are bad or good, so be good for goodness sake.

December 14, 2021

FIRE’s Laura Beltz is out with the Spotlight on Speech Codes 2022 report, which examines the free expression policies of almost 500 colleges around the country. This year, 89 Scrooge-like colleges are so miserly with their speech policies that they earn FIRE’s “red light” rating. Institutions earning the lowest rating maintain policies that both clearly and substantially restrict student expression.

In the 2022 report, nearly 1 in 5 colleges earn a red light rating. And though that’s a significant drop from our Spotlight report way back in 2009 — when close to three-fourths of colleges (!) earned FIRE’s lowest rating — students at red light colleges are the most at risk for punishment resulting from their expression.

You can read the full report to see how your alma mater fared. We also encourage you to cozy up to the FIRE by joining our Alumni Network — where your present from us is the latest news from the colleges that matter to you.

FIRE’s Naughty List

Colleges earning our lowest rating for free speech:

  • Adams State University
  • Alabama A&M University
  • Barnard College
  • Bates College
  • Boston College
  • Boston University
  • California Institute of Technology
  • California State University – Dominguez Hills
  • California State University – Fresno
  • California State University – Monterey Bay
  • Carleton College
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Cheyney University of Pennsylvania
  • Chicago State University
  • Clark University
  • Colgate University
  • College of the Holy Cross
  • Connecticut College
  • Delaware State University
  • DePauw University
  • Dickinson College
  • Drexel University
  • Eastern Illinois University
  • Evergreen State College
  • Fordham University
  • Fort Lewis College
  • Framingham State University
  • Furman University
  • Georgetown University
  • Grinnell College
  • Harvey Mudd College
  • Howard University
  • Indiana State University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Kean University
  • Lafayette College
  • Lake Superior State University
  • Lehigh University
  • Lewis-Clark State College
  • Lincoln University
  • Louisiana State University – Baton Rouge
  • Macalester College
  • Marquette University
  • Middlebury College
  • Mount Holyoke College
  • Northeastern University
  • Northern Vermont University
  • Northwestern University
  • Portland State University
  • Princeton University
  • Reed College
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Rice University
  • Santa Clara University
  • Shawnee State University
  • Skidmore College
  • Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
  • Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
  • Southern Oregon University
  • St. Olaf College
  • State University of New York – Fredonia
  • State University of New York – New Paltz
  • Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Tennessee State University
  • The College of New Jersey
  • Troy University
  • Tufts University
  • Tulane University
  • Union College
  • University of Alaska Anchorage
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • University of Central Missouri
  • University of Central Oklahoma
  • University of Houston-Downtown
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
  • University of Louisiana at Monroe
  • University of Louisiana Lafayette
  • University of Massachusetts at Lowell
  • University of Miami
  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of Texas at Dallas
  • University of Tulsa
  • University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh
  • University of Wyoming
  • Utah State University
  • Valdosta State University
  • Villanova University
  • Virginia State University
  • Western Michigan University

For more information, look up your college or university in FIRE’s Spotlight Database.