FIRE publishes an annual report that condenses the considerable research in our Spotlight database into an accessible picture of the state of free expression on our nation’s campuses. The report surveys speech codes at America’s largest and most prestigious colleges and universities, providing readers with key data on individual schools and national trends.

FIRE’s newest speech code report, Spotlight on Speech Codes 2020: The State of Free Speech on Our Nation’s Campuses, reveals that 24.2% of the 471 colleges and universities analyzed maintain “red light” policies that seriously infringe upon the free speech rights of students. This is a drop of over four percentage points from last year’s figure of 28.5%. Since our 2009 report, red light schools have declined by exactly fifty percentage points. In another encouraging development, eleven schools eliminated all of their restrictive speech codes over the past year, earning FIRE’s highest, “green light” rating, bringing the total number of green light institutions to fifty for the first time.

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Previous Speech Code Reports

Spotlight on Speech Codes 2019
Spotlight on Speech Codes 2018
Spotlight on Speech Codes 2016
Spotlight on Speech Codes 2016