Yesterday, Greg commended the nation's seven best colleges and universities for freedom of speech in a feature for The Huffington Post. The article has already sparked discussion among Huffington Post readers and other commenters. Further, the article has produced ripples through several news sources across the nation.
The Jackson Sun (Jackson, Tenn.) praised nearby University of Tennessee-Knoxville (UTK) for making the highly selective list. In an editorial, the Sun discussed the true meaning of higher education, defended free speech, and praised FIRE's efforts:
Higher education must be about more than studying the arts and sciences. It should be about more than qualifying for a higher-paying job. It should also be about developing critical-thinking skills, trying new ideas, challenging beliefs and learning to live with people and ideas that are different from our own. As Lukianoff noted in a published article on campus free speech: "A critical part of the college experience is grappling with ideas that you might not agree with or that might even offend you. In fact, if you go through four years of college without ever being offended, you should ask for your money back."
Too often, we take our First Amendment rights for granted. FIRE exists to help keep our First Amendment fire burning on college campuses across America. It is nice to see UT recognized for being on the leading edge of promoting free speech among our nation's next generation of leaders.
Law professor Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit (May 24, 2011, at 2:18 PM) was also pleased to see UTK included on Greg's list, while the staff of the Richmond Times-Dispatch noted the inclusion of two of Virginia's public universities on the list: the University of Virginia and The College of William & Mary. Finally, John Hinderaker, writing for Power Line, was pleased to see that Dartmouth College was among the lucky seven.
FIRE is proud to see these four schools at the vanguard of defending students' individual rights, and we hope that more institutions can join them next year.