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Action Items for University Reform

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It’s no secret that higher education is in crisis, but the debate over how to fix it rages on. We’ve charted a path forward for higher education in “FIRE's 10 common-sense reforms for colleges and universities.” 

Here’s what you can do to help: 

Dive into Free Speech Basics

The first step for anyone looking to reform higher education is to understand the issues surrounding free expression at your institution. FIRE’s Research & Learn database covers a wide variety of information from our College Free Speech Rankings — the largest national student survey on free expression — to information about the speech codes of almost 500 colleges, and FAQs on hot-button free speech issues like institutional neutrality

Subscribe to FIRE Updates or FIRE’s Alumni Network to receive regular emails from us and ensure you never miss an important piece of free speech news. 

Activate Your Inner Circle

Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression

FIRE’s 10 common-sense reforms for colleges and universities

Statements & Policies

As confidence in higher education reaches historic lows, now is the time for campus leaders to return to first principles and re-establish their institutions as communities devoted to the discovery, preservation, and dissemination of knowledge.

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Once you have a solid understanding of free speech issues, it’s time to start sharing what you know with your friends and family. An easy first step is to forward a FIRE Newsdesk article to a friend or old classmate. You could even leverage connections from your college days to develop a free speech-focused alumni group to bring lasting reform to your alma mater. Building connections within your university community among faculty, alumni, and students is one of the most impactful things you can do to amplify your reform efforts. 

Amplify Your Voice

You have more power to reach beyond your immediate acquaintances than you think. One high-impact way to spread awareness is to write an opinion piece about free speech issues for your local or student paper. Or write directly to your administration explaining how your college can improve its free speech protections and promises. We’re happy to provide information and assistance on how to do this. Not a writer? Check out FIRE’s current advocacy, and send one of our ready-to-go emails to an administrator or official we’ve encountered who needs a reminder about the importance of free expression. 

Get Involved on Campus

Even if you’re no longer on campus, there are plenty of ways you can improve the speech culture at your college. Try reaching out to likeminded student and faculty groups to see how you can support them, host a FIRE speaker, or plan a networking opportunity for students and alumni to gather and exchange ideas. A great first step to getting involved on campus is to subscribe to our studentfaculty, or alumni email updates to receive audience-specific opportunities and information about how to support free expression at your college. 

Make Money Moves

Stop writing blank checks. Alumni must focus their financial investments toward liberty-oriented initiatives at their alma maters that will benefit the state of free speech on campus — not pad already large endowments. Through FIRE's "in lieu of giving" program you can make a donation to FIRE instead of your alma mater, knowing your gift will be targeted specifically toward improving the state of free speech at your school. 

Not Sure Where to Begin?

Reach out to and we’ll help you figure out how to best leverage your relationship with your college to ensure every student and faculty member has the right to speak freely.