FORT WAYNE, Ind., August 24, 2016—Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) has revised all of its speech codes, earning the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s (FIRE’s) highest, “green light” rating for free speech on campus.
FIRE collaborated with the IPFW administration to reform its speech policies. IPFW now joins an elite group of colleges and universities that maintain policies respecting student and faculty free expression rights and meeting First Amendment standards.
“I applaud IPFW for bringing its policies in line with the First Amendment and becoming a green light school,” said Azhar Majeed, FIRE’s director of policy reform. “IPFW is already the fifth university this year to achieve green light status. Last year, six colleges and universities joined this prestigious group, and there’s still a lot of time left in 2016 to surpass last year’s total.”
When FIRE began working with IPFW in October 2015, it had two “yellow light” speech codes, relating to “personal misconduct” and the reservation of space on campus for student expressive activity. Majeed advised IPFW administrators as to how they could change both policies to fully protect students’ freedom of expression.
“IPFW has a long history of protecting its students’ freedom of speech,” said IPFW Chancellor Vicky L. Carwein. “We take that responsibility very seriously and strive to create a culture of open dialogue. I’m very pleased that IPFW is joining FIRE’s green light list in recognition of that practice and history.”
IPFW becomes the 28th green light institution in FIRE’s Spotlight database of over 400 colleges and universities. The state of Indiana now has three green light universities, which, along with Virginia and Pennsylvania, is the most of any state in the country.
“All three of Indiana’s green light institutions are in the Purdue University system, which is very exciting,” said Majeed. “The Purdue system’s openness to freedom of speech can be credited in large part to Purdue University president Mitch Daniels, who has been a strong advocate for open expression on campus. He pushed Purdue’s flagship campus in West Lafayette not only to revise its speech codes last year but also to adopt a terrific, affirmative statement on free speech and academic freedom.”
FIRE is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to defending liberty, freedom of speech, due process, academic freedom, legal equality, and freedom of conscience on America’s college campuses. FIRE’s efforts to preserve liberty on campuses across America can be viewed at thefire.org.
Katie Barrows, Communications Coordinator, FIRE: 215-717-3473; firstname.lastname@example.org