DePaul University

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Type: Private

Speech Code Rating

DePaul University has not been given a speech code rating. To request speech code information about this school, please submit a speech code request form.

Campus Climate

Overall Ranking

out of 154 colleges surveyed Read more
  • At present, FIRE does not maintain information on this school's policies.

FIRE surveyed roughly 37,000 students at 154 colleges and universities about the climate for free speech at their institutions. In 2021, FIRE released rankings of those schools, based on a number of factors, including openness, tolerance, self-expression, administrative support for free speech, and campus policies, scoring overall speech climate on a scale from 0-100. See the full report on FIRE’s 2021 College Free Speech Rankings for more information.



Overall Ranking 35/154
Ideological Diversity 80/159

Overall / out of a top score of 100

Overall Score 61.2
Openness 10.52
Tolerance (Liberals) 10.69
Tolerance (Conservatives) 6.7
Administrative Support 6.3
Comfort 17.39
Disruptive Conduct 9.59
  • As DePaul students and faculty condemn professor’s views, administration stands by free speech, academic freedom

    May 3, 2019

    In a mid-April article for The Federalist, DePaul University professor Jason Hill argued for Israel’s “right to annex all of the West Bank.” In doing so, he referred to Palestinian culture as “abysmally inferior and regressive” and suggested, among other things, that Palestinians should be stripped of their right to vote. Many students and faculty… Read more

  • DePaul outside speaker review policy predictably bad on free speech

    October 15, 2018

    The outside speaker policy at Chicago’s DePaul University vests a single DePaul administrator with broad powers to reject any campus speaker based on the content of his or her speech. The policy runs afoul of the free speech promises DePaul makes to its students and faculty. Concerns over DePaul’s Student Organization Speaker Review Procedures again… Read more

  • UPDATE: After Florida school shooting, ‘Worst Colleges for Free Speech’ promising high schoolers a right to protest

    March 14, 2018

    Update: FIRE has tallied the number of colleges and universities that have made statements supporting free speech, based on the list compiled by Chris Peterson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology assistant director of undergraduate admissions. Out of the schools in our Spotlight database that made statements on free speech, 61 have a “red light” speech code… Read more

  • The 10 worst colleges for free speech: 2018

    February 12, 2018

    Every year, FIRE chooses the 10 worst colleges for free speech — and unfortunately, 2017 left us with plenty of options: Campuses were rocked by violent mob censorship, monitored by bias response teams, plagued by free speech zones, and beset by far too many disinvitation attempts. Although the number of colleges with the most restrictive… Read more

  • FIRE names America’s 10 worst colleges for free speech: 2018

    February 12, 2018

    PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 12, 2018 — Each year, colleges across the country find dubious ways to silence student and faculty expression. In the last year, administrators became embroiled in litigation for telling a student he couldn’t hand out Spanish-language copies of the U.S. Constitution outside a free speech zone, continued a years-long effort to ban a… Read more

  • Best of Newsdesk: Censored at DePaul

    August 10, 2017

    EDITOR’S NOTE: This post is part of FIRE’s annual “Best of Newsdesk” retrospective, where we search the archives to bring you stories worth a second look. We hope you’ll check out our unique interactive feature on the ongoing censorship crisis at DePaul University, which FIRE first published March 24.  

  • DePaul rescinds McInnes invitation, extends speaker review policy

    May 25, 2017

    Last September, FIRE asked, rhetorically, whether DePaul University was “America’s worst school for free speech.” This month, DePaul has responded with the policy equivalent of “hold my beer.” Last Wednesday, DePaul disinvited Gavin McInnes, a writer and comedian who — long after co-founding Vice Media — founded the pro-Trump, anti-antifa “Proud Boys” movement, because of… Read more

  • FIRE Announces America’s 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech: 2017

    February 22, 2017

    PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 22, 2017—More than 92 percent of American colleges maintain speech codes that either clearly restrict—or could too easily be used to restrict—free speech. Each year, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) takes a closer look at campus censorship to identify America’s 10 worst colleges for free speech. The 2017 list of… Read more

  • At DePaul, Free Speech Is Out; ‘Fee Speech’ Is In

    September 26, 2016

    CHICAGO, September 26, 2016—Speech is free at DePaul University, so long as you’re willing to pay for it. That is the regrettable lesson DePaul administrators have taught three separate registered student organizations—the DePaul Socialists, Young Americans for Freedom, and the College Republicans—that sought to exercise their free speech rights on DePaul’s campus this year. Each… Read more

  • Is DePaul America’s Worst School for Free Speech?

    September 9, 2016

    Every year when FIRE publishes its “Worst Colleges for Free Speech” list, we remind readers that it is not a ranked list, but rather a compilation—in no particular order—of the year’s worst free speech offenders. Occasionally, however, we do wonder which college or university would deserve a spot at the top of a ranked list…. Read more

  • DePaul Continues to Rail Against Viewpoint Diversity, Bans Ben Shapiro

    August 2, 2016

    In an article for The Daily Wire, the vice chairman for DePaul University’s chapter of Young Americans for Freedom, John Minster, revealed that DePaul’s administrators are once again acting as censors, banning another speaker from campus. This time, the school is forcing his group to disinvite conservative commentator Ben Shapiro from speaking on campus. In… Read more

  • DePaul Rightly Condemns the ‘Heckler’s Veto’

    May 26, 2016

    DePaul University is the latest site of the “heckler’s veto” being deployed to shut down a campus speaker. This time, the target was Milo Yiannopoulos, the conservative commentator and Breitbart contributor, whose controversial statements on campus issues such as trigger warnings and “hate speech” have been a source of contention on other campuses where he’s… Read more

  • Media Continues to Report on FIRE’s ’10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech’ List

    January 17, 2014

    In early January we reported on the coverage that FIRE’s list of 2013’s worst colleges for free speech received from various local media outlets. Over the past few weeks, the press has continued to draw attention to the nefarious reputation that these schools have developed for violating students’ and professors’ free speech rights. In North Carolina, which holds the… Read more

  • The 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech: 2013

    December 27, 2013

    College is where inquisitive minds go to be exposed to new ways of thinking. But on some campuses, the quest for knowledge is frustrated when administrators censor speech they would prefer be kept out of the marketplace of ideas. To close out the year, we at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) want to highlight… Read more

  • Student at IU Attempts to Censor Fellow Students by Vandalizing Pro-Life Display

    October 1, 2013

    FIRE often exposes how colleges censor students—but last week, it was a student at Indiana University who decided to engage in some vigilante censorship by vandalizing a pro-life display. According to a student account, new student organization Students for Life at IU intended to have a peaceful demonstration on campus as part of an organized protest dubbed the “Planned… Read more

  • Injustice at DePaul Hits News Outlets Across the Country

    March 4, 2013

    Last week, FIRE broke the news that DePaul University has sanctioned student Kristopher Del Campo for exposing 13 fellow students who confessed to vandalizing a DePaul Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) pro-life display in late January. Del Campo’s story has since made news across the country. In addition to 61 FM and AM radio stations,… Read more

  • DePaul Punishes Student for Exposing Vandals of Pro-Life Display

    February 28, 2013

    CHICAGO, February 28, 2013—DePaul University has punished a student for publicizing the names of fellow students who admitted to vandalizing his organization’s pro-life display. The student, Kristopher Del Campo, has been placed on probation after being found responsible for multiple conduct violations, including one that absurdly brands the publication of the names as “disorderly, violent,… Read more

  • DePaul Student: Stop Me From Looking at Things I Don’t Like!

    February 11, 2013

    If you’re getting a bit too cheery this Monday (unlikely as that may be), please allow me to dampen your spirits with this letter from an anonymous student to The DePaulia, DePaul University’s student newspaper, about his or her vandalism of a pro-life display on campus. (It’s a big story—if you don’t know what I… Read more

  • Students Admit to Vandalism at DePaul University

    February 7, 2013

    Just two weeks after we first reported news of student vandalism at DePaul University, school officials have concluded their investigation and released a report on the students involved. As Torch readers may recall, the controversy first began when the campus chapter of Young Americans for Freedom erected a pro-life display consisting of 500 small blue… Read more

  • No, Mob-Rule Censorship Is Not Free Speech

    February 4, 2013

    At the Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) website, the organization posts a nice response from DePaul University President Dennis Holtschneider in response to the recent vandalism of the campus YAF chapter’s pro-life display. Holtschneider assures YAF president Kristopher Del Campo that a thorough investigation of the vandalism is being conducted. He also acknowledges that the… Read more

  • A Canadian College Student Vandalizes Free Speech Wall, Then Claims Moral High Ground

    January 30, 2013

    Introducing Arun Smith, heroic censor. Last week at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, this student tore down a “free speech wall” display that a libertarian student group had set up on campus. Such displays usually take the form of a large, blank sheet of paper on which students are invited to write anything they like. Student… Read more

  • DePaul University Investigating Vandalism of Group’s Pro-Life Display

    January 23, 2013

    Fox News Radio and other outlets are reporting an unfortunate and, as Gina’s blog of earlier today shows, all too common instance of student-led censorship. At DePaul University, the campus chapter of Young Americans for Freedom (with university permission) erected a pro-life display consisting of 500 small blue and pink flags. As Fox reports, “The… Read more

  • DePaul University’s Double Standard

    November 11, 2011

    Student newspaper The DePaulia ran a student opinion piece on November 8 calling out DePaul University for its double standard regarding freedom of association. The piece by Ernie Enriquez explains that DePaul refuses to give equal treatment to Students for Cannabis Policy Reform (SCPR) simply because of the views the unrecognized student group is promoting. Enriquez… Read more

  • DePaul Alumnus Speaks out Against University’s ‘Managing’ of Ideas

    April 5, 2011

    As I wrote here a few weeks ago, the DePaul University administration has offered shifting explanations, none of them satisfactory or in line with the free speech promises DePaul makes to its students, for its refusal to recognize the student group Students for Cannabis Policy Reform. Regarding a February 28 article in The DePaulia, I… Read more

  • The Shifting Sands of DePaul University’s Censorship of Student Group

    March 4, 2011

    DePaul University Vice President for Student Affairs James R. Doyle has played no small role in putting DePaul on our recent list of the "12 Worst Colleges for Free Speech," featured at The Huffington Post. He secured DePaul’s spot not only by denying recognition to the student group Students for Cannabis Policy Reform (SCPR)—in defiance… Read more

  • How Did DePaul University Get on FIRE’s ‘Worst 12’ List?

    January 28, 2011

    Hopefully by now you’ve seen FIRE’s picks for “The 12 Worst Colleges for Free Speech” at The Huffington Post. Six of them were relatively obvious choices—those being the six schools currently on FIRE’s Red Alert list, the “worst of the worst,” as we often say. Given the hundreds of other schools out there, many with one… Read more

  • FIRE in ‘The Huffington Post’ on America’s 12 Worst Schools for Free Speech

    January 27, 2011

    Today, The Huffington Post published FIRE’s list of America’s 12 Worst Schools for Free Speech. An expansion of FIRE’s Red Alert List of the “worst of the worst” schools for student and faculty rights, this “dirty dozen” slideshow includes the schools that come onto FIRE’s radar screen again and again for their repeated and egregious violations of fundamental rights, as… Read more

  • Illinois Supreme Court Ends Professor Klocek’s Free Speech Case at DePaul

    December 13, 2010

    The Illinois Supreme Court recently decided not to hear the appeal of former DePaul University professor Thomas Klocek, who has been fighting for justice ever since he lost his job simply for arguing with students. Here is what Greg said about DePaul University back in 2006: Professor Klocek lost his job at DePaul University in Chicago without any… Read more

  • Catholic Bishops Stood With FIRE in ‘CLS v. Martinez’; Where Will they Stand on Freedom of Association at DePaul?

    November 19, 2010

    The annual fall general assembly of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) concluded its four-day sessions in Baltimore yesterday. Of interest to FIRE and interested Torch readers is that just prior to the assembly’s beginning on Monday, USCCB’s Committee on Catholic Education accepted the recommendations from a working group of bishops and college… Read more

  • Discriminatory Treatment of Student Organizations at DePaul University

    October 18, 2010

    DePaul University is engaging in unjust and deceptive viewpoint discrimination against student organizations despite its promise to support “robust debate and exposure to differing points of view.” After DePaul manipulated its student organization policy to deny equal treatment to Students for Cannabis Policy Reform—a point of view the university evidently disfavors—the group came to FIRE… Read more

  • Discriminatory Treatment of Student Organizations at DePaul University

    October 18, 2010

    CHICAGO, October 18, 2010—DePaul University is engaging in unjust and deceptive viewpoint discrimination against student organizations despite its promise to support “robust debate and exposure to differing points of view.” After DePaul manipulated its student organization policy to deny equal treatment to Students for Cannabis Policy Reform—a point of view the university evidently disfavors—the group… Read more

  • Connecticut College Password-Protects Key Documents

    May 21, 2009

    Connecticut College—which in past years has earned a red light from FIRE for its speech codes—has password-protected two key documents, the Student Handbook and the Bias Incident Protocol. We at FIRE believe that prospective students and their parents have the right to know whether Connecticut College prohibits free speech—and whether the college even still promises… Read more

  • DePaul University Password-Protects its Policies, Leaving Prospective Students in the Dark

    November 4, 2008

    DePaul University—historically no friend to free speech—now keeps its policies password-protected, leaving prospective students and their families in the dark about the types of restrictions on speech they will face as DePaul students. When we last updated DePaul’s entry on Spotlight, we rated the university a "red light" for maintaining several policies that seriously infringed… Read more

  • Minding the Campus Essay on ‘Collegiality’ as Criterion for Tenure

    July 2, 2007

    Last week, Minding the Campus featured an interesting essay by Anthony Paletta on DePaul University’s denial of tenure to the controversial polemicist Norman Finkelstein. Tenure decisions have traditionally rested largely on the excellence of published scholarship. Finkelstein’s scholarship has raised many questions about its cogency and quality with the tenure review committees. But the thrust… Read more

  • Academic Freedom: Crucial for All Professors, Tenured or Not

    April 2, 2007

    In recent years, American higher education has been stricken with a growing sense of worry regarding the current trend of hiring more non-tenure track “adjunct” faculty members. As colleges and universities schedule more and more of their classes to be taught by faculty members who will never be tenured, no matter how long they teach,… Read more

  • Klocek Speaks

    January 25, 2007

    Thomas Klocek, who was dismissed from DePaul University after engaging in a heated discussion with several pro-Palestinian students, returned last night to warn students about the state of free speech at DePaul. He talked about his dismissal—made without any due process—and warned students that discussing controversial ideas may get them in trouble. Although Klocek’s immoral… Read more

  • Klocek Returns to DePaul

    January 17, 2007

    John J. Miller has a post on Phi Beta Cons announcing that DePaul University will soon be the site of another controversial event when Professor Thomas Klocek returns to campus on January 24, along with David Horowitz, to discuss the role of free speech at Catholic universities. In 2005, FIRE advocated for Klocek, who was… Read more

  • Columbia University: Land of the Free?

    September 25, 2006

    On the same day last week, Columbia University announced that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had been invited to speak on campus and then, a few hours later, revoked that same invitation. Although the entire situation presents many issues relating to free speech and academic freedom, I was most struck by a statement that Columbia President… Read more

  • Klocek Petition Closing in on Goal

    August 31, 2006

    A petition—previously discussed on The Torch—that seeks the immediate reinstatement of former DePaul University professor Thomas Klocek has been gaining steam over the summer. The petition only needs 295 more signatures to reach the goal of 2,000 for the second anniversary of Klocek’s unjust termination. Once the petition reaches its goal it will be delivered… Read more

  • Chalk One Up for the Little Guy

    July 3, 2006

    FIRE intern Acton Gorton, who gained fame earlier this year for being fired as editor-in-chief of the Daily Illini after printing the Danish Mohammed cartoons, has written the following blog entry describing the latest goings-on in the never-ending saga of fired DePaul Professor Thomas Klocek:   ***   Earlier this month, Thomas Klocek was given… Read more

  • ‘What Difference Can My Measly $18 Million Make?’

    June 30, 2006

    Two days ago, David French had a great post over at National Review’s Phi Beta Cons about Larry Ellison’s decision to rescind his $115 million gift to Harvard University following the Larry Summers fiasco. I have consistently been amazed at how wealthy alums give to their alma maters uncritically and almost as if they had… Read more

  • Petition for Klocek

    June 22, 2006

    Thanks to John J. Miller at Phi Beta Cons for bringing greater attention to a petition being circulated by Scholars for Peace in the Middle East on behalf of Professor Thomas Klocek. Professor Klocek lost his job at DePaul University in Chicago without any due process after he argued with several students about issues in… Read more

  • John Leo Awards ‘Sheldons’ to the Richly Deserving

    May 1, 2006

    Those who follow John Leo’s columns know that he awards a yearly booby prize called the “Sheldon” (in dubious honor of former University of Pennsylvania President Sheldon Hackney, who presided over the famous “water buffalo” affair) to the university president who “does the most to look the other way when free speech is under assault… Read more

  • FIRE Comes to Chicago

    April 24, 2006

    Be advised, Chicago-area Torch readers: FIRE’s own Greg Lukianoff is heading your way. Our fearless leader will be part of a panel discussion on the Danish cartoons of Mohammed tomorrow night at the University of Chicago. More information can be found in our press release on the event. Incidentally, the Windy City is a very… Read more

  • DePaul: The Nightmare That Keeps on Recurring

    April 3, 2006

    Today, the Collegiate Network announced that DePaul University won second “prize” in its Campus Outrage Awards, commonly known as the Pollys. Here’s how the CN put it: DePaul University has essentially declared war on free speech on campus. First, the university suspended—without a hearing—a veteran adjunct professor for daring to debate students handing out pro-Palestinian… Read more

  • More Insanity at DePaul: Racial Graffiti a Hoax?

    March 16, 2006

    DePaul University has been the site of so many ridiculous assaults on liberty that it has quickly gained recognition at FIRE as a “basket case” when it comes to the issue. Unfortunately, it looks like DePaul is going to need an even bigger basket. Mathematics professor Jonathan Cohen has the whole story in a must-read… Read more

  • DePaul Students Acquitted of Harassment Charges

    February 20, 2006

    FIRE’s press release today details the resolution of the latest infringement upon free speech at DePaul University. DePaul recently charged members of the DePaul Conservative Alliance (DCA) with harassment for holding an “affirmative action bake sale,” the point of which was to spark debate by satirizing affirmative action policies. FIRE intervened by writing a letter… Read more

  • Partial Victory for Free Speech at DePaul

    February 20, 2006

    CHICAGO, February 20, 2006—DePaul University has acquitted a conservative student group that was charged with harassment for holding an event that satirized affirmative action. Until the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) intervened, DePaul administrators had been investigating the DePaul Conservative Alliance (DCA) for holding an “affirmative action bake sale” protest. “It’s about time… Read more

  • DePaul, Meet Kutztown

    February 10, 2006

    DePaul University, a private institution that proudly bills itself as the nation’s largest Catholic university, could learn a few lessons from Pennsylvania’s little-known Kutztown University. Earlier this week, the College Republicans at Kutztown did exactly what the DePaul Conservative Alliance tried to do—that is, they had an “affirmative action bake sale.” As FIRE’s recent press… Read more

  • DePaul’s Sordid Legacy Continues

    January 30, 2006

    Yet another incident of censorship and administrative abuse has arisen at DePaul University. This time, as today’s press release explains, the DePaul Conservative Alliance (DCA) protested affirmative action by holding an affirmative action bake sale, which was intended to spark debate. Before an hour had passed, however, the Dean of Students, in true DePaul style,… Read more

  • DePaul University Calls Affirmative Action Protest ‘Harassment’

    January 30, 2006

    CHICAGO, January 30, 2006—Earlier this month, DePaul University shut down an “affirmative action bake sale” protest, and is now investigating a student organizer for “harassment.” DePaul’s latest offense against liberty follows its 2005 dismissal of a professor for arguing with pro-Palestinian students and its censorship of students’ peaceful protest of controversial professor Ward Churchill. With… Read more

  • On National Television Tonight: DePaul Surrenders

    January 6, 2006

    As today’s press release announces, FIRE has restored the DePaul University College Republicans to their rights. The CRs ran into problems when they tried to post flyers using University of Colorado Professor Ward Churchill’s own words to protest his then-upcoming appearance at DePaul. Then, quoth the press release: When the CRs submitted the flyers for… Read more

  • DePaul University Revokes Vague Ban on ‘Propaganda’

    January 6, 2006

    CHICAGO, January 6, 2006—Under pressure from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), DePaul University has lifted a vague ban on “propaganda” that it used last fall to silence student protest of a campus appearance by controversial University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill. “The revocation of the ‘propaganda’ ban is a step in the… Read more

  • Administrative Abuses Live On

    December 30, 2005

    This year has seen a lot of activity around the theme of social justice in academia. Commitments to social justice are popping up in universities’ mission statements and on course syllabi across the humanities. The problem I see with any university proclamation is that the terms involved are often ill-defined. What does a college mean… Read more

  • DePaul Forbids Student Group to Protest Ward Churchill

    December 21, 2005

    CHICAGO, December 21, 2005—A student group that protested a campus appearance by University of Colorado Professor Ward Churchill has become DePaul University’s latest victim of censorship. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) intervened after the university banned its College Republicans from posting flyers protesting Churchill’s visit and actually changed its own rules to… Read more

  • ‘National Review’ Highlights Klocek Case

    October 10, 2005

    John J. Miller has written an excellent article (subscription required) in the most recent issue of National Review detailing the plight of many conservative professors on campus. He focuses particular attention on the ridiculous treatment of Professor Thomas Klocek at DePaul. Klocek, as Torch readers may recall, was suspended after a heated, out-of-class argument with… Read more

  • Klocek Files Suit

    June 17, 2005

    Thomas Klocek, the DePaul professor who lost his job without due process after arguing with several students about the Middle East at a student activities fair, has now sued DePaul. Much of the suit focuses on claims that DePaul defamed Klocek, in part by providing the public with false and misleading information about his health…. Read more

  • DePaul Professor Suspended Without a Hearing After Arguing with Students on Middle East Issues

    May 18, 2005

    CHICAGO, May 18, 2005—DePaul University administrators have suspended Professor Thomas Klocek without a hearing after he engaged in an out-of-class argument with pro-Palestinian students at a student activities fair. When the students complained to administrators, Klocek was denied the rights that DePaul guarantees to professors accused of wrongdoing and immediately suspended. Statements from DePaul administrators… Read more