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Purdue Calumet Eliminates All of Its Speech Codes, Earns FIRE’s Highest Free Speech Rating

September 29, 2015

HAMMOND, Ind., September 29, 2015—The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is pleased to announce that Purdue University Calumet has earned FIRE’s highest, “green light” rating for free speech by eliminating all of its restrictive speech policies. With assistance from FIRE, Purdue Calumet joins an elite group of colleges and universities that have reformed their speech-related policies to comply with First Amendment standards.

In May, Purdue University’s flagship campus in West Lafayette, Indiana, earned FIRE’s green light rating. FIRE then worked with officials at the Calumet campus this month to revise their speech codes as well. The university formerly maintained one “red light” speech code and four additional policies with a “yellow light” rating. Purdue Calumet’s new green light rating reflects its compliance with the First Amendment through its revised policies and regulations.

Azhar Majeed, director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Education Program, collaborated with Robert Ennis, chief of staff and legislative liaison for Purdue Calumet’s Office of the Chancellor, and Abby Daniels, legal services coordinator at Purdue, to revise the university’s policies.

“It was a pleasure working with the Purdue Calumet administration,” said Majeed. “I am thrilled that we were able to so quickly revise Calumet’s speech codes and add the university to the list of exemplary institutions committed to protecting free speech on campus.”

“Purdue University Calumet places the highest value on protecting and promoting free speech. It is an honor to be only the 24th school—out of the hundreds being monitored across the country—to receive FIRE’s institutional green light designation,” said Purdue Calumet Chancellor Thomas L. Keon. “We greatly appreciate the opportunity to work with FIRE as part of our continual efforts to encourage free expression and expand liberty throughout our academic community.”

Purdue Calumet becomes the 24th green light institution in FIRE’s Spotlight database of over 400 colleges and universities. It is the second university in Indiana to earn a green light rating and the sixth institution in the country to have earned green light status from FIRE this year.

“When FIRE began rating colleges and universities almost eight years ago, only eight of the institutions we surveyed had green light ratings. Now that number has tripled,” said Majeed. “There is still much work to be done, but this year’s progress is a very good sign that colleges and universities are starting to appreciate the importance of bringing their speech policies in line with First Amendment standards.”

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 thefire.org.

CONTACT:

Katie Barrows, Communications Coordinator, FIRE: 215-717-3473; katie@thefire.org

Schools: Purdue University Northwest