North Carolina State University – Raleigh

Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Type: Public
Thank North Carolina State University – Raleigh for its commitment to free speech.

Speech Code Rating

North Carolina State University – Raleigh has been given the speech code rating Green. Green light institutions are those colleges and universities whose policies nominally protect free speech. Read more

Campus Climate

Overall Ranking

out of 154 colleges surveyed Read more
  • POL 04.25.05 – Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: July 14, 2021

    4.2 Harassment is unwelcome conduct based on a person’s Protected Status that creates a situation where: … the conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive to create an environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive. All relevant circumstances are examined as part of this ... Read More
  • Bias Impact Response

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: July 14, 2021

    NC State’s OIED Bias Impact Response Team (BIRT), serves the campus community by offering a system and processes that invite students, faculty and staff to document and proactively address the impacts of bias-related incidents, behaviors, and actions. BIRT supports affected individuals and groups, promotes education... Read More
  • POL 04.25.01 – Freedom of Speech and Expression

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: July 14, 2021

    Academic freedom, free speech and free expression are fundamental to the mission and purposes of NC State University. NC State supports, encourages and upholds the freedom of inquiry for students, faculty and staff, to the end that they may pursue these goals responsibly through teaching, learning, research, discuss... Read More
  • REG 11.55.02 – Use of University Space

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: July 14, 2021

    5.1  Advance Notice Groups and individuals must reserve the use of space for their activity before the proposed time and date of the event (the “notice requirement”).  The university may waive the notice requirement for good cause shown. 5.1.1For outdoor uses of University space, the notice requirement is at least t... Read More
  • REG 07.25.12 – Solicitation

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: July 14, 2021

    2.5  “Non-Commercial Solicitation” means any hand distribution of leaflets, brochures or other written materials designed for informational and not commercial purposes.  This definition does not include the dissemination of information for purposes of the administrative, academic, research, or extension activitie... Read More
  • REG 08.00.02 – Computer Use Regulation

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: July 14, 2021

    3.1. Authorized users may access University IT resources for occasional, inconsequential personal uses, with no expectation of privacy, if the following conditions are met: 3.1.1. The use does not disrupt, negatively impact, or interfere with the security, functions, availability or performance of University IT reso... Read More
  • POL 04.25.07 – Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: July 14, 2021

    “Title IX Sexual Harassment” for purposes of Title IX and this policy means conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following: … Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to an... Read More

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 24/154
Ideological Diversity 22/159

Overall / out of a top score of 100

Overall Score 64.39
Openness 9.41
Tolerance (Liberals) 9.41
Tolerance (Conservatives) 8.2
Administrative Support 6.18
Comfort 14.9
Disruptive Conduct 10.29
Speech Climate
Supported Scholars
Sanctioned Scholars
Successful Disinvitations
Speech Code GREEN
  • As student debates about Hong Kong continue, U.S. universities must be prepared to respond to free speech controversies 

    December 4, 2019

    The mass protests that have swept Hong Kong in recent months are unlikely to cease anytime soon. What is likely, though, is that this movement will continue to spread protests of both support and opposition at campuses around the world.  Are American universities prepared for the free speech challenges posed by the often passionate student… Read more

  • North Carolina’s largest university scraps unconstitutional speech policies, earns top free speech rating

    March 6, 2019

    RALEIGH, N.C., March 6, 2019 — North Carolina State University leaders brought the school’s speech policies in line with the Constitution, making NC State the largest university in North Carolina to earn the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s highest free speech rating. Eleven colleges and universities in North Carolina now earn a “green light”… Read more

  • REPORT: North Carolina is home to some of America’s best colleges for free speech

    September 24, 2018

    Eight colleges in North Carolina earn FIRE’s highest rating for free speech — more than in any other state — but 17 still maintain policies that substantially restrict student expression. PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 24, 2018 — A new report finds that North Carolina’s colleges and universities lead the way nationally for protecting student free speech. The… Read more

  • Independent Newspapers Crucial for Students in ‘Tense Times’

    December 22, 2016

    It’s a time-honored tradition for college students to use independent newspapers to respond to pressing issues on campus and avoid top-down censorship from administrators. As The Chronicle of Higher Education recently reported in their piece, “In Tense Times, Black Students Find Ways to Tell Their Own Stories,” there has been a surge in publications run… Read more

  • North Carolina State University Will No Longer Require Written Permission to Speak on Campus, Paying a Hefty Settlement

    July 21, 2016

    Last month, a federal court ordered North Carolina State University (NC State) to stop enforcing a policy that required student groups to get written permission from administrators before distributing literature or merely speaking to students on campus. While NC State repeatedly defended the policy—a policy squarely at odds with the First Amendment—the university has now… Read more

  • Federal Court to NC State: Stop Requiring Speech Pass to Speak on Campus

    June 8, 2016

    On Saturday, a federal district court ruled that a student organization, Grace Christian Life, was likely to be successful in its First Amendment lawsuit against North Carolina State University, ordering the university to immediately cease enforcing a policy requiring permission to distribute literature on campus. While the court could later vacate the preliminary injunction following… Read more

  • Perennial Controversy over NC State Free Expression Tunnel Inspires Problematic Tactic by Admins

    April 6, 2015

    According to a report by Campus Reform’s Kaitlyn Schallhorn posted last week, a North Carolina State University administrator emailed students to encourage them to cover up offensive speech painted in the university’s Free Expression Tunnel. Students are (supposedly) welcomed by the university to use the Tunnel to express themselves openly on a range of topics,… Read more

  • Why NC State’s ‘Civility Statement’ Earns a ‘Green Light’

    January 3, 2014

    As part of a blog series about some of the best “green light” university policies, we took a look last week at Mississippi State University’s policy on “Harassment” and examined why it is a useful model for other colleges and universities to follow in properly addressing harassment on campus. Today, we take a look at North Carolina State University’s “Civility Statement,”… Read more

  • FIRE in the News: Watch Clips of ‘Stossel,’ ‘Red Eye’ Featuring FIRE Cases!

    October 2, 2012

    It’s been a big television week for FIRE. Last Thursday, I appeared alongside Campus Freedom Network members David Deerson and Derek Spicer on an episode of the Fox Business Network show Stossel, filmed at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). We had a great discussion of speech codes at UNC and civility… Read more

  • FIRE’s NC State Victory in the News

    September 10, 2012

    FIRE’s latest victory in the battle against "civility" speech codes on campus has hit the news. Both The Chronicle of Higher Education and Minding The Campus report on the welcome revision of North Carolina State University’s civility policy. Check them out!

  • Free Expression Blockade at NC State

    November 5, 2010

    Early yesterday morning, a group of students gathered at North Carolina State University’s free expression tunnel to protest against hate speech. The tunnel, which is free for students to paint with messages of their choice, had reportedly been painted with a caricature of President Obama and homophobic and racial slurs. In response, a group of… Read more

  • UNC Rejects the Heckler’s Veto

    April 24, 2009

    The First Amendment scored a victory this week at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill when UNC removed and arrested six hecklers who disrupted a campus speech by former Virginia congressman and illegal immigration opponent Virgil Goode. Goode was invited to speak on campus by a group called Youth for Western Civilization. Problems with disruptive… Read more

  • Rights in the News: A Good Week for FIRE at Virginia Tech

    April 17, 2009

    I blogged on Wednesday on the press generated by FIRE’s successful effort to get Virginia Tech President Charles Steger to shelve a requirement that would have more deeply ensconced a "diversity" requirement for tenure and promotion for the university’s arts and sciences faculty. FIRE’s efforts and success at Virginia Tech were reported by The Chronicle… Read more

  • FIRE Weighs in on NCAA’s Warning to Students Regarding Facebook ‘Recruiting’

    April 15, 2009

    The Associated Press reports that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is putting pressure on member schools to crack down on student-operated Facebook groups which urge talented high school athletes to attend their college or university. The AP’s story, which has been picked up by over 200 news outlets in the past week, details what… Read more

  • Three Days Left to Submit Comment to NC State Task Force on “Campus Culture”

    February 13, 2009

    The Technician, the student newspaper at North Carolina State University (NCSU), reports that the Campus Culture Task Force Committee for North Carolina State University is still soliciting input from concerned students and community members, and will continue to do so until Monday, February 16. The committee, formed after the discovery of racist comments painted on… Read more

  • From an Alumnus, a Vigorous Defense of Free Speech at N.C. State

    January 21, 2009

    Jon Sanders, a policy analyst and research editor at the Raleigh, North Carolina-based John Locke Foundation, has written an astute column on North Carolina State University’s venerable "Free Expression Tunnel," which has been a flashpoint for controversy in the wake of the election of President Barack Obama. Torch readers will remember that shortly following Obama’s… Read more

  • New ‘FIREside Chats’ Episode Features Samantha Harris’ Interview on NewsTalk

    January 12, 2009

    The second season of FIRE’s podcasting series, FIREside Chats, kicks off with Samantha Harris’ December 26 interview on NewsTalk 680 WPTF in Raleigh, North Carolina. Samantha is FIRE’s Director of Speech Code Research. During the interview, Samantha discusses speech codes in the University of North Carolina System, FIRE’s Spotlight on Speech Codes Report, and the… Read more

  • Two North Carolina Newspapers Opine on NCSU’s ‘Free Expression Tunnel’ Debacle

    December 2, 2008

    Adam and Robert wrote last week about racist messages written in North Carolina State University’s "Free Expression Tunnel." Now, two North Carolina newspapers have weighed in on the controversy. On Saturday, an editorial in the News-Record of Greensboro, N.C., comments on President Erskine Bowles’ instituting a commission to consider a system-wide policy to ban this… Read more

  • ACLU Weighs in Against Possible Ban on “Hate Speech” in University of North Carolina System

    December 2, 2008

    Katherine Lewis Parker, Legal Director for the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina Legal Foundation (ACLU-NCLF), wrote to UNC system President Erskine Bowles last week regarding the much-publicized case of racist speech in the “Free Expression Tunnel” at North Carolina State University (NCSU). The North Carolina ACLU got engaged in this issue once Bowles… Read more

  • More ‘Hate Speech’ in NCSU’s ‘Free Expression Tunnel’

    November 25, 2008

    “Anger and controversy,” Robert wrote yesterday, “have been swirling at North Carolina State University about messages painted in N.C. State’s ‘Free Expression Tunnel’ on November 5 in the wake of Barack Obama’s presidential election victory.” The messages were clearly racist and have disturbed people both on and off campus. Why has N.C. State censored these… Read more

  • N.C. State in Uproar Over Racist Messages in ‘Free Expression Tunnel’

    November 24, 2008

    For the last two weeks, anger and controversy have been swirling at North Carolina State University about messages painted in N.C. State’s “Free Expression Tunnel” on November 5 in the wake of Barack Obama’s presidential election victory. One message reportedly read, “Hang Obama by a noose.” Here is a picture of another one, which read,… Read more

  • “Free Expression Tunnel” No Longer Free at NC State

    October 8, 2007

    North Carolina State University persuades students to enroll by advertising their “Free Expression Tunnel,” which “gives students a venue for expressing their thoughts and feelings about anything.” Well, not anything. According to a recent report, NC State officials regularly monitor the tunnel for things like “hate speech” and then paint over whatever they do not… Read more

  • Piracy on the Increase in Academia

    April 19, 2005

    Those of you who, like me, are concerned about issues of piracy in the modern age have good reason to worry, as pirates have evidently taken over the student government of North Carolina State University. Fox News is reporting that a gentleman named The Pirate Captain was just elected president of NCSU’s student body. He… Read more