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Plymouth State University Earns FIRE’s Highest Rating for Free Speech

PLYMOUTH, N.H., September 12, 2014—Plymouth State University (PSU) has eliminated all of its speech codes, earning the highest, “green light” rating from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). After working with FIRE to ensure its policies comply with the First Amendment, PSU has become the 20th institution nationwide—and the second institution in just two months—to earn FIRE’s most favorable rating for free speech on campus.

“Plymouth State is to be commended for its commitment to free speech,” said FIRE President Greg Lukianoff. “As one of only 20 schools to earn a green light rating from FIRE, Plymouth State is now a leader in protecting the freedom of speech on campus.”

“As a high impact, highly engaged university, Plymouth State strives to create an environment where all students are free to examine, exchange, and debate diverse ideas, both inside and outside of the classroom. We appreciate the diversity of our student backgrounds and have built a community where students are free to learn by engaging in ways that will transform their educational experience,” said Jim Hundrieser, PSU’s Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. “Earning FIRE’s ‘green light’ rating for our student speech-related policies supports our efforts to ensure that student rights are maintained to the highest of standards.”

FIRE began working on speech code reform with PSU faculty and administrators in January 2014. Sam Brickley, an associate professor of business law at PSU, led the effort at the university along with a small group of PSU administrators and faculty.

“It was a pleasure to work with members of the Plymouth State faculty and administration to make these changes happen,” said FIRE Director of Policy Research Samantha Harris. “We have seen more and more universities interested in undertaking speech code reform in recent years, and we hope this trend will continue. We are always happy to work together with schools to help protect free speech on campus.”

FIRE is a nonprofit educational foundation that unites civil rights and civil liberties leaders, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals from across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of individual rights, freedom of expression, academic freedom, due process, and rights of conscience at our nation’s colleges and universities. FIRE’s efforts to preserve liberty on campuses across America can be viewed at


Samantha Harris, Director of Policy Research, FIRE: 215-717-3473;

Jim Hundrieser, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, Plymouth State University: 603-535-2240;

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